How to Take the Next Step in Your Development Career

This week on the Boagworld Show we are joined by Harry Roberts to discuss how his career as a developer has evolved over the years.

This week’s show is sponsored by The Digital Project Manager School and ResourceGuru.

Transcript

Paul Boag: This week on the Boagworld Show we’re joined by Harry Roberts to discuss his career as a developer and how it has evolved over the years. This week’s show is sponsored by Resource Guru and The Digital Project Manager School.
Hello and welcome to the Boagworld Show, the broadcast about all aspects of digital design, developer’s strategy. My name is Paul Boag and joining me on this show, as always, Marcus Lillington. Hello Marcus.
Marcus Lillington : Hello Paul, how are you today? It seems I haven’t spoken to you in such a long time.
Paul Boag: Hello, but yeah, we did one yesterday, didn’t we? So, we seem to be on a little roll. I’ve had a good day actually. I spent a day of gardening.
Marcus Lillington : Really?
Paul Boag: Well, a mixture. It was one of those half a day of gardening, half a day of debugging Gutenberg in WordPress. You know, as you do, really.
Harry Roberts: What gardening can you do in February?
Marcus Lillington : Not a lot.
Paul Boag: Well, you see that’s … Sorry, by the way, hello Harry.
Marcus Lillington : Hello, Harry.
Paul Boag: Sorry.
Harry Roberts: Oh, hiccups.
Paul Boag: I forgot because we’ve been chatting for …
Harry Roberts: Hey everyone.
Paul Boag: Chatting for a little while. I forgot I hadn’t actually introduced you. Yeah, so we’ve got Harry Roberts joining us on today’s show. I was doing prep work because we’ve got these … When we renovated the house we got a base garden put in place, the hard stuff. And then, so, I’d been laying out irrigation systems, setting out beds, that kind of stuff.
Marcus Lillington : I didn’t think you did that sort of thing at all Paul. You’re just out there, Cath is going, “Do that. And now do that. And do that.”
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Marcus Lillington : That’s what’s happening isn’t it?
Paul Boag: Actually, actually, in this rare instance, no. I’ve discovered I quite enjoy it. Because unlike Harry, I’m not brave enough to take up cycling where you injure yourself. So, gardening is a little bit of outdoor time without the option to seriously injure yourself, you see?
Harry Roberts: That’s a bit of good honest proper work is what that is.
Paul Boag: Yeah, I know right? I was digging and everything.
Marcus Lillington : Excellent.
Paul Boag: And, it was raining. I was out in the rain doing it.
Marcus Lillington : I am genuinely impressed Paul. I don’t say that very often.
Paul Boag: No. But, to be fair, the whole approach to my gardening is the same approach as I use for development, right? Which is do it once and then never have to revisit if you can possibly get away with it. So, it’s like everything, irrigation systems or the black matting down so weeds don’t grow up, you know, I wanna set this up and then walk away.
Marcus Lillington : Yeah, with my-
Harry Roberts: Looks tarmac, the whole thing.
Paul Boag: Well, out the front, believe it or not, we’ve put down resin. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across this stuff, but it’s a bit like tar … No, this is not turning into gardener’s fricking world. I’m not getting into this conversation.
Marcus Lillington : No, but you’ve moved onto your front space. That’s not a garden.
Paul Boag: Very exciting. It’s very exciting. Anyway. I want to do just a bit of housekeeping before we kick off. I’ve been having some really interesting conversations in Slack recently, where I’ve become increasingly aware or thinking about the way that people are consuming content, especially as digital professionals, is changing quite a lot. We used to all follow certain blogs and things like that. We just don’t have time for that kind of thing anymore. It’s time, it’s hard even finding time to read stuff. And it, that reminded me that I’ve never really taken a lot of time to promote Digital Insights, which is the other podcast that I do. Right? Everybody knows about Boagworld. Digital Insights is basically audio versions of my blog posts. So, if you don’t have time to read them because you’ve got 20 gazillion other things to do, but you commute or you go to the gym or something like that, and you wanna listen to my podcast, which is obviously doubtful, then you can do so … of my blog post, you can access them online. So, if you go to boagworld.com/digital-insights you can find out about that.
But, anyway. Harry. Hello.
Harry Roberts: Yes sir, hello.
Paul Boag: How are you? Are you recovering nicely after your incident?
Harry Roberts: Slowly, but surely recovering. Well, like you mentioned I’m dressed a bit, a very casual attire today. So, I was at physio-therapy this morning. Yeah, I’m just recovering very slowly, but surely. It’s kind of optimistic outlook, but it’s just been a boring four weeks. I haven’t been able to work. Well, I’ve opted not to work. Which is nice for the first few days, but then after a week, but I was just going a bit crazy.
Paul Boag: I mean, this is one of the scary things, isn’t it? This is this the dread of any freelancer. Where, suddenly, you’re in a position where you can’t really work. You know, and there’s no one paying your salary. So, have you, I presume are a sensible man, and have a war chest behind you, that’s allowed you to take off time.
Harry Roberts: Oh, yeah. I mean, I’m a business of one. So, the only outgoings I’ve got is my salary. If I’m not working, I don’t have flight costs, etc. So, I’ve not really had any business expenses while I haven’t been working. Actually have to pay myself salary out of kind of reserves rather than out of just cashflow, but it’s one of those things where, sensible thing, save for a rainy day. And, it’s been 28 rainy days now. But yeah, it’s a gift and a curse. I was explaining this to someone. I’m really fortunate that I can just choose not to work for this month because of an injury. But, then the flip side is, yeah, I haven’t earned any money in 2019 so far.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Which isn’t a major concern. Of course I say, my business is a lifestyle business and I don’t really have monthly targets to hit, but it’s been interesting. I’m just kind of watching the bank account just going down.
Marcus Lillington : Only by a little bit.
Harry Roberts: But going down, rather than up is not the way to be going.
Paul Boag: What’s happened? I don’t know what’s happened.
Marcus Lillington : Other than you’ve got a whole in your beard.
Harry Roberts: Oh, so, 4th of January I was out. So, I do a lot of mountain biking. Well, a lot of cycling in general, but this is specifically a mountain bike thing. I was at the trail center. I actually had a bit of a crash, so I went over bars down like a jump thing that I mistimed. Broke my elbow, loss consciousness, cut my face open. It was pretty exciting. Got to go ambulance down to hospital, got all stitched up and sort of put in a cast. But yeah, it was actually a pretty brutal crash. They had to send a thing called … Actually, this is mad. This is really mad.
I was sat on the side of the trail. My body temperature had gone down to like 34 degrees, and they were starting to panic. And they kept saying like, “Okay, we need to get the HART team out.” I was thinking, well one, surely you’d say cardio team, not HART team. And two, what the hell is wrong with my heart? Why do you keep saying HART team?
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Turns out the HART team, it stands for hazardous area response team. And, they were set up after the [Saben Saben 00:07:34](#) bombings. They’re like, if a building collapses or yeah, the tube gets blown up or whatever, they were invented for this. ‘Cause I was in the middle of the woods, in the middle of a forest, they couldn’t get an ambulance to me. So, they had to scramble the HART team and they sent a big six-wheel drive buggy to kind of get me out of there. But, the problem is the HART vehicle is so expensive to scramble they sent a film crew along with it, so they can flog the footage to a 999 rescue team.
Marcus Lillington : Fantastic.
Harry Roberts: So, I’ve got on T.V. I’m gonna be on T.V. with this thing. There’ll be loads of people with legitimate like a mining incident or a pile up on a motorway, and just some Muppet who fell off his bike. Just five minute interlude in the program.
Marcus Lillington : That’s fantastic.
Harry Roberts: So, yeah.
Marcus Lillington : I was gonna think I was gonna do a one up on you with, mine and Paul’s co-director at Headscape, Chris Scott.
Paul Boag: Oh, yeah.
Marcus Lillington : He’s been doing a little cycling and he came of his bike and broke his hip. And, he was out for three months. But, he thought he could still cycle, it wasn’t like he needed a HART team, he wasn’t on telly.
Harry Roberts: Yeah.
Marcus Lillington : It broke him badly for ages, but yeah, he just fell off his bike and thought, “Oh, that’s a bit smart. Bit of a smarting thing,” and then though, “Oh, no it’s worse than that.” But that was it.
Harry Roberts: Yeah.
Paul Boag: See, it’s dangerous. [crosstalk 00:08:49](#) Exercise. Exercise, dangerous. I keep saying it. But, what it does, it does raise, just dragging it vaguely back to the topic of what we do for a living. It does raise an interesting questions over things like, I mean, do you either of you guys have like critical illness cover? You know, in case you get seriously ill. Something like a heart attack, or something like that because, I mean, it’s pretty important isn’t it? You know, when you’re responsible for your own income.
Harry Roberts: Yes.
Marcus Lillington : Short answer.
Harry Roberts: Yeah. I mean, sure. So, I could of, I mean, my insurer is great. I don’t know if I can …
Paul Boag: Yeah, please.
Harry Roberts: It’s With Jack right? And, if you’re independent or freelancer, With Jack is who you should use. But, they actually got in touch proactively and said, “Hey, we just saw you had an accident. Just so you know, you are covered for this thing. Might be able to claim for like some earnings.” But, I declined, ’cause I was like, you know what, it’s only a month out. I’d rather not have that paperwork and the increase in my premiums, and all that kind of stuff. But, yeah, so I’m insured up to the eyeballs.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Marcus Lillington : Yeah.
Paul Boag: Well, that’s really good.
Marcus Lillington : I’ve got critical illness insurance, that’s sort of personally. And, both Chris and I have got Keymail on each other now.
Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah. Which is very sensible.
Marcus Lillington : Yeah, it basically means that, ’cause neither one of us want to carry on without the other one, so it kind of basically allows for one person, effectively, to die. This is quite morose, isn’t it? And, on that happy note, let’s talk about something else.
Paul Boag: It is, but this is precisely the kind of thing that doesn’t get talked about. You know, and it is an important thing. When you’re running your own business, you need these kinds of things in place. So, but yeah, let’s move on. I would agree.
We’ll move on and we’ll talk very briefly about The Digital Project Manager School, which is our first sponsor. And then, we’ll do some questions with Harry. So, The Digital Project Manager School is, basically, an online digital project management course that they run something called “Mastering Digital Project Management.” So, they offer different versions of the course, which is not something that I’d realized before sitting down to write the show for this week. They have a basic version, a standard version, and an extended version, so depending on the level of support that you’re looking for. So, for example, one of the benefits of the extended course is you get one-to-one coaching sessions, as well as the normal kind of instructor-reviewed assignments. So, it really allows you to chat with somebody and spend time looking at your very specific problems. So, in addition to those kind of assignments, you also get things like peer-reviewed assignments, where other people can input into them and the people you’re on the course can discuss stuff together, which is nice.
So, there are very few online courses that offer that kind of level of support. Normally, there are you go away and learn something. And so, keep an eye out for the next course. And, you can do that by going to theprojectmanager.com/boagworld.
Ben, in the chat room, has just made the worst Harry accident joke I’ve ever seen. Which is, apparently, Harry is now a class. Harry-flying, float equals none. That is so sad. That is a real techy joke. Right.
Harry Roberts: It’s true though.
Paul Boag: I feel like I need to watch this footage now, but I’m supposed to be recording a podcast.
Marcus Lillington : You are.
Paul Boag: So, I’ll have to watch it afterwards ’cause everyone is going on about it. Anyway, Harry-
Marcus Lillington : No one was listening to that sponsor story at all.
Paul Boag: No one paid a blind bit of notice to the sponsor slot. Right, that’s it. Okay. I am now copying and pasting the URL of the sponsor into the chat, and you have to click on it, right? Okay. Let’s talk about Harry.
So, Harry, for those who don’t know you …
Harry Roberts: Yes.
Paul Boag: Or for your, let’s … No, let’s do the mum thing. Marcus did this question, worded it in an interesting way, I think it was in the last show. How do you describe what you do, to your mum?
Harry Roberts: So, mum’s pretty good ’cause she actually tries really hard to understand what I do.
Paul Boag: Oh, okay. Alright, your auntie.
Harry Roberts: I just, to anyone who … Okay, if I don’t want to bore somebody with the details, nowadays, it’s really easy, I just tell people, I help companies make their websites faster.
Paul Boag: Right.
Harry Roberts: It’s as simple as that. And, if anyone is interested, I can go into further detail. But, with my focus on web performance in the last couple of years, specifically, describing what I do is way simpler. When I used to do a lot of CSS Architecture consultancy, it’d start with, think about what [UB 00:13:48](#) looks like, now I write the code that makes the thing look like that. And yeah, so I just make websites faster.
Paul Boag: Now, I didn’t know that. So, you mainly focus on performance these days?
Harry Roberts: Yeah, I’d say a very conscious decision, about two years ago, was to move slowly away from doing the hardcore, full on CSS Architecture work, and focusing on front-end performance. There’s a few motives behind that …
Paul Boag: Yeah, I’m interested. Tell us a little bit about what brought about that decision to move.
Harry Roberts: I’ve been doing this now, I’ve been a developer professionally for nearly 11 years. And, the majority of that was spent focusing very heavily on CSS, which was super enjoyable, very fulfilling. I managed to kind of make a bit of name for myself in doing that. But then, it kind of got to the point where I was getting a little bored of it. It wasn’t as meaningful for businesses. It was one of those things where, yeah, a business would benefit from having better quality CSS, but it’s not gonna put more zeroes on that company’s bank account, right? It’s not gonna have a tremendous impact.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: So, kind of to scratch my own itch of wanting to just diversify a little bit, to actually wanting to get a little more business facing with my work, rather than … So, traditionally with CSS stuff, it would be an engineer would email me and they would get some budget from their manager, and we’d just do like a very developer-focused body of work. Nowadays, what I find is I’m more likely to be in front of the CFO and the CEO of a company, talking them through, “Here’s the bottom line. Here’s how performance is gonna affect your business. Here’s how I can help that.” And then, I’ll get on the phone with the engineers just hacking around it, making it faster.
So, I mean, that was one of the motives, but there’s also other stuff for like me, personally, as a developer. It’s just fascinating to be able to measure things that forensically. So, I think that CSS is very qualitative, whereas web performance, very quantitative, [to a tiv 00:15:48](#). So, I can definitely say, “Hey, this body of work got that website 2.6 seconds faster.”
Paul Boag: Yeah. And, that’s so-
Harry Roberts: Best bet, we can probably get it to three.
Paul Boag: That’s so nice. So, for the kind of designer equivalent is the difference between working on a university website where all the [cools thraction 00:16:04](#) are a little bit wooly and unmeasurable, compared to on an e-commerce site where you know, “Ah ha, I’ve increased conversion by 0.2% and that’s generated this amount of additional revenue.” It’s more satisfying, isn’t it?
Harry Roberts: Exactly. Exactly. And, it just also means that you can have more serious conversations with clients about what the sign of a successful project might be, or how they want to track success. Whereas going and saying, “Oh, you’ll have that quality clear fixes.”
Paul Boag: Yeah. Good guess.
Harry Roberts: I mean, no one’s going to pony up the cash for that. Right? So, it’s been really interesting and very fulfilling sort of transition over the last couple of years. I still get, I still do a lot of CSS work. I still get a lot of inquiries for my CSS work, but my conscious kind of move has been towards general [forans 00:16:54](#) reports.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Marcus Lillington : Does that limit you only to e-commerce? I’m just thinking.
Paul Boag: Obviously, it’s a matter of using sales.
Marcus Lillington : No. At the e-commerce provider, greater performance means, I guess to a certain extent, fewer abandoned carts and that kind of thing.
Harry Roberts: You’re absolutely right. The predominant use case, the biggest kind of client base is gonna be e-commerce, or anyone who makes money online. So, for better or worse, the betting and gaming industry. So, I actually sort of started my serious development career at Skybet. So, I’m sort of paying off a bit of moral debt for that. I built the first version of Skybet in 2011. So, that’s the kind of company that would definitely, but that’s e-com right? It’s betting and gaming, but it’s making money online. But, it doesn’t work with iPlayer. About ten months ago, at iPlayer, what they want to measure is there a correlation between improvement in performance and a map of content viewed, so minutes watched. I’ve done some work with another streaming video provider on a similar thing, so for them it was actually, they weren’t hoping to make more money, they were hoping to retain more customers. Hoping people would watch, binge watch more series if the app was faster.
And then, it was an e-commerce client, but one of the biggest wins I had for a client was reducing the amount of data they were sending over the wire, by about 67%. So, that was a money saving exercise, rather than a money making exercise. Which ultimately leads to both, right? ‘Cause in saving that money, they made their site faster and therefore made more.
Marcus Lillington : That could apply to lots and lots of people though, couldn’t it? The [crosstalk 00:18:41](#)
Paul Boag: Anything that scale. Once you hit something that’s any kind of scale, that money starts mounting up in terms of data. One of our …
Harry Roberts: So, I work with, oh, but a real quick one, I worked with Trainline in 2017. And, Trainline, they’ve got a case there which that they managed to prove that improving performance by just 0.3 seconds lead to an 8.1 million pound uptick in revenue. So, 300 milliseconds made them an extra 8.1 … What I should have done, and I really regret not doing this, making a site 0.3 seconds faster, dead easy. So, I should have said to them, “Look, if I get you that 0.3 seconds, can I just keep the 0.1 mill?” You have your eight mill, I’ll have the 0.1, and we’ll just call it a do. I didn’t do that.
Paul Boag: I mean, that’s very much, that’s value-based pricing. You know, you’re-
Harry Roberts: I mean, that would have been a bargain for them.
Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah. Now, that’s interesting because what that also leads on to is by moving into this performance field, not only is the sale easier to justify as you’ve said, but you’re also increasing your value to the organization. Is that having an impact on how much you can charge?
Harry Roberts: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s been a good move.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: I do completely go for a value based pricing approach, so I don’t have a day rate. What I will do is a mixture of things, but if it’s an e-com client, I will just go on company’s house, get their last year’s financials, look at their e-com revenue. And, if it’s a massive client, such as Squarespace, I worked with them last year, their financials’ll be on tech [inaudible 00:20:26](#) anyway. English work outlook, you turned over this much last year, similar case studies have shown that we can get a 2% increase in revenue. Therefore, if I, in a week or two, radically make your financials look like this, then I will charge you this amount. I will leave happy, you will leave happy. And then, it’s, I’ve never had anyone push me back on price.
Paul Boag: Interesting.
Marcus Lillington : You need to raise them a bit.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Well, there’s a go-get ceiling somewhere, I’m not like a … I live a fairly humble existence. I don’t need, I don’t want to get rich.
Paul Boag: Alright. You say that, but I bet-
Harry Roberts: There’s a point, there’s a point-
Paul Boag: I bet your bike costs a fortune.
Harry Roberts: Only people who aren’t rich say that.
Paul Boag: But, I bet your, how much did you spend on your bike? I bet you spent a lot of-
Harry Roberts: You don’t even wanna know.
Paul Boag: Yeah, exactly. See, now we get to the truth. Anyway, carry on.
Harry Roberts: But yeah, I told you. So, I could raise my prices, but then I think, honestly, I think that raising them for the sake of it is a bit of an exercise in greed. That’s a really personal view, but unless I’m actually doing anything notably different for a client, that I wasn’t doing maybe six months ago, then I’m happy to keep my prices. Just like I say, value kind of based pricing. Most clients have got a rough idea of what they want to spend anyway, so what I’ll do is I’ll grab rough budget from them. Like a gut feel of out of these three numbers, which are you most comfortable spending? Which ever one they go for, I will then design a work package that suits them.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: And, ’cause sometimes what happens is, it’s only happened twice, but I’ve had to go back to a client and say, you will struggle to spend that much. That’s too much money. There’s not much we can … I’ll charge you half of that, we’ll do loads of work and take them undoubtedly what’s left. ‘Cause it’s quite easy to top out. There’s only so much you can do, and more money doesn’t always fix a lot of problems.
Paul Boag: So, now that’s an interesting-
Harry Roberts: It certainly helps.
Paul Boag: It’s an interesting model because when I approach clients, and I start talking about budget and money and that kind of thing, I normally, they normally want me to go away and create three packages for them that they can pick between. Or, pricing a lot of different things that they can mix and match. You kind of go in with three different kind of levels? And then, say which of those levels do you think would suit you the best? Is that, am I understanding you right?
Harry Roberts: No. So, what I’ll do is … It’s like similar, but I don’t actually design any work packages, I don’t go with three work packages. What I’ll do is I’ll say to a client, it’s a standard question actually, I ask all clients the same thing, “How much money is the business provision for this engagement? (If you’re not sure yet, would you say it’s closer to 5,000? 15,000? Or 50,000 pounds?)” And, they’ll have an immediate gut reaction like, “Oh my goodness, definitely closer to 5,000.” And then, I know that there’s no point selling them a six-month consultancy package. So, what I’ll do is if their gut feeling is 5,000 I’ll say, “Well, for exactly five grand you can have a workshop. If you can push it to seven and a half, you can do this. If you can push it to 12, we can do this.” So, it’s just that. It’s just a gut feel. That’s all I’m going for there and I’ll price something that’s sympathetic to whatever they’ve said.
Paul Boag: Yeah, that’s the same approach I take, basically. So, that’s interesting mate because you mention workshops then. Talk to me, talk to us about what your different kind of offerings are because I know you do workshops. You do a lot of consultancy stuff which isn’t actually producing stuff, but rather advising, one presumes. And, do you do hands-on stuff as well? What’s the mix?
Harry Roberts: Well, pretty much exactly as you’ve said. I think a really good case study for this would be, I’ve been working with a wonderful, amazing client in Estonia for the past 11 months maybe. And, they got in touch, it was a really nice, kind of organic, just the way it all came about has been perfect. They’ve been a wonderful client to work with. I spoke at the conference in Berlin and there was an after party, and I had just enough beers to be kind of a bit cheeky. And, this guy was like, “Oh, yeah. I work for the world’s first ever legal,” he was very keen to stress the word legal, “bitcoin betting website.” And, I was like two or three beers in and I went, “I can make that website faster.” And, he was all like, “If you can, then please do because we need it.” So, for them we had … I basically interrogate my clients before we start working together ’cause I need to understand exactly where they’re going wrong, what they’re proficient at, what they need most support with. And what I identified here is just a skills gap in the team, so we need some workshops just to try to teach people, “Here’s how your dev tools work. Here’s how the internet fundamentally works and why websites get slow in the first place.”
Actually, before that, I did like a week remote audit, which is part of consultancy work where I’ll just sit with a lot of coffee for a week and just tear down the site. Work out exactly what’s wrong, where the pitfalls are. That then leads to quite a large review document. I think the last one I wrote ran up to around 8,000 words. And, that’s basically me saying, “If you want to terminate the engagement now …” ‘Cause what I’ll do as well, is I phase my work in terms of levels of commitment and spend, and it always makes clients feel way more comfortable. So, I’ll say, “Look, if you want to pay up to this point, you’ve got an 8,000 word document that you can go and you can implement this yourself. However, if you’d like to talk about further engagements, get me onsite for two weeks and I’ll help your engineers implement it.” And, because businesses are lazy, in a good way, the would much rather pay for someone else to, basically pay me twice. Find out what’s wrong, tell us what’s wrong, but then fix it yourself anyway. They always leave happy with that.
And then, so that onsite engagement, which had been going on, on and off, for like I’d say 11 months now, that’d be a combination of workshoppings. So, here’s what I found, here’s what’s wrong with the site, here’s how I found it, here’s how you can find it yourselves in future. Then I’ll do like a performance sprint backlog. So, I’ll take all that review document, and I’ll sit. I’ll normally do it on my own, but I’ll get input from the engineers as to how much resource availability have we got, how much time have we got. Let’s make some sort of actual backlog, quickwinds, high impact low effort stuff. Let’s just do that in the week together. Then, we’ll draw up a more strategic plan for transitioning the whole fight from react to preact, for example, that might be a second body of work. So, that’s sort of the consultancies I can gen.
And then, normally, I’m the dumbest guy in the room. It’ll normally be the engineers who actually do, “Okay, let’s refactor this onto preact instead of react,” because my job now is much more of a facilitator. It’s my job to sort of spin plates with the business or fight for, you know, asking the CEO or the product donor, “Can we please have six weeks of this person’s time? Can we have two weeks of this person’s time?” So, it’s my job to kind of assemble people smarter than me I guess.
Paul Boag: That’s fascinating. Yeah, we work in completely opposite ends of the digital spectrum. Well, not completely opposite, you’re not server architecture kind of level, but you’re development, I’m design, yet that methodology you’ve just described from beginning to end is identical to the way that I work. We’ve both come to that completely independently. Even down-
Harry Roberts: Yeah, yeah. Kind of fascinating.
Paul Boag: Yeah, I know. Even down to what you’re saying about you start with a small simple deliverable like running a workshop or doing an audit. Then that then leads onto a strategy document or a report or some description that they can go away and implement. Then they come back to you and ask for help doing that. And so, it goes on. Exactly the same way that I work. And, clients love that. They love that.
And also, the other thing you’ve said which I thought was really good, is you talked about you do a workshop. You show them what you’ve found, but also how you found it. That whole thing of knowledge transfer. You know, corny though it is, is really, really important. The last thing you want from an outside consultant is to come in, sweep in with a load of, “Here’s a load of things you can do now go away and do it mere mortals.” You know, you actually need to educate them and raise the internal standard within the organization. If you can do that, clients absolutely love it. So, yeah.
Harry Roberts: I mean, you should never need to call pest control twice, right?
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: So, it’s my job. I charge a premium because I know that ultimately I’m going to make myself redundant. I could quarter my day rate and just work in silence for six months. Or I could quadruple it and do two days work and leave that company self sufficient. It means that I’m not tied down to one project for too long. It means that, here’s another thing as well, I purposely avoided contracting. So, I will not do a six month contract engagement.
Paul Boag: No. Neither will I.
Harry Roberts: Because it’s impossible, no matter anyone’s intent, it’s impossible to have six months worth of every day being productive. And, I don’t want to be sat twiddling my thumbs because a dead environs down. I don’t wanna be twiddling my thumbs because the tech league’s gone on holiday for a week and it means that I’m bottle necked. What I’d rather do is be a much shorter engagement to where every single minute I’m in that office is effective ’cause the client can justify the spend. We get much quicker returns. And, I’m not tied down to the same project for longer than I am comfortable with.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: I’m very open about that with clients ’cause I need them to trust me, know that I’m not going to rip them off. Actually, the reason why I do things like high impact low effort things first, so that within the first few days of working together the client will see results. Rather than me saying, “Oh, in seconds time it’ll be faster.” “Well, we’re paying you mate. We want it faster now.” So yeah, I’m just very open about that stuff with clients ’cause everybody wins in the end.
Paul Boag: With something like the contracting thing as well, is that, again, you don’t have that knowledge transfer element. You don’t have that thing of, you know, I would much prefer to teach a client how to do it themselves than go in and do it for them. And, that’s, I do mentorship, is one of the things where I work on a retainer with clients over a prolonged period of time. And, I make it very clear, I’m not going to produce anything for you, right? I’ll point you in the right direction. I’ll talk you through how to do it, but you’re the ones doing the work, not me. And, I think that’s healthy, in my opinion.
Harry Roberts: I mean, that suits my kind of ethos and business model to a tee. That’s exactly what I like to do. And, I feel like, somebody asked me something last year in December, in a workshop and it’s bugged me ever since. It’s just a throw away comment, but this guy in a workshop in Poland, he just asked me why I cared so much. And, I thought, at the time he meant, why do I care about performance so much, I was like, “Oh, well, it’s good for business.” And he’s like, “No, why do you care, you get so impassioned when you talk, why do you care so much?” I was like, “Uh, bollocks I don’t know.”
Marcus Lillington : It’s the way you’re wired.
Harry Roberts: It’s just been praying on my mind for two months now. But, it’s because my ethos is I enjoy teaching, I enjoy sharing knowledge. And, someone told me, this is really kind of wishy-washy, but someone told me a thing like, “A rising tide raises all boats,” kind of thing.
Paul Boag: Yes, yeah.
Harry Roberts: So, I genuinely want a faster web. I want the web to win. I want the web to be native. If I can do my own little bit to try and champion that, then I will. Conversely, I do not think there’s anything wrong with being a contractor.
Paul Boag: No. No, no.
Harry Roberts: I’m very privileged in that. Yeah, so I’m like, I’m just aware that there could be people listening to this thinking I’m like looking down my nose at that.
Paul Boag: No, no, no.
Harry Roberts: But it’s actually not the case. I’ve got no dependents, no wife, no kids, no nothing like that. So, I can afford to have a slightly more sporadic workload for example. I don’t value, at this point in my life, I don’t value that consistency or that security. As soon as I decide to settle down, start a family, I can pretty much guarantee that my work style will have to change because you can’t just do a month of not working when you’ve got kids, like they’re looking to you. So, yeah, I think for me it just suits me down to the ground at the moment.
Paul Boag: Yeah. I mean, I still maintain it and I’ve got kids and dependencies, and mortgages, and stuff like that. So …
Harry Roberts: But I get the impression you’re very productive and you always force yourself to do work. Whereas, as soon as I don’t need to work, as soon as I get a whiff of, “Ooh, I’ve got a spare afternoon,” I’ll just go ride my bike. I don’t do three podcasts and mentor and of this stuff.
Paul Boag: Yeah. Yes, I am fairly productive. It is true that I don’t tend, as we’ve said on previous shows, I worry too much. So, I’m always pushing. Which brings us nicely onto the sales and marketing site. ‘Cause obviously I do the podcast and all these kinds of things from a marketing perspective. Where does your work come from?
Harry Roberts: I would say, the lion’s share of it, easily over 90%, is just from my presence, if you will. I think blogging for ten years, that’s been the single most valuable thing to my career and ultimately business, is just having a blog.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Like it’s absolutely nuts just how much that’s transformed my life. I don’t write as much as I used to because I don’t really need to anymore. But, if you look back through my blog archives, there’s, I think in 2013, I must have written an article a week. Just absolutely hammering it. So, a lot of it comes from people already know who I am. It’s very rare that the CEO or the CFO, or anyone like that, will contact me. So, normally it will be a developer who reads my blog, or follows me on twitter, or who saw me at a conference. They will reach out to me, and then I’ll get put in touch with CTO or CFO, or whoever it is. So, neither all the time, it’s gonna be line into a business from a developer that I’ve somehow connected with. Whether that’s they saw a blog post, a conference talk, a tweet, something like that.
Paul Boag: Now, you mentioned conferences there. Do you still do a lot of that? Do you feel that that’s an important part to be out there? Because they don’t always necessarily pay particularly well, but you see them as a marketing opportunity?
Harry Roberts: Yeah. Well, I’ve got a really interesting relationship with conferences. Most conferences I speak don’t pay me at all. I speak at community events and I will more than, I would say 75% of the time I don’t get paid at all. But, it’s because if someone emails saying, “Hey, can I come speak at the vat in Argentina. We can’t pay you, but we’ll fly you here and put you in a hotel for five nights.” Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m a bit too enthusiastic like that which led to, I think in 2017 I spoke that 32 events all around the world. And, that’s on the side of regular work. So, it does get a bit much and it’s, the travel costs personal life quite dearly. But, for me, it’s a ton of fun. And then, I don’t think I actually get that much business from conferences.
Paul Boag: Oh.
Harry Roberts: I don’t think I do. I mean, there’s one particular event, which is mad. I spoke at Awwwards Conference.
Paul Boag: Oh, yeah, I know. Yeah.
Harry Roberts: The hyper-design focused event.
Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah.
Harry Roberts: They invited me to speak the very beginning of last year, so I think probably about 12 months to the day. I said to them, “Look, are you sure you want me to speak ’cause I’m a developer and you’ve got a very design-centric audience.” They were like, “We definitely want you to speak.” So, I said, “Okay, give me a, what would you like me to speak about because I’m guessing my normal talks might not be appropriate for this kind of crowd. Do you want me to kind of do a slant on web performance for web designers?” And they’re like, “Look, speak about whatever you want to speak about.”
Paul Boag: Right.
Harry Roberts: So, I just kind of took the mic and said, “Well, I’ll do a talk about them, the [techserter 00:36:29](#).” So, I did a 25 minute talk on them, to a room full of designers. The most common bit of feedback I got is, “I have no idea what you were talking about, but you seem to really enjoy it.” Which feels like a nice compliment.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: A few people came up and said, “I’ve heard of them, never knew what it was. I’m never gonna bother using it, but at least I know what it is now.” But, this Awwwards Conference landed me my two biggest clients, certainly financially, ever.
Paul Boag: How big?
Harry Roberts: So, the Estonia client and Squarespace were both in the audience. And, they’ve been two of my biggest ever clients.
Paul Boag: Isn’t it funny?
Harry Roberts: So, that conference paid its, it was worth, well, it was invaluable to me. Other conferences, I’m less sure. Normally, someone will say, “Hey, we saw your talk at so-and-so. We need that.” So, I did some work for NBC Universal this year. Oh, sorry, last year and they’d saw me at an event in London. But, I think generally, I don’t think conferences are … I can’t necessarily draw much of a correlation between business and conference appearances.
Paul Boag: Yeah. I mean, like Michelle says, there’s probably indirect benefits, but not necessarily something directly coming out of it. It’s interesting-
Harry Roberts: But, yeah I mean …
Paul Boag: Go on.
Harry Roberts: Oh, sorry. Just to leap on that one really quickly, the indirect benefits. I think that’s exactly what it is. I’ve never thought about it like that I don’t think, but I reckon … You know when you see like there’s a Tesco Express on a corner and you know for a fact that Tesco Express makes a loss every single year. But, Tesco still wants to have that building so that Sainsbury’s can’t have, right?
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: And, it’s just that constant awareness of just seeing the brand. So, think for me, being self-employed, being on-stage a lot just helps people remember I still exist. Even if they’re not gonna hire me, like, “Oh, he’s still doing performance work. He’s still out there, he’s still …” So, I think maybe that’s a big part of it. It’s more about brand aware, personal brand awareness than it is about direct returns.
Paul Boag: Yeah. I would totally agree. It’s the same reason I chuck out a book every two to three years. Just to remind people that I exist. You know, I don’t go to conferences, I don’t take part in conferences, etc. Again, we have a very similar business model. This is fascinating.
Harry Roberts: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paul Boag: So, it sounds like your work is kind of all over the place, in terms of what you might be doing at any particular time. Do you have any kind of routine in the way you work? Are there any, you know, are you an average GTD or do you get up at five in the morning and meditate for three hours before you start work? Or do you-
Marcus Lillington : Like me.
Paul Boag: Do you deal with email in one big weekly go? You know, anything like that?
Harry Roberts: So, 2018 was a really weird year for me. And, I feel like a lot of it just passed me by. It was good and I could probably pin point good parts of it, but 2018 was a year where like I thought, do you know what? I’m living too much of a lifestyle business. I’m having probably too much fun. So, I’ve decided that, yeah, I don’t deal with email. If something can be done in five minutes, you should just get it done immediately, right?
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: If it’s gonna take five minutes, just do it now. I’ll have a five minute email that will sit in my inbox for two weeks. Because I know it’s not that urgent, so I’ll get around to it. And it’s just really, professionally it’s quite irresponsible. Right? Unless it is urgent, I will just kind of leave it for as long as is comfortable. But also, it just means that if I was to tweak my lifestyle just a small amount, I would probably do more work, but have more free time as well, if that makes sense?
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: I always feel like I’m constantly playing catch up. I always feel like my expenses all add up and I’ve got to do like a weeks worth of accounting.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Or, my email’s backed up, so I’ve got to spend a whole day doing email. And, it just feels like I’m always just like not tech debt, admin debt. I’m always in admin debt. So, this year, and I’ve never done a New Year’s resolution before, but this year I was like, “Monday is email day. Friday is admin day.” Like I will just, if someone emails me on a Thursday night, I’m not gonna stress because Monday is when I’ll hammer all my email. If I have some expenses that I incur on Tuesday, I’ll pop them in a folder and I’ll do them all in one go on Friday. Now I’ve broke my elbow and I’ve not done any work all year, so … It’s not happened yet.
So yeah, I’ve got no schedule, no routine. I can’t have a routine because one week I might be completely have no work at all, and I’ll just spend the week playing out on my bikes. The next week I might need to be in three countries back to back. So, that costs, there’s health penalties to that. You know, irregular sleep schedules. I could never even hope to join a gym because I just couldn’t be there. I wanted to get back into basketball at some point in the last couple of years, but I’ve just had to let down training buddies and say like, “Can’t make training. Can’t make this match, I’m gonna be out of the country.” So, there’s a load of downside to it. So, I’ve tried to tease in a bit of structure which hasn’t yet come to fruition.
Paul Boag: Right.
Harry Roberts: Yeah.
Paul Boag: But, I mean, you know the trade off for the lifestyle business has got to be a good one. I mean, it sounds like to me, effectively you’re working part-time, but bringing in a full-time salary. Is that a fair assumption?
Harry Roberts: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s definitely a fair assumption.
Marcus Lillington : Even with 32 speaking engagements last year? That doesn’t sound like part-time to me.
Paul Boag: [crosstalk 00:42:04](#) That was 2017.
Harry Roberts: Oh, yeah. I think last year was 26.
Marcus Lillington : But still, half the year.
Paul Boag: Oh, right.
Marcus Lillington : You know?
Harry Roberts: Yeah. So, if I was to properly … If I cared enough I could probably be quite wealthy, ’cause I could just work way more. But what it is, I’ll pick high-quality clients, projects I can get behind. I’ll do less work, but more meaningful. And, also I just really enjoy being outside. I enjoy riding bikes. So, if I can earn enough money to then have a really laid back lifestyle, I’m gonna optimize for that right now until, while I can be selfish. I reckon if I had Paul or Rachel Andrews motivation and productivity, then I could be a millionaire maybe. But, I’ve got no interest in that. I’d rather just live a simpler life.
Marcus Lillington : You are living the dream, I would say. I would put forward. That’s what most people want. Most people aren’t interested, oh, they might say, “I want to win the lottery,” and that. But then, earning a lot of money means a lot of hassle. Usually. So, this kind of like finding the right balance between doing the things I love at work and away from work, is exactly what everybody dreams of.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Yeah.
Marcus Lillington : So, you’re not having too much fun is where I was going with that.
Paul Boag: You can’t have too much fun.
Marcus Lillington : Yeah, you know.
Harry Roberts: And also, there’s other things like … I don’t want to get all like too deep and meaningful, I went through a pretty severe … Well, not severe, but a big break up last year. Largely brought on by the fact that I’m never around. I might be at 26 events in a given year. It’s just one of those things where, it’s just another cost. Which is why, this year I’m like, well I need to actually get a bit more sensible so that people around me aren’t getting as affected so badly. But then also, I’m thinking, well now I’m single. I’ll just take every event I want and I’ll ride my bike twice as much.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: So, I’m trying to reconcile that a bit. But, I don’t know, I’m comfortable with the amount of work and the quality of work I do. I do work a lot, but I just don’t work a lot as well.
Paul Boag: It also the lines between working and not working often get blurred when you do the kind of stuff we do. You know, it’s like going to a conference, depending on the conference, doesn’t feel like work. Because you’re going to an exciting new place, you’re talking for 40 minutes, and then wandering around an exciting place for the remainder of the time. To claim that that is work maybe is a bit of a stretch.
Harry Roberts: Yeah, exactly.
Paul Boag: But then, other things as well, even things like blogging. You go on about, “Paul’s so self-motivated.” I’m not really, I just get excited about shit. You know, the same as you do. You were talking about your enthusiasm. So, I’ll get into something and it’ll be going round and round in my head, and I write it down because I’m excited about it, because it’s going around in my head. Very rarely do I sit down and go, “Ugh, I’ve got to write a blog post.” You know?
Harry Roberts: Yeah.
Paul Boag: There is no, what I’m getting at is when you run a good lifestyle business, there is very blurry lines between pleasure and work. They’re inseparable.
Harry Roberts: Absolutely. And, I make no mistake and I’m very open about the fact that I am the luckiest guy alive. I come from such a privileged position that I can do this. And, of course I put in the ground work and I spent seven years blogging before I struck out on my own. I did put a lot of effort into getting here, but now I am here. I’ve just got, I don’t know, it’s just a breeze. It’s just really, really pleasant and I’m the luckiest guy alive. Because yeah, I love my job. Blog post is a perfect example, I’ll get a bit of a bee in my bonnet, like I really want to write about this. And, I’ll get into it and my friends are like, “What are you doing? That’s work.” I was like, “This is work, but not really work.” Right? This is fun for me.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: And I’m like yeah, we need to get to the pub.
Paul Boag: Yeah, exactly. But, you said something there about you, you spent seven years blogging before you began to see, you know, before you went freelance. And, absolutely, I totally, as somebody that’s been blogging for what, over 13 years now, I totally understand that. That so many people, oh write a few posts, nobody reads it and then they give up. You know, you need to be doing it for yourself, not for to change your world, even though it can do. But, I’m quite interested at that point where you decided to go freelance. How did that happen? Tell us a little bit about when you made that transition.
Harry Roberts: So, another really, really fortunate thing that happened to me is that when I was about 16, 17, I knew what I wanted to do. So, I didn’t get funneled into the old mandatory degree that you have to pick when you were 17, and panicked. I’m really fortunate I got into the industry nice and early. So, I think I got my first full-time job when I was, just a few days after my 18th birthday.
Paul Boag: Brilliant.
Harry Roberts: That was 2008. So, that couldn’t have been a better time to get into the web. Because knowing border radius made you a genius. Nowadays, you go, no react [gracual 00:47:16](#). So, I was already set up for success there. I had started blogging just the year before. So, 2007 is when I bought my domain. And other silly things like I didn’t have to learn table based web development ’cause it’s 2008 and … people like Sells are doing great work to set net that, so I didn’t have to learn any non-standard stuff. So, I had a fairly nice, comfortable on-ramp which allowed me to … And then, also, that was at a time when Twitter had like 10 people on it.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: So, it was quite easy to cement yourself as someone who, “Oh, he blogs and we’re gonna follow him.” Honestly, I really, really feel for anyone trying to get into the industry now ’cause it’s saturated. So then, for years and years and years I was just working at agencies. Wonderful places to work, but then my kind of professional, big move happened when Skybet got in touch with me. Turns out, they knew who I was. They’d been reading my blog. And, it turns out, Skybet had a massive office right here in Leeds. Maybe a kilometer away from my house. And at 20 years old, they offered me a senior position. And, I was like, “My goodness, do they know what they’re doing?” I think I was 20, 21 years old, they offered me a senior for end-developer role. And I thought, you know what, I’ve got a moral obligation to snatch this opportunity. So many people would never get offered this. I can’t waste it. And I took it, and it was amazing. And, I learned so … The biggest thing I learned is how much I didn’t know.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: That was the most humbling experience. But, then working at Sky, I ended up being the lead front-end. So, I was kind of a bit, I don’t want to say miss-sold, but I was running the front-end for skybet.com. Backed up by an amazing team of software engineers, but it was … And, I was never out of my depth either, I was always quite proud of myself that I did sort of take it in nice stride. But, it was like a, “Oh, shit. This is big news.” But after several years at Sky, delivering some very, very high value projects, a few things internally at Sky started to happen. It was before developers got paid a lot and I tried to go for a pay raise to raise me from being underpaid to being paid the same as my peers. And, I was told no. So I was like, well, do you know what? I’ll stop thinking about striking out alone.
I was getting speaking engagement invites by this point, so I already knew that people beyond the shores of the UK knew about me. I was getting inquiries for workshops, which I had to decline because I said, “Oh, I’ve got a full-time job and I can’t do freelance on the side, so sorry.” Then, a nexus of cadence picked up with these invites that I was like, “Hmm, maybe I could kind of switch this into a real full-time thing.” And here’s one really key, pivotal bit of advice that I would give anybody considering transitioning career, well not career, but career path. I was a senior member of staff, so I had a three month notice period. Now, a lot of people panic at a three month notice period, but a lot of people sort of realize that if your contract says a month notice period, that’s a minimum amount. You’re still allowed to give three months notice.
So, what normally happens when someone wants to leave a job is on the quiet they go for interviews. They tell their boss they’re going to the dentist; they have to sneak around. Then as soon as they give the job offer, then they have to put their notice in. Then they’ve got to work a month from getting the job offer. So, ’cause I had three month notice, if you can’t get act together in a quarter of a year, you’ve got some problems. So, I just quit. I was like, “I’m handing my notice in, I’m leaving Sky in three months time.” And my lead was like, “Okay, well what are you doing next?” I was like, “I don’t know, but I’ve got a quarter of a year to work it out.”
So, then for the next three months, I didn’t have to sneak around at job interviews, I could just put on Twitter, “I’m looking for a job.” It meant I could quite openly discuss this with, not at work, that would be tasteless. To actually discuss it with colleagues while I still work. I wasn’t disrespectful with it. But, it did mean that I could have quite open discussions about what I want to do next with my career.
And yeah, ultimately I decided … It’s a bit a cheesy thing, but I made two lists. And, I’ve still got the bit of [thog 00:51:21](#) somewhere ’cause it’s actually quite meaningful to me. Just got a bit of paper, drew a line down the middle. On the left hand side I wrote, “What can I provide,” right, what can I do. And it was specific things like, “I can do technical writing. I can do talks. I can do development. I can run workshops.” I’d done one by this point. And, on the right hand side was, “What do I want.” And, not like how much money do I want, but what do I want out of a job? And I was like, “Well, I want to feel like I’ve made a difference. I want to travel.” And, it could be as superficial and specific as I want to travel.
Paul Boag: Yeah, but that’s okay.
Harry Roberts: I mean, I just sort of looked at these things and just thought, well how do I join the dots, how do I turn what I can do into what I want. And, that just happened to be short-term engagements, public speaking for the travel aspect. And, I might have just fashioned … I’ve got a pretty cushy little gig really. So, there was a lot of build up. There was a lot of stuff that fed into it. A lot of it was good fortune, but a lot of it was premeditated I guess.
Paul Boag: Yeah. I mean, without a doubt you’ve had some amazing opportunities because of timing, etc, but that was ballsy. It was ballsy to hand in a notice on the job without anything solid to go to. And, I think that is a big jump for a lot of people. You need to give yourself credit for that one at least. Out of the list.
Marcus Lillington : It’s great advice though.
Paul Boag: Oh, it is great advice. Absolutely.
Marcus Lillington : The thing is that the fact that you were thinking about going and doing something on your own. I guess most people sneak around thinking about going to other interviews and that kind of thing ’cause they’re thinking of going to another employer. But yeah, if you’re thinking about going on your own, which I think is even more scary, potentially. We were kind of forced into all those 20 years ago. But, I’m being made redundant. Set up a company bit. So, here’s no choice. But, if you were gonna choose to do that, that’s fantastic advice. It’s almost like make sure you get three months notice.
Paul Boag: Yeah. So you can add it …
Marcus Lillington : Add it to your contract.
Harry Roberts: So, I tell people that all the time. I wouldn’t get it written into your contract necessarily, but the wording of your contract will say minimum notice period of a month, which means you can opt to give three. Now, the company could be like, “Well, we know you’re thinking of leaving, so we’re gonna fire you within a months notice.” Which would be real scum-baggy, but I don’t know, that’s something you could be liable for. But yeah, the other thing is because I did decide actually quite early on in that first, I reckon it was within the first three weeks of that three months I decided I wanted to do something independently. I could line up clients. I was like, “Look, I can’t stop working til 25th of October, 2013,” I think it was.
Paul Boag: Wow, he remembers.
Harry Roberts: Jeez, yeah, yeah. I’ve got a weird memory for dates.
Marcus Lillington : Me too.
Harry Roberts: 25th of October, 2013, I spoke at a conference called Tide in Scarborough. That was my first day of self-employment. But for three months, the preceding three months, I could line up clients. I could give them reasonable expectations of my availability. That just gave, just lots of breathing room. And, it was all above board. It wasn’t like I was double crossing an employer. I wasn’t playing up an offer against each other. So, it gave me a tremendous feeling of … Plus also, and this is another very fortunate thing, if it really hit the fan, I could of just got another regular job. Like, as in, I could have gone for full-time employment. Or, if it really, really hit the fan, it of been like, “Mum, dad, can I come and live with you for awhile until I get my act together.” But, touch wood, it went pretty well.
Paul Boag: Well, I think there’s lots to take away out of that Harry.
Marcus Lillington : Yes.
Paul Boag: There’s in terms of how you run your business. How it started, the whole lot. So, thank you so much for your time, going through all of that.
I just want to quickly …
Harry Roberts: Thank you for entertaining me.
Paul Boag: Yeah.
Harry Roberts: Humoring me.
Paul Boag: I want to quickly talk about our second sponsor and then we’ll wrap it up with Marcus’s joke ’cause we have to.
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Marcus, do you have a joke for us? I’m sorry Harry, I’m sure you’re all too aware of the horror that is Marcus’s joke.
Marcus Lillington : This is actually quite a good one. This is quite a good joke.
Harry Roberts: Well, let’s hear it.
Marcus Lillington : Because it’s from a professional comedian, guy named Haddie Lennox.
Paul Boag: Oh, okay.
Marcus Lillington : I had a look around on the internet. This one made me giggle. It’ll be obviously, dreadfully delivered, but I’ll do my best.
I was watching the London Marathon and saw one runner dressed as a chicken, and another runner dressed as an egg. And, I thought, “This could be interesting.”
Paul Boag: Yeah, that’s fairly poor.
Marcus Lillington : I thought that was good. Alright, another one, another one. About two-story car parks. Crumb in multistory car parks is wrong on so many different levels.
Paul Boag: Yeah, that’s good one. I like that one. I found amusing.
Harry Roberts: I prefer the first one.
Paul Boag: That’s a low blow Harry.
Marcus Lillington : Appeasing everybody.
Paul Boag: We’ve got a really interesting show coming up next week. Not that this week’s wasn’t, he says quickly.
Harry Roberts: Cheers mate.
Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah. Sorry about that. But no, you’ll understand. When I say who we’ve got on next week, right. I got this email out of the blue from a guy called Jonathan Pritchard, who is a mentalist, right? He’s one of these mind-reader Darren Brown type of people, right?
Marcus Lillington : What?
Paul Boag: I know right? Nothing whatsoever to do with web design or digital, right? But, we got into this really interesting conversation about how the kind of techniques that you use as a mentalist actually are similar to the kind of techniques you use as a user-experience designer. So, we’re getting him on the show next week. I have no idea.
Marcus Lillington : Whoa.
Paul Boag: I have no idea what will happen, might be a complete disaster. But, it sounds like it’s something a little bit different. So, we’ll give that a go. But, for now, Harry, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Harry Roberts: Please, it’s my pleasure.
Paul Boag: Best of luck in the future mate.
Marcus Lillington : Absolutely.
Harry Roberts: Thank you so much Paul. [inaudible 00:58:27](#) it was good fun.
Paul Boag: Alright. Thank you very much. And, speak to you again next week. Goodbye.
[(music) 00:58:31](#)

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