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Welcome to Friday 13th Development, the creative coding work of James Valentine.

F13Dev is not so much a business or financial venture, rather a portfolio of my work, coding styles and projects. All information within this website is provided for reference, self learning and to allow prospective employers a chance to preview my current programming knowledge, style and enthusiasm.

The author

My name is James Valentine, at the time of writing I am 33 years old and live with my wife and three wonderful daughters. I have had an interest in computing and especially programming since the age of 10, when I first discovered QBasic on an ex UKC Viglen Genie Executive which I proudly owned. Sporting an i386 processor and somewhere in the region of 4MB of RAM, this was the start of my life in code.

Many years later I discovered Visual Basic 6 while attending an introductory course at Canterbury College, around this time I also completed an OCN Level 2 in HTML web design and an OCR Level 3 in ICT System Support.

Through designing and maintaining websites for various self employed ventures I found myself introduced to the combination of PHP & MySQL and became addicted to back-end web development, designing and building my own content management system known as LunarCMS and many scripts designed to simplify the administration for a variety of business websites.

After spending a number of years working in the Photographic printing industry, programming for pleasure in the evenings, I decided to venture into making my hobby a career. At the age of 28, with one daughter and another on the way, I left work in order to re-educate in software development.

Life without code

Although F13Dev is primarily about programming and code, this is not the only subject in my life. I also have a life without code.

I have three young daughters who are happy to accept all the attention I can offer; although my eldest daughter is showing an interest in Scratch, so programming and family life do intersect periodically.

One other passions of mine is photography. I enjoy the more experimental side of photography, often putting down a heavy camera bag stuffed full of the latest goodies from a few years ago for a home-made, cardboard pinhole camera. Digital is regularly pushed aside in favour of black and white film or paper impregnated with a DIY emulsion; although not updated too regularly some of my photographic work is available on DeviantArt.

Education

The Open University, 2014 to 2020 – BSc Open STEM
    TM355 – Communication technology 30 Credit Level 6 Distinction
    TM352 – Web, mobile and cloud technologies 30 Credit Level 6 Distinction
    M256 – Software development with Java 30 Credit Level 5 Grade 3
    M250 – Object oriented Java 30 Credit Level 5 Distinction
    M269 – Algorithms, data-structures and computability 30 Credit Level 5 Grade 3
    TT284 – Web technologies 30 Credit Level 5 Grade 2
    TM129 – Technologies in practice 30 Credit Level 4
    TU100 – My digital life 60 Credit Level 4
    MU123 – Discovering mathematics 30 Credit Level 4
Completed credits 300  
Canterbury College, 2001 to 2005
    ICT system support OCR Level 3
    HTML web design OCN Level 2
    Introduction to Visual Basic 6 College certificate
    Introduction to computer networking College certificate
    Music Technology & Performing Arts BTEC First Diploma

Industry employment

Real Group Ltd November 2020 to present
    Educational Technologist & Server Support
  • Full stack development for Campus Online (bespoke Learning Management System)
  • WordPress plugin and theme development
  • Accessibility and usability testing and review
  • Education Technology improvements
  • Server administration (Linux)
  • Server security patches and upgrades
    Programming experience
  • WordPress plugins and themes
  • PHP & SQL (backend)
  • HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript & JQuery (frontend)
  • PHP Web Sockets
  • REST & SOAP API integrations
  • Data management and database design
Real Group Ltd April 2020 to November 2020
    1st Line IT Support Technician
  • Support Real Group clients with all IT queries.
  • Help the Real Group teams with technical inquiries.
  • Respond to client and in-house emails and tickets.
  • Work with various IT systems including a customer relationship management database keeping accurate records and tasks up to date.
  • 1st line Web Administration.
  • Provide basic IT training to team members.
    Systems experience
  • Freshservice
  • Uservoice
  • Gold Vision
  • Civi
  • WordPress
  • Campus Online (bespoke LMS)
  • Moodle
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
Linux Distro UK January 2009 to August 2014
    Proprietor (Registered sole trader)
  • Development and maintenance of company website and eCommerce platform.
  • Development and maintenance of a bespoke customer relations system
  • Managing production of high quality physical media.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date database of distrubutions.
  • Pre-sales and after-sales support.
    Programming experience
  • osCommerce (PHP based eCommerce platform)
  • ZenCart (PHP based eCommerce platform)
  • PHP & MySQL (backend)
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript (frontend)
  • SQL database design (for bespoke CRM system)
  • Linux server maintenance
  • Linux desktop and server support
    Linux Distro UK acted as an official distributor for Debian, Fedora, Gentoo and others.