Hi, I’m Andrew. I founded a digital agency called Assanka in 2003, which was acquired by the Financial Times. I spent 2016 living in Tokyo, Japan, which made me fall in love with all things Japanese. Today I am principal developer advocate for Fastly, co-chair of the London Web Performance meetup group and an elected member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group.

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  • : BSc Information Systems, Brunel University

    Achieved a first class honours in Information Systems, and additionally a distinction in the Brunel Diploma of Professional Development.

  • : Software engineer, Reapers, Zimbabwe

    Hired for a two month contract to develop and deploy a mission-critical national inventory management and logistics system for an agricultural company in Zimbabwe, resilient to dubious telecommunications infrastructure and frequent power outages. Working with local suppliers and users across the country I designed and built a simple, inexpensive distributed system with no single point of failure.

  • : Intranet developer, UK Air Traffic Control

    I worked at the UK’s air traffic control service to upgrade Intranet based communications tools and improve workflow within geographically disparate business units and remote radar stations.

  • : Owner, Assanka

    My software development consultancy, founded in 2003. We use web technologies in innovative ways. In 2005 we built the first UK property search site to use map based search. In 2006 we built one of the first real time live blogging sites, which we went on to win two Webby awards for in 2008. In 2011, we released the world’s first major HTML5 newspaper site for the Financial Times.

  • : Technical Director, OnOneMap

    Responsible for leading development of OnOneMap, a UK property search engine map using Google Maps and featuring around 600,000 property listings for sale and rent. We were acquired by dotHomes in September 2008 and I left after the acquisition.

  • : Director, FT Labs

    The division of the FT born out of the acquisition of Assanka in January 2012, we focus on developing new way sof reading the FT using emerging web technologies.

  • : Consultant, Nikkei
  • onwards: Developer advocate, Fastly
  • onwards: Organiser, London Web Performance

    One of the main organisers of regular London Web Performance meetups.



  • Managing a core service so people don’t hate it

    If you work for a company with more than a few hundred employees, there will probably be some standardised process or system that you’re expected to use, is widely reviled, and yet never improves. Often it’s a design system, template, hosting platform or scheduling tool. Why is it so hard to make these things work well?

  • Cake or death: AMP and the worrying power dynamics of the web

    AMP continues to be a large part of the way people view web content on mobile devices. Following AMP Letter, what we’ve seen from Google is largely nice sentiments accompanied by business as usual, and the web ecosystem is suffering for it.

  • Re-running for the TAG

    For the last two years, I have been serving on the W3C Technical Architecture Group, which is responsible for stewardship of the architecture of the World Wide Web. I’d like to be re-elected to that position, and you can help!

  • Better developer conferences

    Between 2013 and 2015, I organised and ran five iterations of a developer conference called Edge conf. It was my attempt to fix some of the things I felt were wrong with the way conferences worked. Life moved on and there was never an Edge conf 6, but some of the things we pioneered have inspired other events. This post is the long-overdue Edge conf playbook.

  • AMP: breaking news

    Google has made much of their Accelerated Mobile Pages project as a solution to bloated websites and frustrated users. But could AMP actually be bad news for the web, bad news for news, and part of a trend of news distribution that is bad for society in general?

  • Browsers in things

    Web browsers are now more consistent and evergreen than ever before. Or are they? While developers celebrate hard-won interoperability and availability of better and better tools, a new front is opening with browsers increasingly appearing in unconventional devices, and these browsers… aren’t very good. The W3C’s Technical Architecture group has issued a finding to try and encourage better practice.

  • Leaving the FT, joining Fastly

    In April 2017 I’ll be leaving the FT and joining Fastly. I’ve had a wonderful time at the pink’un, made some lifelong friends and become a devout believer in the importance of independent, trustworthy and well informed journalism to a fair and democratic society. But it’s time to try something new.

  • The best of Google I/O 2016

    Serviceworker step by step, CSS containment, credentials and payment APIs, animation techniques, devtools improvements… Google I/O dropped so much web content this year I took a full month to catch up with even a fraction of it. If anything this shows just how fast the web is flying today. I put together some highlights.

  • Progressively less progressive

    At Google I/O the Washington Post launched a new so-called Progressive Web App, which helps to demonstrate that the ‚ÄúProgressive Web Apps” strategy is spreading and successfully competing with native apps on their turf. But also that it can be hard to see how the word ‘progressive’ can be justified by some of the many things that now lay claim to that term.

  • On ads and ad blocking

    Ad blocking is going mainstream, and this is not a good thing. Inflated, intrusive ads result from advertisers having bad incentives, and ad blocking technology can actually make those incentives even worse. The only solution is one that advertisers can be on board with as well.