Croydon’s first web developer event

By - Friday 1st August, 2014

Richard Bray reports on the opening night of his latest tech venture, Digital Croydon

Image author’s own.

What do most people who don’t live in Croydon say when you ask them what they think of it? ‘It’s not very safe’, ‘it’s full of chavs’, ‘that’s where the riots happened’ – all fairly negative descriptions. There is, however, a growing number of people who are starting to give Croydon positive descriptions such as ‘it has a lot of potential’, ‘it’s a place with upcoming creative talent’ and ‘it has a growing tech community’. No doubt this is due to the popularity of events such as Croydon Tech City. With the hope of encouraging more of these positive descriptions and changing the perception of Croydon to those who don’t live here, a new event, Digital Croydon, was created.

What is Digital Croydon? Well – it’s a website that shows the logos of all the tech/internet based companies in Croydon (which I talk more about here), but it has also recently become a grassroots event focused on front end web design and development. The first Digital Croydon event took place on 10th July in Matthew’s Yard, hosted by Anthony Killeen and sponsored by Magentys. It also featured talks from three speakers: Paul Adam Davis (a front end architect  for Ghost), Chris Lord (a mobile software engineer at Mozilla) and Ben Bowler (ex-developer at Vice and co-founder of Chew).

Paul spoke about his experiences working remotely for Ghost, the advantages, disadvantages and what he had learnt. He mentioned the use of an app that he uses called ‘Slack‘, which enabled him to contact his colleagues in different parts of the world, for work reasons, but also for general conversation. He explained that taking a team holiday once a year is a good opportunity for the team to really see each other face to face and also to do a bit of work together. He also mentioned the difficulties he had at first by getting easily distracted whilst working at home which took him a while to get used to, but he’s now formed a schedule that keeps him focused during work hours.

Photo by Anthony Killeen, used with permission.

Since Chris works at Mozilla on the Firefox team he gave an explanation of why it is better to develop web apps as opposed to native app for mobile devices. He also talked about the steps that a modern browser takes to read the code behind a website before rendering it and gave a few tips and tricks that web developers can use to speed up their website. I could explain everything he spoke about but it’s pretty technical stuff and the last thing I want to do is bore people with this article so I’ll leave that out. Since the majority of people in the audience were web developers there were plenty of questions after the talk.

Image author’s own.

Ben Bowler – the co-founder of Chew – had actually spoken at Matthew’s Yard before for Croydon Tech City so this was very familiar territory to him. He brought up a project that he’s been working on for Tate Britain with Chew’s video streaming technology. The project is a website that showed multiple video streams being manipulated in 3D space by tilting a device in different directions. He showed the processes that he went through to find and test the appropriate plugins for the job. I don’t make the project sound as good on paper but the talk was very interesting to see in person.

Overall it was a very well received event. The talks were very insightful to all the people who attended, including me. Anthony and I are satisfied with the first Digital Croydon Event and are definitely looking forward to doing another one soon – possibly in October. If you would like to be a sponsor for the next event please send an email to either  or .

#Croydon #TechCity will return after the summer break on Thursday 18th September at Matthews Yard.

To attend, please sign up as ‘attending’ here or  to confirm your attendance.

Richard Bray

Richard Bray

A 20 something year old creative based in Croydon who spends time making stuff, usually for the web

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  • Jonny Rose

    Well done, guys.

    Very proud of your work and glad to see we now have another tech event to add to Croydon Tech City’s calendar. Keep up the good work!

    • ceiga

      Thanks Jonny.