This article first appeared in net magazine in April 2019

Like many people my age (late 30s) I learnt to build websites by viewing the source of sites that I thought looked good. It was this way that I discovered you could use tables to have a page laid out how you fancied, and framesets to persist elements of the page on screen whilst other parts scrolled. I found this form of learning by discovery stuck in my head a whole lot better than being taught by someone.

Thankfully these (tables for layout & framesets) old school, inaccessible, and of-their-time HTML techniques are long gone and the complexity and quality of the websites (or web applications) we build has increased drastically. What does remain though is the ability to view the source of the page you’re viewing. …


Last year I wrote a post about using internet shopping to deliver food to UK foodbanks. It’s over here…

Since I wrote that the situation highlighted has escalated, with benefit delays being the main cause of a 19% increase in people having to rely on foodbank parcels.

Image for post
Image for post
Number of three-day emergency food supplies given by Trussell Trust foodbanks

Again, I’m not going to push a political view here — although, it’s ridiculous that people rely on food handouts in our incredibly rich country.

What I did

I’ve spent the year scaling up the initial approach from delivering to an individual foodbank to supplying 32 different locations across the UK. …


A quick illustrated rundown of fun purchases from the year

GoPro HERO

I’ve never really thought about buying a GoPro before, instead relying on my phone for videos, but after purchasing this one - I’m a massive convert.

Image for post
Image for post

It’s waterproof, solidly built, small and with a wide range of accessories.

I also bought the head mount, and suction cup mount — these are a little fiddly to configure but work great when they are set up.


A year into owning a Tesla Model S I wrote a review, and in this my previous piece I signed off saying “This car is the best thing I’ve ever bought.”

So, two years in, is this still true? How is this relatively new company’s first shot at a full car holding up? Have I had any problems? What’s the running cost?

Image for post
Image for post
Chateaux in the French countryside.

The stats

I’m now just under 25,000mi in and the car has been to 14 countries.

I’ve spent £243 on fuel. In my old petrol car this would have cost around £5,500 or more. Lambeth Council had the £36 administration fee apply for zero emission cars using residents parking. …


When we moved house a while ago we bought a bunch of new white goods — specifically a washing machine & dishwasher. We also signed up to a renewable energy supplier for our electricity.

These new appliances had a feature that allow you to have them start at a time in the future.

Image for post
Image for post

Here’s the showoffy intro that is apparently mandatory on quite preachy Medium posts like this one…

I’ve directly employed hundreds of people in tech roles at companies and have interviewed hundreds more at (amongst others) various startups, the world’s largest internet company, the world’s largest broadcaster and now the world’s largest marketing services organisation. Companies I’ve run have received over 40,000 job applications. Yeah! I went and counted.

Image for post
Image for post

Foodbank usage in the UK has increased in the past few years — with benefit changes, problems with benefit systems, low income and debt being the main causes.

Image for post
Image for post
Number of three-day emergency food supplies given by Trussell Trust foodbanks

Specifically, difficulties caused by Universal Credit have been a major factor.

Objectively, it’s pretty ridiculous that foodbanks even have to exist in a first-world country as hilariously rich as the UK. But I’m not going force my political views on you here — rather I’d like to show that people need food and the direct action that can help.

So, what to do, aside from political action?

Give money, give food or give labour. In this post I’m going to be focused on giving food. …


Around the middle of my career I took a job that severely cut my pay, and it was massively worth it.

I’d previously worked at a whole bunch of companies of varying interest — from three person startups to 100,000 employee multinationals. I’d been a web developer in all these companies.

Back in the day I used to have a severe job application habit — I think I’ve probably applied for over 300 jobs (maybe closer 400) over the 8 years I was an employee.

One of the 10 or more applications I’d made for a job at the BBC came through, I interviewed and they offered me a role. I was really excited, and a bit overwhelmed, but there was a problem. …


Last year I was in the market for a new car. My then current ride, a BMW 120i M Sport was great and really fun to drive, but it only had three doors which was bit of a pain with my young son. We also found the boot space a little limiting for holidays.

Buying an electric car was a bit of a leap into the dark. I’d never driven one before, nor charged one up. …


Potato has received tens of thousands of job applications, and I’ve certainly looked at thousands myself.

Having spotted a trend that annoyed me I fired off a tweet criticising it, which a few people disagreed with.

The problems using the word ‘passionate’ to describe yourself are multiple.

Suggested listening from @bruised_blood

It’s intangible

The first is that being passionate about something is hugely intangible, especially in relation to a job. What’s the benefit to the role? Very unclear. Some could argue that over-enthusiasm combined with a lack of knowledge could even be detrimental to an employee’s work.

Image for post
Image for post

It’s boring

It’s often stated in a job application that the applicant is passionate about some portion of tech, or process. …

About

Jason Cartwright

I build things. Run a food bank charity. Green energy fanboy, sometime coder.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store