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Keir Whitaker

Page updated: 20 December 2014

About

Hello, my name is Keir Whitaker. I’m the UK based Shopify Designer Advocate and co-host of The Back to Front Show podcast. As well as posting here you’ll also find me on Twitter.

What’s Here?

Having tried, and failed, for many years to maintain a personal site I decided mid way through 2014 that the benefits of regular blogging and sharing outweigh the cons of actually finding the time to do it.

I rejigged the theme in August 2014 to allow quick posting and sharing of links and have set myself the target of producing one blog post per week. I also publish my Instagram photos here.

I have many interests and you’ll find me talking about most of them here. However the main focus will be on ecommerce, the web industry, podcasting, and travel.

The header on the home page includes culture which is a roundabout way of including my passion for good coffee and cocktails.

It’s also my aim to start a weekly newsletter rounding up links and post as well as offering insight from almost 15 years in the industry towards the end of the year.

Shopify

Today I work at Shopify having joined in 2012 as their Designer Advocate. It’s a great company and I feel very privileged to be part of it. More details about my role and related Shopify projects can be found on my work and projects page.

Podcasting

In January 2013 Kieran Masterton and I launched a new podcast called The Back to Front Show. Every two weeks we try to get behind the mic and discuss topical news and an in-depth subject. It’s fun and people seem to enjoy it.

Side Projects

In 2011 Elliot Jay Stocks and I co-founded Viewport Industries as an umbrella for our joint side projects. Due to other work commitments the company is no longer active. However I remain immensely proud of our output including:

  • Insites: The Book — A 256 page book published in September 2012 featuring interviews with 21 of the web and tech communities finest practitioners and entrepreneurs
  • Digest — A one off publication with a focus on the culture that surrounds the world of the creative professional
  • Insites: The Tour — We visited four cities in four days and chatted with some of our webby friends and heroes about how they got started, the lessons they have learned, their big wins and the things they would do differently
  • ConfShop — We took the best bits of a conference (the community and social aspects) and the best bits of a workshop (the intimate setting and group discussions) and made a day of it

Previously

  • 2011 – 2012 I worked as freelance web developer, with a focus on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and WordPress.
  • May 2011 until April 2012 I was honoured to work with the amazing team at Smashing Magazine on their Coding section. I helped curate and edit the articles that appear weekly and have been privileged to work with amazing writers at the forefront of the web industry.
  • 2008 – 2010 was spent working in a variety of roles at Carsonified (acquired in 2011), the UK based company well known for web focused events such as The Future of Web Design and The Future of Web Apps. I hosted and produced the podcast “Think Vitamin Radio” (site no longer active). The show made the shortlist for the annual .net awards two years running, which was nice. If asked I say it came joint second in 2010!

Prior to moving to the West Country from London in 2008 I worked at a small web development agency with a focus on large scale data driven web applications as well as undertaking a variety of freelance projects. Before moving into web development full time I held a number of mostly web related positions in the NHS (National Health Service) in East London, UK.

Before the internet was even a thing I worked at the Royal Albert Hall in the box office. I have many funny tales from this era, feel free to quiz me if we meet.

Colophon