We plan to put five questions to each of the WXG (www.wxg.co.uk) conference’s speakers to give you a look into their talks, histories and what inspires them to do what they do. Introducing the third speaker, Steve Marshall.  Why did you agree to speak at WXG?

It’s great to have a web conference in Guildford; I attended the first WXG in 2012 and really enjoyed it. Having always lived in and around Guildford, including studying at the University of Surrey, I’m keen to see the web community flourish here.

And, of course, I can walk home after the conference!

What do you think delegates will get out of your talk?

An entertaining (hopefully!) story of how I tried to take a copy of the useful bits of the Internet, and what that can teach us about building better architected, more robust software. Also: how to survive on a 19th century Napoleonic sea fort.

How did you get into software architecture?

The usual route: I studied computer science at university (having tinkered with computers since I was very young), and have been involved in making large-scale software ever since. I’m not sure I could see myself doing anything else.

Who is your inspiration in the industry?

There are a lot of incredible, inspiring people in the web community but, honestly, my biggest inspirations at the moment are Dieter Rams, Charles and Ray Eames, and Jony Ive. There’s a clarity and simplicity to all their works that I find fascinating, and it’s something I’d love to be able to translate to my own. It’s particularly interesting to apply Rams’s ten principles for good design (https://www.vitsoe.com/us/about/good-design) to designing and building software.

What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?

It’s good to be well-rounded. You can get a lot out of being heavily involved in the community, but some of the best developers and designers I’ve worked with work on the web during the day, and spend the rest of their time doing other things.

What's important isn't how long you spend, but the quality of your work - always question your own assumptions in an attempt to make your work clearer and more robust.

If you want to find out more or reserve tickets to the WXG event visit: http://wxg.co.uk/

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