Timetric produce tools for managing and visualizing economic and business data; all their visualizations are web-based, and you'll see their work regularly in places like the Guardian's Data Blog
How important is the choice of languages and platforms to you when it comes to getting a job done well?
It's very important; and the biggest reason is the potential longevity of the project.
There's rarely a definite right or wrong answer to language choice, but the mark of the right answer is that long-term, things are much easier to develop and maintain; and the mark of the wrong answer is that they aren't! Unfortunately, that's not necessarily obvious in the short-term, and without perfect foresight, we rely on a combination of guesswork and intuition.
And of course, the people who are in the best position to provide such guesswork and intuition are the developers who are going to be building and maintaining the project.
What is your favourite interview technique and why?
Nearly all of my interviews have the same format; I spend the first half just having a technical chat; good people will always have something technical that gets the blood flowing - (whether that's enthusiasm or hate) - and it's good to see a bit of passion in your staff. I usually also find myself learning something in this portion of the interview!
The other half we'll do whiteboard coding. Nothing too complicated, but close enough to a real problem to be interesting Also, importantly, something with more than one solution. As an interviewer I find it's the only real way to see how developers think, and how they reason about the design decisions they're making.
How important is a Computer Science degree in todays market?
I don't pay a lot of attention to the education portion of a CV. It's sometimes a useful conversation starter, but that's about all. What really matters is what a candidate has actually done (especially if it's open-source and I can see it.)
I'm pretty sure that less than 50% of the staff I've ever hired have had a CS degree; several have had no degree at all.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone applying for a job with your company?
Let us see as much as possible of what you've done.
How much value do you place in a Developers personal projects such as github & demo sites when they apply for a job with your company?
Lots! When I'm recruiting, I'm trying to make one of the most important decisions I have in my job. I really don't want to hire the wrong person, it's a very expensive waste of everyone's time. But all I have to go on is what little information I get during the application process - a CV, perhaps an hour or two of interview.
The more information I can get, the easier it becomes for me to make a decision, and to feel comfortable in it. And the best sort of information to give me is to show me what you can make, whether that's code for a backend position, or interesting design/UI for a front end position.
It also gives us another thing to talk about during interview; and more opportunity to ask about design decisions and rationale.
Big Debate: What is the optimal length for a CV?
Two pages, of well-selected text and information which tells me who you are, what you've done, and why it's relevant.
What are your thoughts on the Tech Recruitment industry?
"Mark as Spam"
In your opinion, what is the difference between a 'Hacker' and a regular programmer?
Without being too elitist, I think it's about a focus on a goal, rather than on a process. A willingness to look beyond the way that things are always done, in order to get the result you're after.
Sometimes that goal might be "get something quick-and-dirty working as proof of concept"; sometimes that goal might be "find the provably correct and perfect solution". But in either case, what marks out an Irregular Programmer is being able to work beyond the paradigms of the tools you have to hand.
What has been the most exciting technological innovation you've witnessed in the last 12 months?
Google Glass. Although it's also potentially terrifying in its implications.
If you had the opportunity to address the entire Development community in the UK, what would you say?
Simplify, automate, test.