Ashley Firth

Front-end developer

Work

Octopus Energy (December 2015 - Present)

I lead the Front-end department at challenger energy supplier Octopus Energy, crafting sites and internal tools, building new products and partnerships, and expanding into other countries. We operate in an agile environment, with remote workers and continuous deployment. A huge passion of mine since joining has been web accessibility; ensuring we’re AAA compliant and have crafted a usable, enjoyable experience for everyone from blind customers to those with autism and motor disabilities. If you’re interested, I've written a book about it, which you can learn more about here.

Winner: Which? recommended energy supplier 2019, Which? recommended energy supplier 2018, uSwitch supplier of the year 2018, Energy Awards supplier of the year 2018, Consumer Moneyfacts Energy Supplier of the Year 2018, UK Customer Experience Awards 2018: Best Utility, UK Customer Experience Awards 2019: Best Utility, Best Customer Experience. DXA Awards 2018: Gold for Mobile Strategy, Bronze for Online user experience, REA Awards 2018: Best innovation. Employee Experience awards 2019: Best company to work, Diversity & Inclusion award.

Tools: React, Redux, GraphQL, Apollo, SASS, Webpack, Node, Yarn, Stylelint

Agile Octopus

The first tariff ever to update its prices every 30 minutes based on smart meter data, Agile Octopus is a 100% renewable Electricity tariff that offers insight into the cheapest times for customers to use energy, and 'plunge pricing' events which actually pay customers to use energy at times when demand to the grid is low and supply is high. I built the front-end for this.

Winner: REA Awards, Best innovation. Business Green Leaders Awards 2019, Digital project of the year.

Octopus Tracker

I created the front-end as we created and launched the industry’s first tracker tariff, where the price changes everyday in line with the wholesale cost of energy. It provides customers with a detailed cost breakdown, including the margin made by the company. This was a solo Front-end build that involved HTML5 canvas for handling the visualisation of data.

Winner: UK Customer Experience Awards, Utilities.

Tesla Energy Plan

This is Tesla's first ever partnership - an energy tariff designed exclusively for Tesla owners to make the most of the potential of solar and Tesla Powerwall to reduce user's bills by up to 75%. They can power their home and drive with 100% renewable energy.

M&S Energy

I worked on building the front-end for the new Marks & Spencer Energy powered by Octopus Energy. This involved a new site, customer dashboard, and work on various comms channels to inform current customers of the switch and it's benefits. All of these needed to adhere to the tech standards at Octopus, whilst being faithful to the M&S brand.

Arsenal FC

Octopus Energy is Arsenal Football Club’s official energy partner, and I have been involved in all initiatives to move the club, and their fans, to use renewable energy. This includes a custom React journey, tariff, and various campaigns to drive fan engagement. It has also allowed me to be completely schooled on The Emirates pitch by Robert Pires.

Shortlisted: BT Sport Industry Awards, Sustainability initiative of the year

Tangent Snowball (November 2013 - December 2015)

I worked on digital marketing and CRM projects, focusing on creating strong, adaptive sites that can handle high traffic for their clients. I was promoted to head of Front-end development after just under two years, and became responsible for recruiting, mentoring, and organising and delegating work. Through this role I also had the opportunity to be a judge in the 2015 DMA awards for ‘best use of technology’.

Clients: SAP, The Labour Party, Walkers, Carlsberg.

Fishrod Interactive (June 2012 - November 2013)

I worked at Fishrod Interactive after graduating on projects abroad and all over the U.K, helping to create interactive experiences and installations. My main roles were creating responsive web and mobile apps to handle the content created from these installations, and I also presented to, and liaised with, clients throughout projects.

Clients: WWE, Sky, Budweiser, Metro

Sky at the O2

I helped create a permanent installation for Sky at the O2 arena which has been in place since 2013. Visitors are able to use photo booths that can preview green screening at 60fps, and can record themselves reading the news in a recreation of the Sky News studio. I was responsible for creating a teleprompter in websockets that could be controlled via an iPad. I also worked on projects at Sky backstage in the O2, including a live photo wall and a themed karaoke booth.

Writing

Book — Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility

My first book, published with Apress, about web accessibility. This book will guide you through a broad range of access needs, the barriers users often face, and provide practical advice on how your sites can help rather than hinder. Going beyond advice tailored solely for developers, this book offers potential improvements for designers, developers, user experience professionals, QA and testers, so that everyone involved in building a website can benefit.

Feature — Accessibility: a web for all

Web Designer Magazine (Issue 272 - March 2018)

A feature for a print magazine talking about designing and developing for general web accessibility, and helping those with specific disabilities.

Optimising a website for users with anxiety

Octopus Enery blog (May 2018)

Comment your code for healthy docs - tutorial

Web Designer Magazine (December 2017)

Making Octopus accessible for everyone

Octopus Enery blog (August 2016)

Grabbing the attention of your email audience

Digital Marketing Magazine (April 2015)

Personal blog

I try to keep this updated with recent projects, hacks, experiments, and thoughts.

Speaking

Festival of Marketing 2018

I spoke at the Festival of Marketing in October 2018. My talk was about accessibility on the web and beyond, the challenges we’ve faced at Octopus Energy trying to make a truly inclusive experience for everyone, and why it’s so important that everybody focuses on this in today’s society.

Currently accepting speaking invitations

Just get in touch with the contact information above!

Interviews

eConsultancy - A day in the life of...Head of Frontend Development at Octopus Energy

An interview with eConsultancy.com about my role at Octopus Energy, what I love about it, what sucks, and advice for people wanting to get into development.

Side projects:

Premier Battles

I run the web team for the UK's first team-based battle league - Premier Battles. This project involved creating the site, store, and a VOD network.

Currently working on:

Building my team at Octopus

I'm looking for passionate Front-end developers to join my team at Octopus Energy If you're interested, then drop me an email with your CV to ashley@octopus.energy

Education

BA (Hons) First class honours, Interactive Media Production

I attended Bournemouth University, graduating in 2012. I was also a peer-assisted learning coordinator, student ambassador, and student radio presenter.

Awards: Clock award, best final year student, Student development award.