My name is Benjamin Hall or Ben and I'm a freelance full stack developer based near Birmingham in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. I have been making websites since 2001 when I was 13 years old. Before Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I was creating Tripod, Angelfire and GeoCities web pages. Shortly after, I learned about PHP and never looked back. I've always favoured backend PHP over frontend as I loved the fact that I could create programs that actually did stuff instead of just being a flat, static website. With the introduction of jQuery and AJAX (and soon ReactJS) to my skillset, I was able to create highly interactive dynamic websites.
As a reliable and enthusiastic full stack developer with over 11 years of professional experience, I have a passion for expanding my knowledge and figuring out how things work. Naturally, when browsing the web, I can't stop my brain from deconstructing the website and theorising how the moving parts of the website come together and I'm constantly trying to improve and find better ways of achieving the same end goal.
As a full stack developer with a raw passion for writing elegant code, I work cleanly to the PHP PSR-2 recommendation - I'm a firm believer in adhering to a strict set of style guidelines to reduce cognitive friction in joint projects. I also develop code whilst being mindful of the CPU cycles and RAM constraints on production environments to keep the code slim and efficient. I've read a lot of code written to simply satisfy the end goal that could be rewritten clearer, cleaner, run much faster and require fewer server resources. This is especially important in shared-server environments which most small/medium websites use.
Over the years, I've worked with almost all of the large PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, CakePHP, CodeIgniter and Slim. Whilst my preference is pure PHP (no frameworks), I'm happy to work with them as I understand that they have their place. When working with client budgets, frameworks allow us to get a lot done in a short amount of time. I understand the fundamentals of the PHP scripting language and web development in general, so working with pure PHP or a new/different framework doesn't pose a problem.
I have a keen desire to expand my skill set in the web development field and I'm always looking for new (or better) ways to implement a feature or complete a task - whether that's pure PHP, PHP frameworks or new technologies altogether.
Being highly resourceful, timely and extremely dedicated combined with a strong technical knowledge of the latest web development technology makes me a great candidate to work on your next project!
I'm looking for new opportunities and challenges which help me hone my craft and widen my experiences. For more information about my skill set, view my full skills and tools page.