14 September 2015

Creative Talk with Darren Wood, Director of The Fold


The Fold describe themselves as a small team of kick-arse web designers & developers based in Auckland & Wellington. We find out just how kick-arse they are:


You have been in Auckland for 3+ years, and recently opened the doors in Wellington – busy?


We have our moments. It's exciting that we can now capture the ever growing Ruby on Rails work that is abundant in Wellington.


What has been the biggest challenge in starting your own agency?


Maintaining consistent workflow. We have times where we’ve had a massive amount of work followed by having very little. Being more consistent on this front would help us forecast and plan which resources we’ll need (and finding good people is hard too!). An unexpected challenge is all the non-project related stuff – accounts, HR, the dishes roster, searching for the missing foosball balls, etc.


How does a front-end agency differ to a typical full service development agency?


While we do a massive amount of front end development and consulting, we are a full service agency with skills spanning across the development and design spectrum. These enable us to deliver full digital solutions, while we can also consult on some of the more specialised areas of web development.


What does a typical day at The Fold entail?


It's all about variety. Our designers and developers are also project managers and account managers - we do everything from design and development to meetings and sales. It’s very hands on and works well for us - we're up-front about the way we do things. More often than not our clients are delighted to work with the 'do-ers'.


How would you describe the culture at The Fold?


Bursting with innovative, passionate web nerds who love craft beer and tom-foolery.


What are the main technologies you work with and why do you prefer them?


We take a holistic approach to web design & development, choosing technologies which best suit our client's needs. This regularly means either PHP or Ruby on the backend and modular Sass/CSS, HTML & JavaScript, on the front. We deploy an atomic design approach - delivering web systems rather than web sites.


Are there any new / emerging web technologies that have you excited?


Right now we're getting pretty excited about NodeJS, React.js and Web Components. Some of us think a paradigm shift is near. Our front-end stack & workflow is fully automated using a series of Node scripts and command-line tools. Did I mention we're nerds?


When hiring, what are the top qualities you look for in a developer?  Do you prefer developers who have cross over skills or specialise in one area?


We look for people who care about what they do and have genuine passion for the web & technology. We search for people who have the ability to identify the core problem and then solve it. They're the ones who excel, regardless of their skill level.


What’s the best advice you would give yourself – if you were starting out on your career?


Constantly work on your career like it’s your very own business. One of my early employers gave that advice and it’s been gold.


What’s next for Darren Wood & The Fold?


The Fold is going to continue making more and more good web - and have fun along the way.