Five questions for… Rick Hurst

1. What do you do in your day job?

I’m a freelance web monkey /or/ Technical Director of Olivewood, a web apps company based in Bristol (depending on who’s asking). I do front end development right through to back-end code (of various types) and databases.

I first got involved with the internet in 1998 when a friend told me the best way to get a job (I was actually looking for something in conservation, as I have a background in Environmental Science), was to stick my CV on the web. I bought a modem and a copy of “HTML for dummies” and had my first website up 24 hours later, despite having never used the internet before.

That coincided with the dot com boom, and there was a huge demand for web people, so it was only a few months later that I landed a contract as a professional web designer at BT, followed by several years of sweating it out at web agencies before going freelance last year. I’m happy I can make a living out of it, but I know I would still be building websites and web apps for fun if I did something else for a living.

2. What do you outside of work, in your 10% time, or when you boss isn’t looking?

Family stuff and skateboarding mainly – I don’t get much free time though, particularly during this first year of freelance/ running a company. If I did have more spare time i’d probably start a band again – something I spent a fair amount of time doing before jobs, houses and fatherhood! Actually i’m kind of over the band thing – it’s only after a few glasses of wine that I start to feel the need to jump on stage, whereas it used to be an obsession!

3. Why are you attending BathCamp?

Because i’m a geek and I really want to go as I had to pull out of the Bristol BarCamp last year at the last minute. I always have a surplus of ideas going on and i’d like some time to try stuff out and discuss it with other digital people. I’m hoping it will be like some kind of therapy where I can talk nothing but utter geek and not have peoples eyes glaze over!

4. What are you passionate about?

Family, skateboarding, web geekery, traveling, the outdoors (in moderation) – or preferably a combination of all those. Maybe involving a winnebago.

5. What would you fill a bath with, and why?

Pasta and pesto. I could probably eat a whole bath full of that. If not my 4-year old son would help out – he’s inherited a love of pasta and pesto from me.