I'm James Jefferies. After many years of working for companies like Barclays, Yorkshire Electricity & the digital agency, TechnoPhobia, I started my own company, ShedCode, in 2011, initially working as a freelance developer on financial systems. This all changed after I was accepted as a Technologist in Residence as part of the Happenstance Project.
Happenstance was a national ‘Digital R&D Fund for the Arts’ pilot project, and as one of the six residents I found a new creative direction for my company and career. My residency was at Site Gallery, Sheffield and I enjoyed using my communication skills to de-mystify technology & to learn, first hand, how technical approaches can benefit arts organisations, including building digital prototypes for audience participation.
Once the residency was over, I had a new identity as a Creative Technologist, embracing hardware & software to build innovative prototypes and products. Since then, I’ve been able to work with organisations like Fun Palaces, BBC (Research & Development, Audience Services), Brighton and Hove Museums, Rattle, Caper & Hack Circus.
I often collaborate with other companies to complement my skills as ShedCode. Now I’m looking for new projects, to build digital prototypes, hardware hacks and innovative products.
How I Work
Working remotely from my Sheffield office is my usual arrangement but often a project will benefit from closer collaboration with clients or organisations involved in the project. It's always good to learn first hand how organisations work, to fully understand their requirements and spend time with the experts.
Communication is key, I like to keep my clients updated with progress and would prefer to chat about any issues or questions which crop up sooner rather than later. This can be by phone, skype, email or face to face if appropriate.
Over the years I’ve worked on many types of project, from classic waterfall projects through to those using various Agile methodologies. I’ve also worked on projects where I’ve taken a brief or existing product away to work on with regular milestone checks, I’m able to think on my feet and use my experience to work without supervision.
Electronics, Arduinos, RaspberryPis
Many years ago, I had a 100 in 1 electronics kit, recently my interest in electronics has resurfaced, thanks to having an Arduino to work with. The Cathy and Heathcliff printer project used Arduinos to drive the printers, as did the Storytelling Items project I did for Sheffield University Union.
Recently I’ve been working a lot with Postgres, MySQL and MongoDB, however before that I spent many years working with Oracle Databases (8i, 9i, 10g)