Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
# 11:12:00 PM:

My new job (is not so new)

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Disclaimer: While I now work for Navarik Corp., this site is my own, and doesn't represent the company's position on anything.

This site has always had a pretty techie focus, but in the past year I've shifted to talking about standards-based web design quite a bit more than I used to. (Though, to be fair, the second weblog post I ever made here, in October 2000, was about a web design project at my old job.)

One reason for that shift is my new job, which isn't so new. I've been working as a permanent part-time employee of Navarik Corp. here in Vancouver since November 2003, though I haven't talked about it much. Previously, Navarik had been a sometime-client of mine since it began in 2000, because the company's founders were all my former colleagues from the University of B.C.

The company's president is Bill Dobie, who back in our UBC days was president of the student society, for whom I worked and had served as elected student representative to the University's Board of Governors (for two years) and student council rep for the Science Undergraduate Society (for one year). Bill went on to work in the marine shipping industry, and then to found Navarik to make software for companies in that industry. He enlisted some other old UBC hacks, including Martin Ertl and Don Hitchen, to help him run the place.

While I meandered my way through young fatherhood, freelance technical writing and editing, and a continuing sideline as a musician, Navarik grew from a tiny Yaletown office and crawled out of the rubble of the post–dot-com bust to garner some significant clients, including, most recently, Shell Oil. Now it is a small firm emerging from its startup phase, with a couple of dozen desks on a floor of Vancouver's landmark Sun Tower (built in 1912, and once the tallest building in the British Empire, when there was such a thing).

Much of my time at Navarik goes to writing and editing proposals and other technical editing projects, but I've also concentrated on web work, both for Navarik and its customers. In that, I've had the pleasure of working with fellow Navarik employee and web design celebrity Dave Shea, curator of the CSS Zen Garden, as well as winner of Best of Show at SXSW Interactive 2004 and Best Canadian Weblog in this year's Bloggies.

We just launched a new version of the website, and while it's not an earth-shattering piece of graphic design, it is nevertheless clean, useful, and (thanks to Dave) mostly standards-compliant. More about how that came about—and about why Navarik has more weblogs than you can shake a wireless mouse at—tomorrow.


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