Bruce Lawson's personal site

Announcing a career change and life change

As Friday 13th is almost always lucky for me, I’ve waited until today to announce what is a major career and hopefully life change.

For the last four years or so I’ve been a jobbing web developer and content editor, most recently as one half of the web team for a large organisation in the legal sector. It’s been a real eye-opener, working to evangelise accessibility and and build using standards while juggling organisational imperatives, sub-optimal content management systems and inflexible backends (ooh madam).

It’s been a privilege to work with the other half of the team, John Rieger, who has a George Orwell-like dedication to clarity of thought and clarity of language, and who is a trained print journalist yet completely gets the web: accessibility, web standards, usability—the whole caboodle. As a team, we crazily tested in other browsers, commissioned Stuart Langridge to write us top-notch scripts (that will be open-sourced when he can be arsed), and relentlessly focussed on the visitor with our web Constitution. I’m proud of what we achieved, and wish I could link to the redesign we worked on for months (but technical gremlins delayed launch).

However, I’ve decided it is time to move on, and am just about to fly to Norway to meet up with my new colleagues at Opera Software where I shall be a Web Evangelist.

Why Opera?

I think that this means that I’ll be blogging about technical subjects even less as I travel to Norway next week and to An Event Apart Boston the week after, and then take some time getting my head round it all. But then there should be a lot more activity and work done soon enough.

Given the huge overlap between my professional and personal interests, I’ll continue to blog here, but will double-post web standards-related posts to the forthcoming Developer Relations Team blog on the Opera site and open comments there. Filth and jokes will live only here, so please stay tuned, and wish me luck.

Oh – and try out yesterday’s release of Opera 9.5, just for me. It’s got new developer tools, and supports WAI ARIA and loads of CSS3 loveliness.

Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)

32 Responses to “ Announcing a career change and life change ”

Comment by bruce

Oh no, Joe. I’m working from my palatial end-of-terrace ex-council house in Birmingham.

(There was a chance to relocate, but didn’t want to subject my partner and two kids to all that upheaval.)

Comment by Marco

Soooooo lucky! Good on ya and huge congratulations!

I must admit that I noticed this position as well. But, English is my only fluent language. Oh well…

(Actually, I wonder if the Italian swear words I know would be enough??? Hmmm…)

Comment by Shez

Well done Brucie! Top job – you couldn’t have hoped for something better really. Glad you ain’t relocating to Oslo – I understand it’s well over £5 a pint there!

Comment by

All the best to you and your family! Do whatever is good for you and your loved ones, but if you feel your future lies with Opera, who are we to object?!

Seriously, I think you made an excellent move — as long as your girls can stand any long stints without you present at home that might be required. Both your personal standing in the web world and the Web (TM) as a whole stand to gain from your involvement.

Comment by JackP

Congtats to Opera, for getting you, and congrats to you, for getting Opera. I’m chuffed for you both. Although I’d echo the slight concern that I hope they’re ready for your jokes.

Oh, and I had already downloaded Opera 9.5: I’m quite fond of it too…

PS does that mean you won’t be using your red hot email address for work business?

Comment by Tristan


The Open Web needs more full-time evangelists to kick Silverlight in the pants 😉

Welcome on board!

–Tristan Nitot, Mozilla

Comment by Ian Lloyd

The Great Duckano,
Chief Web Protagonist,

That’s your new business card wot I designed for you Bruce. Don’t let me down, now …

BTW … this hush-hush project? Nothing to do with garish colours, shouty one-word catch phrases and questionable Japanese named sexual fetishes? (only 3 people will get that, and two of them are you and me!) 😀

Comment by Ian Lloyd

Just re-read that last message, and that sounds well dodgy. So I thought that I’d add that the third person who would get the refernce is Patrick … but, oh damn, now it sounds even worse …

Comment by Bill Lees

Well, congratulations, Brucie boy. You’ve come a long way since Istel. Ron Lowe and Bob Hoare would be proud of you. Bring me back some reindeer ice-cream from Norway.

Comment by Christophe Strobbe

Congratulations, Bruce!
Does the job involve wearing the pink diamanté dress from your previous post? So you’d look like a real opera diva? (Well, more Pink-Phantom-of-the-Opera-like, I guess 😛 )

Comment by Bruce

Good idea, Aaron. I’ve just got back from the U.S. so am having some R&R but will definitely get material together about ARIA.

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