Steve Elliott Escapes The Squirrels

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

Steve was less than keen to be featured in this week’s profile. In fact, for a while he downright refused. Through a series of tough negotiations and some very useful recently acquired information; Steve became inclined to acquiesce to my request, for that I’d like to send a special thank you to Rob Illing. And so I was able to sit down with Steve and learn a little more about him, his love for all things JQuery and his antipathy for embarrassment.

Steve is a Senior Engineer and has been a part of Web Applications UK for nearly four years which means he’s basically part of the woodwork, and by basically I mean literally. During an office reorganisation, instead of moving his things to his new desk like everyone else, Steve tried to physically move his entire desk to its new position. I don’t want to suggest that Steve is averse to change; I think he just really liked that desk.

Steve was one of the employees honoured in December with a Webbie Award. He took home the prestigious Nike Award, for the employee who ‘Just Does It’, in many ways, this award really seems to fit. I have the impression that Steve is an honest to goodness morning person. He routinely gets into work at an ungodly hour (I don’t know exactly when since I generally rock up to work significantly later) and proceeds to make the early morning the most productive time of his day. I’m not sure Steve can get all of the credit for coming in early since his arrival time is largely dependent upon Jeff, his chauffeur to work. Once again, Jeff, is the (dark?) knight in shining armour. Steve is no damsel in distress – the man can clearly take care of himself. The fact that his favourite meal is pizza and beer, he gets a ride to work each day and he’s about to marry a nurse all imply deep-rooted self-sufficiency…oh wait.

To contrast Steve’s perceived dependency at home, he exhibits a vast amount of independence at work. Steve is the auteur of the new reporting system for Tr@veller called Br-ease and is known for teaching himself new things, like JQuery and MVC (Model View Controller), and subsequently spreading that expertise around the office. Steve worked on the private beta of AcuWeb and wrote a series of blogs on the subject prior to its release last June. In addition to that blog, Steve has one of his own where he talks about new sorts of codes and languages and things he’s learning and trying out.

On any given day Steve spends his time between Br-ease and a number of side projects. His favourite project he’s worked on while at Web Applications has definitely been Br-ease, which he has built from the ground-up with the help of a few others. Br-ease is a really exciting project for Steve, but it’s not the only exciting thing in his life right now as he is getting married next March. Yes, Stephen Elliott will be tying the knot in the Town Hall in Manchester in a year’s time with Claire, a sister in a children’s ward whom he met while attending university in Manchester. Steve is a lucky guy in more ways than one with his aforementioned chauffeur. Jeff gives Steve a ride to and from work each day, and they share a real bond with their mutual love of snowboarding. Snowboarding is a surprisingly popular sport at Web Applications, and unlike Jeff I have the feeling that Steve has physically participated in the sport (Jeff, please excuse my scepticism).

I talked to Steve for a while and I still don’t know if he has a favourite movie, TV show, or video game; what I do know is that he likes Carlton Cold. Carlton Cold is an Australian beer he discovered whilst travelling in Australia for three months before beginning university. Australia must have been a big move from his hometown of Letchworth, a village which has its own website and apparently is the first Garden City in the world, the home of the very first roundabout and the habitat of a mutant race of smoky black squirrels. Steve really enjoyed his trip to Australia and considers Byron Bay to be his favourite place to visit. I pause to wonder if he managed to go GoGo dancing there as he is known to do in Manchester. This may come as a shock to some, it did to me, but there has been more than one sighting of Steve all dolled up, a spectacle which has ruined the night of at least two of his colleagues. I have no wish to embarrass Steve so his stage name will remain a secret. Just a small hint: the name may or may not be linked to Steve’s travels and his favourite colour, pink.

Stephen Elliott does not like to be embarrassed. He made that very clear when he “accidentally” opened Rob Illing’s car door into Gordon’s car, arguably causing extensive damage. I think we all remember how much