The Setup - Rik Kendell

As part of an ongoing series where we ask industry professionals what they use to get the job done, we speak to Rik, developer at brand and design studio BML.

Rik Kendell

Who are you, and what do you do?

Ey up! I'm Rik Kendell, developer at BML in Leeds. We're a small, tight-knit studio so I have a lot of freedom to experiment. I also get the opportunity to get involved in the design process. Essential for building a solid, exciting product.

Being the only developer here I also have the chance to guide way that we work when it comes to digital. As we grow I'm always considering our workflow; how we adapt when it comes to bigger projects or adding new staff.

Folks outside our industry give me blank looks at this point, so I usually stick with "I make websites and stuff".

I'm originally from an animation & videography background and love to stretch those muscles from time to time.

Outside of work I try making things in other ways. I'm an amateur woodworker, a decent cook (but an average baker) and play bass when I can.

What hardware do you use?

I've largely used Windows machines in the past, but now work on an iMac. It's taken some getting used to, especially the keyboard! The specs of the hardware aren't important to me (so long as it's up to task) but I'd struggle without a second screen. What started as a luxury has become a necessity, even with all the real estate on a massive 27" iMac screen.

Early this year I treated myself to a Sit Stand Desk from StandUp Office after enduring back ache for ages. Within days I was seeing improvement, now I switch from sitting to standing every few hours. It may seem like a gimmicky but I wouldn't be without it now, and it's great for inpromtu meetings.

It's also hard to beat a really, really, ridiculously good looking notebook.

My "other" desk is a Black & Decker Workmate WM450, a combination workbench and carry-case. Perfect both for storage and small woodworking at home, and now surprisingly rare.

And what software?

For writing (not just code) I use Sublime Text 3 with the Twilight theme. If I'm going to be staring at a text editor for hours then I'd rather do away with the neon colours. With blog posts I later jump into Hemingway to tidy everything up.

I build all my projects on development environments using Vagrant using Grunt to run my tasks. Lately I've been trying Gulp instead, and I can see myself switching - not that there's much difference.

I've been using most of the Adobe Creative Suite for years. I usually have either Photoshop or Illustrator running, but I love to dabble in After Effects and Premiere for animation and video work. I definitely don't miss Flash though.

In the studio we use Basecamp to communicate and manage our projects. For development I still like to list everything in Asana. I list every feature or task for myself to keep track of things, but it comes in handy when arguing the case for more time!

What would be your dream setup?

If I had my way I'd go back to a Windows computer, mainly for testing. I'd also get a nice crunchy mechanical keyboard, I can't get along with the tippy-tappy Apple keyboards. Otherwise all I'd change is having the dog in the studio with me!

A real dream setup would be one of those garden offices / working pods that you see on Grand Designs and Pinterest. I'd settle for a nice big shed that I can build a workbench in.

One item you can't live without?

Not necassarily an item, but I wouldn't work as well without a team of good people around me. Having other humans to bounce ideas off and talk through problems with is invaluable and leads to some amazing ideas.

Thanks Rik!

Rik Kendell on 2nd June, 2017.

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