Matt Andrews

About me

I'm a software developer, a writer, a cyclist and a brewer. I've worked at the Guardian for five years, at the BBC for two, and am currently at the Big Lottery Fund. These days I'm a full-stack developer and enjoy making things in JavaScript, Python and more. When I'm not writing code I can be found riding my bike, brewing beer, playing boardgames or writing things. Feel free to drop me a line at or call me on 07533953151.

Find me on the web

My talks and presentations View all

  • Making Desktop Apps With Electron

    Building applications using JavaScript (Hydrahack Birmingham • 14 Mar 2017)

    If you've not already heard of Electron, it's effectively a bundled up browser which has access to the wider filesystem than a regular browser. Electron lets you write an app for multiple desktop platforms in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

  • Why You Should Quit Your Job

    Lessons learned in job satisfaction (Ignite Brum • 01 Jun 2016)

    From 2010-2015 I worked at the Guardian newspaper as a client-side web developer. I started working there at the age of 23 and it was my dream job. I want to talk about realising when you're unhappy at work and what to do about it when it happens to you.

  • The Blossoming of the Web

    New technologies and digital journalism (Hacks & Hackers Birmingham • 24 Nov 2015)

    This talk is mixed bag of new(ish) developments in technology which intersect with journalism. I'm going to talk through six examples of things that I think are interesting that you should care about if you're a hack, a hacker, or that semi-mythical unicorn who claims to be both.

View all of my talks and presentations

My writing View all

  • Five things I've learned being on an innovation team blog • 23 Mar 2017

    For just under two years now I've been a "Digital Guerrilla", working as part of a team of six in Birmingham, created by the BBC to "pilot and prototype new storytelling ideas", and help the broadcaster to "engage with its audiences and to deliver unforgettable... keep reading

  • Debunking Private Eye's "gobsmacking" gender/race accusations blog • 09 Oct 2016

    There's a photo doing the rounds on Twitter of an extract from the current edition of Private Eye magazine. The text concerns the recent Forward prize for poetry, and the chaps from the Eye have decided that the gender/racial demographics of the Forward prize panel... keep reading

  • A resolution on communication blog • 08 Mar 2016

    Talking is hard. So's writing. Self-expression is sometimes crushingly futile when we try to reduce the mad, beautiful complexity of the human mind into the crude box we call language. Even with the best will in the world we can still mess up, "misspeak", communicate... keep reading

  • My Atom setup blog • 20 Dec 2015

    I recently decided to switch my main text editor for coding from Sublime Text to Atom by Github (mostly because my old work license expired when I changed jobs, but also because I liked Atom's open-source nature). In the six months I've spent with it,... keep reading

  • Learnings so far after leaving my old job blog • 10 Sep 2015

    It's been three months, give or take a few days, since I left the Guardian—and London—to move to the BBC (I know, how imaginative...) in Birmingham. It's flown by. Tomorrow I'm off for a visit to the capital where I'll be seeing some former colleagues... keep reading

  • Past, present and future blog • 05 Jun 2015

    By the time I press “Publish” on this entry, my employment at the Guardian will be over after just shy of five years working as a developer there. I’m also days away from leaving London, the city I moved to in order to work at... keep reading

View all of my writing

My portfolio View all

  • Rhubarb Crumble

    An Electron-powered desktop app, this wraps a command line tool for generating mouth shapes from audio files and animates them using images of lips. This was for a BBC Digital Guerrillas project to output quick animated video without manual lipsyncing work.

  • YouTube Dubber

    Another fun BBC Digital Guerrillas hack, this simple app lets you take the audio from one YouTube video and add it to the video from another. Hours of stupid, silly entertainment.

  • Snow Messages

    A silly hack for a Christmas house party, this was running on our TV while we had a houseful of friends, showing their festive messages as they added them to the list. I accept no responsibility for their messages' content.

  • SofaSync

    This was sadly never launched, but it was a fully-featured realtime chat/video app, using BBC iPlayer programme data to provide a synchronised chat room where remote friends could watch a show together, pause/play/skip at the same time, and sent text/emoji reactions.

  • Gygax

    This is a work-in-progress webapp, built to aid my Dungeons & Dragons sessions with friends. While there are plenty of D&D apps out there, most are either too ugly or too advanced for my usage, so I built this one to solve a few things.

  • Mates vs Monsters

    A much-revised Twitter-based game, masterminded by my friend and colleague Joseph Bell and built to allow you to choose your friends (using Twitter's API), enter a dungeon with them and battle monsters and answer questions about them. A BBC Digital Guerrillas project.

  • What is That?

    A BBC Science project which showed a variety of microscope images where users had to guess what they were seeing. I built two interfaces: the rotating desktop one and a mobile carousel version, as well as an AngularJS-powered quiz.

  • Thirteen: Find the Girl

    Another BBC Digital Guerrillas project, this featured half a dozen websites including computer hacking games, in-browser image editors, blogs, laptop tracking websites and more – all to support BBC Three's well-received Thirteen show in 2016.

View all of my work

My teaching

  • Coding For The Web 101

    The Birmingham and Midland Institute

    This brand-new four week evening class covered the basics of the "holy trinity" of web design. I relocated to Birmingham and relaunched my teaching here, covering HTML, CSS and JavaScript and offering a cheap and well-structured introducing to the basics of coding.

    Dates taught

    18 February 2016 – 17 March 2016

  • How web developers work... and what they wish you knew

    Guardian Masterclasses

    This lecture-style class was given to an audience of attendees wanting to know more about the folks with headphones and expensive-looking coffees increasingly littering their offices – how to work with them, understand them and get the best out of them.

    Dates taught

    22 July 2013 • 28 April 2014

  • How to be a digital journalist

    Guardian Masterclasses

    I was part of a series of tutors teaching audiences as diverse as lecturers, academics, student/graduates, and (in one case) the sports journalists from Italy's *La Gazzetta dello Sport* about the basics of digital journalism, including software, Agile and what developers do all day.

    Dates taught

    12 January 2013 – 13 January 2013 • 23 March 2013 – 24 March 2013 • 25 February 2014 – 18 March 2014

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript

    Guardian Masterclasses

    I taught this class for several years for attendees on the Guardian's Masterclass brand. Over the four week evening class I covered the basics of the "holy trinity" of web design, and was proud to see a number of students later pick up careers in the web development industry.

    Dates taught

    21 November 2012 – 13 December 2012 • 27 February 2013 – 20 March 2013 • 4 June 2013 – 25 June 2013 • 24 September 2013 – 15 October 2013 • 15 January 2014 – 5 February 2014 • 6 March 2014 – 27 March 2014 • 16 April 2014 – 7 May 2014 • 3 September 2014 – 24 September 2014