Matt Andrews

Web developer, writer, music nerd

Hi, my name is Matt – welcome to my vanity homepage. I'm a creative technologist currently at BBC's Digital Guerrillas team in Birmingham. Prior to that, I worked for five years as a client-side developer and manager at the Guardian in London. When I'm not writing HTML, CSS & JavaScript I'm a keen writer, musician, cyclist and homebrewer. I also speak at conferences and teach a variety of technical classes – more on these below.

Follow me on Twitter on @mattpointblank or email me on

My recent writing

  • Five things I’ve learned being on an innovation team

    Thursday 23 March @ 10:03 AM
    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 content”. I’m leaving this month for a new role, but […]
  • Debunking Private Eye’s “gobsmacking” gender/race accusations

    Sunday 09 October @ 09:10 PM
    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 chair and the winners of the prize suggest a sinister […]
  • A resolution on communication

    Tuesday 08 March @ 10:03 PM
    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 badly. In the spirit of “do unto others”, a vaguely […]
  • My Atom setup

    Sunday 20 December @ 10:12 PM
    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, I’ve grown to love it and wanted to share a […]

Talks I've given


My speaking schedule

  • Making desktop apps with Electron

    Building applications in JavaScript
    14th March 2017 • Hydrahack Birmingham

    "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." Read more...

  • Why You Should Quit Your Job

    Lessons learned in job satisfaction
    1st June 2016 • Ignite Brum #3

    "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." Read more...

  • The blossoming of the Web

    New technologies and digital journalism
    24th November 2015 • Hacks & Hackers Birmingham

    "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." Read more...

  • Online "newspapers" and changing reading & writing habits

    How digital journalism changes how we read and write online
    5th November 2014 • the Royal College of Art, London

    I gave a talk and held a group discussion for MA students studying Critical Writing in Art and Design, covering ideas developed by the Guardian and others which change the way we consume and produce news on the internet.

  • Moderation in Moderation

    Working with online communities
    26th October 2014 • Mozilla Festival 2014, London

    I proposed and facilitated an hour-long session at the annual Mozilla Festival on their Source Code for Journalism track. Along with some Guardian colleagues we helped a few dozen attendees work out the challenges their online communities faced work together to solve them. Read more...

  • Surviving the multi-device news challenge

    How the Guardian uses APIs and open data
    23rd January 2014 • Hacks & Hackers Berlin

    "I'd like to explain to begin with what I mean by "the multi-device news challenge". Here are a couple of big numbers: 322: the number of unique browser versions the Guardian gets traffic from in a month." Read more...

  • Responsive design at the Guardian

    Why you should make your website future-friendly – right now.
    10th October 2013 • CanvasConf 2013

    "A few weeks ago I was in central London near the river, waiting to cross the road. Just before the traffic lights changed, a huge yellow and blue truck-like vehicle came rolling past." Read more...

  • Responsive design at the Guardian

    How I learned to stop worrying and love the mobile web
    10th May 2013 • Port80 2013

    "It's the most talked-about web development technique of the past few years and it's officially reached the mainstream: responsive web design is being used by huge content sites like the Boston Globe, the BBC, Channel 4, and now the Guardian." Read more...

Past talks & classes

  • Coding For The Web 101
    The Birmingham and Midland Institute

    Thursday 18 February - Thursday 17 March

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Wednesday 03 September - Wednesday 24 September

  • How to work with web developers
    Guardian Masterclass

    Monday 28 April

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Wednesday 16 April - Wednesday 07 May

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Thursday 06 March - Thursday 27 March

  • Digital journalism bootcamp
    Guardian Masterclass

    Tuesday 25 February - Tuesday 18 March

  • Surviving the multi-device news challenge
    Hacks & Hackers Berlin

    Thursday 23 January

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Wednesday 15 January - Wednesday 05 February

  • Responsive design at the Guardian
    CanvasConf 2013, Birmingham

    Thursday 10 October

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Tuesday 24 September - Tuesday 15 October

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

    Monday 22 July

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Tuesday 04 June - Tuesday 25 June

  • Responsive design at the Guardian
    Port80 Conference 2013, Newport

    Friday 10 May

  • How to be a digital journalist
    Guardian Masterclass

    Saturday 23 March - Sunday 24 March

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Wednesday 27 February - Wednesday 20 March

  • How to be a digital journalist
    Guardian Masterclass

    Saturday 12 January - Sunday 13 January

  • Building websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
    Guardian Masterclass

    Wednesday 21 November - Thursday 13 December

Videos of talks

Ignite talk: Fermi's Paradox
Christmas 2014
Ignite talk: how to homebrew beer
Easter 2014
Ignite talk: North Korea – the Hermit Kingdom
Christmas 2013

Testimonials & links

Feedback from course attendees / conference audiences

  • “Matt is a very enthusiastic and proficient teacher. He frequently checked with us that were following ok and was happy to take questions at all times. All done with a great sense of humour and he remembered everyone's names.”
  • “Matt's course handouts and PDFs are excellent, well laid out and full of relevant and helpful information. An invaluable resource for future reference.”
  • “Matt is a clear, well-organised presenter, with excellent slides and handouts. He speaks – on his own admission – quickly and you have to pay close attention. But overall an inspiring teacher – with solid experience to draw on.”
  • “Matt creates a fun atmosphere and his enthusiasm is infectious. He communicates the concepts in very clear and down to earth fashion.”
  • “Really good to learn from someone who knew the subject so well and uses it in such a stimulating setting.”
  • “Matt was excellent – both in how he explained things and made them accessible and his relaxed personal style.”
  • “@mattpointblank's talk was one of the best I've ever seen, anywhere. Let's hope @canvasconf stick some videos online.”
  • “Brilliantly paced, well considered and comprehensive presentations.”

Other places to find me