Work inspiration with Ian Devlin

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Ian Devlin

Senior developer at pixolith in D?sseldorf, Germany

My name is Ian Devlin and I am a senior developer at pixolith in D?sseldorf, Germany. I'm actually Irish, and after obtaining a BSc in Computer Systems at the University of Limerick in Ireland I moved to Cambridge, UK where I started my working life as a software engineer for a voice recognition company. The web always fascinated me and I eventually moved in that direction professionally working as a web developer with a couple of small companies in Cambridgeshire before I moved to Germany, over two and a half years ago.

I also do some writing, as well as on my own site I have written for HTML5 Doctor, Mozilla Developer Network, dev.opera, Adobe Developer Connection, HTML5 Hub, and net magazine. I am also a technical reviewer for Apress, and I have even written my own book on HTML5 Multimedia with Peachpit.


I have two setups, one in the office and one at home. In the office I have a Dell Optiplex 790 with two Dell U2412M 24" monitors. I rarely need to take my laptop anywhere with me, so mobility isn't really an issue, and to that end I use a Sony VAIO C-Series 15.5 Inch Notebook with an external LG M2382 23" monitor. I currently walk about with a Samsung Galaxy SIII.


In the office we use PhpStorm as our IDE, which is ideal for what we do. At home I tend to use Sublime Text 2 which is leaner and more appropriate for the work I tend to do at home. I use Notepad++ frequently for quick editing of any file that it can open! Firefox is my main browser, both for development and browsing with the others only used for testing. Git is the version control system of choice in the office, and I also use it at home with GitHub.

Ideal Work Environment

It's difficult to say. The pixolith office is quite a nice place to work, although like every open plan office it can occasionally get a bit too noisy and that's when I turn to Spotify. At home I have a small desk in the spare room which is adequate for what I need, although at some stage I'd like a bigger space. Again Spotify is often used here but through a speaker system (from an old HiFi system I had when at school, the double cassette decks of which still work long after the CD drive died). I also use Photoshop, but mainly for obtaining images from a site design.


Again this is a difficult one to answer as it doesn't come from any one place and sometimes doesn't appear at all! The inspiration for something like HTML5 Bones came to me from seeing what was currently out there and deciding that the current offerings were too bloated and never actually explained how to use any of these new HTML5 elements that had some people confused. So I tried to help with that. Other inspiration comes from simply reading other people's articles and code samples, seeing what they've done and how I might use it in a different way.

So I guess the real answer is anywhere and everwhere.

People you admire most

I admire anyone who builds something and/or tries things out, and shares their findings with the community through blog posts, articles, podcasts and video tutorials. This is one of the great things about the web and the work we do.