The internet was a very different place in 1997. Google didn’t exist. There were only about 100,000 websites in existence. 640px * 480px was the resolution of choice, built with frames and tables and mostly viewed on Netscape Navigator. Mobile phones were used for calling, texting and playing snake… the closest they came to surfing the web was with WAP!
Indeed 2 decades is a long time… they’re like dog years… and this is when Niall Colgan, our Head of Development, began his career as a code ninja at Webfactory.
Only Simon has surpassed him in tenure (but he did start the company!) with Derek and Chris snapping at his heels. Some of Niall’s earliest projects included Shope Centre, varied Guinness websites, the immensely popular Fantasy Formula One and Fantasy GAA for Eircell, webtext for Eircell, DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting standards, our first website built in Roxen) and also the groundbreaking real time point to point airport information system for Aer Rianta.
Niall has always led by example whether that was by putting in the extra hours to meet a deadline, doing late night go-lives, or saving the day by working at some stage during most of our Christmas party trips away!
He is always generous with his time in helping others out and can be depended upon to find a solution to any issue that may crop up. He has a vast knowledge in all things development (it kinda freaks me out a little) and always evangelising future development technology. He is laid back and calm, taking everything in his stride. That’s not to say he doesn’t get stressed (a little)... you know you’re in trouble when he takes off his glasses to clean them. Niall doesn’t play poker but if he did, this is his ‘tell’.
I have worked with Niall for 11 years and in that time I’ve learned that he loves Star Wars, fantasy fiction, Playstation, tea (usually before lunch), coffee (usually after lunch), 11sys in Vice, doughnuts, chocolate brownies, and well anything sweet really, dogs, crosswords, a cool car (even though he doesn’t drive it much), his family, problem solving, technology, a cheeky burger king, pilates, watches, crunchy nut cornflakes, pizza, nerdy tshirts, binary, his job; he makes excellent mulled wine and can be persuaded to play the guitar and maybe even sing a little after a few beers. I count myself privileged to call him colleague, mentor, code ninja, friend.
Niall, from all of us at Webfactory, thank you for the last 20 years and here’s to the next 20!