Jake looking out over the Tasman Sea

About me

As I'm sure you've realised by now, my name is Jake Hopking.

I'm a professional UI designer, Front-end developer and wannabe photographer. I've been building things on the Internet for over 20 years now. My first website was published back in 1997, to the then magical AOL user pages. You can still find my site, Tiger Watch, on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. 

Since then I've been hooked on designing sites, building interfaces, and exploring new web tech. It's amazing to think back and appreciate just how much the Internet has evolved during this time. Truly remarkable.

Recent life

I recently returned to London after an extended period of living abroad. 3.5 years on a small island in the South Pacific, New Zealand. Followed by 1.5 years on another island, this one located in East Asia; the magnificent Japan! I have a massive amount of photographic content I wish to publish from this amazing time.

Photography

That's the reason for creating this new website; to publish all those photos. I've been meaning to get around to building a CMS for all my photographic content for several years, some of which dates back to when I bought my first SLR at the age of 13.

At the moment, I put some of these photos (in woefully low resolution) on Instagram. The latests of which are over on the Photography section of this website. Unfortunately that's the only content there at the moment!

This site

Has been built from the ground up, obviously by myself. For this build, I've chosen a few new frameworks and platforms which I wasn't particularly familiar with, as is the beauty of being able to do so in a safe environment such as one's own site ^_^

Backend
It's build on Django, and uses the seriously awesome and beautifully flexible, Wagtail CMS. I've worked on numerous Django projects over the years, but never created one from scratch, and I also hadn't had the opportunity to play with much praised Wagtail until now. The project is served from my Kimsufi dedicated server, which I've set up to run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and configured to serve the site using nginx and Gunicorn. The project source is over on Github if you want to see how anything works.

Front-end
I'm using my own custom responsive SCSS framework. But to try something new, I opted to use Brunch for the build process and static asset pipeline. It's ridiculously easy to set-up and simply just works. It's a little opinionated, but for the efficiency, simplicity and reliability it provides, I'm very happy.

Portfolio

I'm adding my most recent projects first, and slowly adding older examples, the ones which have stood the test of time.

Get in touch

Flick me an email: jake@hopking.io