Hakim El Hattab on Squarespace, Slides and Stockholm

The leading developer explains why he's left San Francisco to go home and set up his own business.

Hakim El Hattab is one of 10 nominees in the Developer of the Year category at this year's net awards. We spoke to him about cutting his teeth at Fi, Qwiki and Squarespace before moving back to Stockholm to pursue his own business.

What are your main areas of expertise?

User interface design, animation and JavaScript.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

My career has thankfully consisted almost exclusively of hands-on web development work which is what I enjoy the most. I started out at Fi in Stockholm and thereafter moved to the US to join Qwiki. Most recently I worked as Lead Interface Engineer at Squarespace.

What have you been working on over the last year?

I've been working on an online platform for creating and giving presentations called Slides.

It makes use of reveal.js, an open source HTML presentation framework that I released a few years back, so I've spent a lot of time maintaining that as well. In between I managed to squeeze in a few UI experiments which can be found over at http://lab.hakim.se.

Hakim.se

What have been the particular high points of your career?

Moving to San Francisco to work for Qwiki. It led to many great new relationships, both professional and personal. That's also where I met Owen with whom I eventually co-founded Slides.

What are you excited about at the moment?

Starting this year I'm self-employed and will be going full time on Slides. Working for myself has been a long time personal goal so I'm very excited to finally do it!

Tell us about an important lesson you've learned in your career.

Idolising individuals and comparing yourself against that perceived image sets unrealistic goals. Nobody knows what they're doing. Myself included.

Name an 'unsung hero', someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanya Combrinck is digital editor on net magazine.