Today is my last day working for Yahoo!

Rather than write a farewell email to my current colleagues I thought I’d write a blog post that former colleagues could also read and comment on, and also serve as a place to give some of my thoughts about working for Yahoo! in general.

I started working for Yahoo! on the 24th of September 2007. Before this I had worked for a small agency style company in the North of England for 7.5 years. It had taken me a long time, but I was excited to be working for a company like Yahoo! for my second ever full time job.

It was clear from day one that I was going to be working with very smart people and while everyone was very welcome it was also clear that I was going to have to prove myself. I think I was able to do that, and soon settled in the job.

I have worked both on Spirit, the previous version of the Yahoo! front page, and also Metro, the current page. On the Metro project I was able to experience working with a large international team on one of the most visited page on the web.

Over time I was able to get involved with YDN who do really fantastic work which is often not appreciated by developers, and the EU Accessibility Task Force which is a group of developers in the Yahoo! London office who have a strong interest in web accessibility. While I don’t think we changed the world we certainly made a nuisance of ourselves within the company, and this group inspired other task forces to be set up around the world, notably in Sunnyvale and Bangalore.

Later I became a representative for Yahoo! on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Education & Outreach Working Group which I will continue working with as an Invited Expert for at least the next 6 months.

Working for Yahoo! has also led to opportunities outside of the office, conference speaking, book writing and government advising amongst them. More on all of this another time.

The point of all of this trumpet blowing is that it is only because I have worked for Yahoo! that any of this has been possible for me. Regardless of what anyone may say about the company it is a truly great place to work. I can honestly tell you that I don’t regret a single minute of my time here. It opens doors for developers, and would advise any web dev who wants to make a name for themselves to spend part of your career here.

At the time I started it was possible to make a strong case for the team of web developers in the London office being the best in the world. Sadly many of the people who made it such a joy to work here have moved on, either to other companies or to the Yahoo! mothership in Sunnyvale. Trust me, the quality is still here but we are losing the quantity, and currently there seems to be little desire to build up the team again. This is why I have decided to move on, and seek a new challenge somewhere else.

To everyone who I have worked with over the just-less-than 3 years I have been here, both in London and in the US, I thank you for everything you have done for me and the friendship you have shown me. I hope that many of you will be lifelong friends and that we will work together again in the future.

I am genuinely saddened to be leaving, but the time is right. Maybe one day I will be back.

Thanks again,



On Monday I start work at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. If it is only half as great as Yahoo! I will be in a good place.

13 thoughts on “Yahoo!”

  1. It is a shame to see you go but I am also happy that you found a spot where you can kick arse again. I will miss your strong and silent approach and coming up with an amazing amount of good advice when people needed to know “how to add accessibility” to products ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. it was a great joy working with you and you will be greatly missed as a brilliant developer, member of the accessibility task force and, last but not least, as an overall nice chap and friend ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. We all miss you already Ian, even for those who left sooner than you did. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You’ve been a great person to be around, always taking care of people around you and taking initiatives in making things better.

    Bloombergy is lucky to have you ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You’re one of the most talented developers I’ve ever worked with. I hugely enjoyed the time on the Metro team with you, and I’d love to work with you again.

    And yes, what Dirk said. You’re an “OK guy” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Ian,

    I wish you best of luck with your new endeavor. It was great working next to you when I was still in London and your motivation and excitement for all things web development, and accessibility in particular, always inspired me.

    I couldn’t agree more with what you say about Yahoo!, it opens doors to a lot of opportunities. Sometimes, when we get caught up in daily annoyances, we lose sight of the big picture and forget how awesome the job we have actually is.


  6. It was always a pleasure working with you mate, although we were never directly on the same team.

    I wish you all the best for the future in your new venture, and know that we’ll stay in touch.

    I hope that BNEF value you as much as you deserve.

  7. Ian,
    It’s truly been a pleasure working alongside you for the last couple of years on Metro. Your talent, passion and reliability have been greatly admired on our side of the pond, and we’re all sad to see you go. Hopefully our paths will cross again (I’m sure they will somehow!) Pay us a visit sometime if you find yourself in California!

  8. I concur – it was a great joy working with you. You made a difference at Y!, even if you did only ever work on one page ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck and BNEF, and with all the other stuff you’ve got going on.

  9. Well, there you go. Off to do your thing. Carry a big knife and carve your name on something bigger.

    Talent has a way of attracting the best opportunities and you no doubt will get plenty of them and if you don’t, then it’s because you no longer have a beard. People are hesitant to hire prepubescents.

    I leave you with a big thank you for my bag of accessibility and CSS goodies. Though my bag has a hole, I’m happy to know that you’ll still be writing and trying to get people to grok this stuff. I will try to grok until I throw up.

    Webspeed Ian! Webspeed!

  10. Ian,

    It’s been a privilege and a pleasure working alongside you in the Yahoo Europe Web Dev Team, both as a colleague and a friend. I’ve enjoyed our years together; I hope we get a chance to collaborate or work together again in the future.

    You’ve done an awesome job on the Yahoo homepage, constantly and consistently pushing for accessibility, until finally the principal engineers saw the light. Yahoo are reaping the rewards in accessibility work because of your sterling efforts, never-say-die approach, and practical approaches to solving difficult accessibility issues on one of the most trafficked pages on the planet.

    You deserve an the substantial slice of the credit for the accessibility of the Yahoo homepage. Your dedication to it has been astounding, and you’ve set a great example to follow. You’ve raised the bar in accessibility circles, and in professional web development circles.

    Good luck with the next step in your career, may you receive the credit that you thoroughly deserve.


  11. It’s brilliant, as ever, to be reminded of things that you sometimes forget. Maybe it’s just rose tinted glasses, but I remember getting the job at Yahoo! and never really believing that I could possibly get a job working for such a huge and prestigious organisation. It’s strange to think of how complacent I’ve become since I left.

    I’m so very luck to be able to have learned from so many people there, particularly yourself.

    Make sure to send me a signed copy of your book and I’ll see you very soon. I suspect you will not be force fed beer as much in your new organisation. I would wish you good luck but you’ll not need it I suspect :^)

  12. Hey Ian,
    It’s hard to add much to the comments of others and I am not in favor of repeating what they already said so eloquently.
    I’ll just say: “thanks for your inspiration to the Yahoo! global accessibility initiatives (yes, we remember you in Sunnyvale, in Bangalore and elsewhere)”. Your passion for accessibility needs no affirmation — this blog is a good indication of it.
    Please continue contributing and we hope to continue drawing from your knowledge base. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks again and good luck with the future.

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