The technological world of Wave Digital

Wave Digital are leaders in mobile design and development. 

Over the last 13 years they have been developing applications for iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) for their clients, as well as responsive web design, mobile web, mCommerce, cloud infrastructure, integration projects and API development.

Co-founded by Mark Harbottle and Julian Carroll in the year 2000 Wave Digital  started as part of Australia’s  leading web development company, the Site Point group. The sister companies to Wave Digital are 99designs, Learnable, Flippa and Tweaky developing web sites.

After sending them a very nice letter from NMIT student Byron Addison and teacher Lauren Martyn requesting a visit, our Diploma of Interactive Digital Media group were lucky enough to be invited to a sit down with Guy Cooper, the Managing Director, and Matt Evans the Lead Developer (main picture).

It proved to be a very insightful morning.  We learned all about the work they do and the history, and possible future of their company.

Wave Digital make their applications and websites using a variety of different computer languages like HTML, Java, CSS, Ruby on the Rails, as well as server side languages PHP and MySQL.  We asked if they used Flash Actionscript 3.0, but both Guy & Matt said there are problems deploying it on some mobile devices, so they don’t use it.

VIcRoadsApp - User Centered Design

(Above) User Centered Design means the interface is completely customizable

Matt Evans gave us an excellent tour of the very successful and usable three time award winning Vic Roads traffic App.  Their methods involve thinking about the user from the first step, and the infrastructure behind that supports the users experience and delivers a very solid product.  So solid that when tested with a large traffic incident like accident that left a truck dangling from the side of the Bolte Bridge in May 2013, the App did not miss a beat or fail from a large amount of traffic, even though usage spiked to an all-time high.

VicRoadsApp - Traffic Alert

(Above) Clicking into Traffic Alert icon’s gives details of how traffic is affected.

Wave design for both platforms and insist that Android devices need not mirror the appearance and performance of iOS Apps.  Both have their own look and feel and users of each platform are used to this and expect an App that delivers for their chosen device.  Wave’s staff includes Front End and Back End Developers, Full Stack developers (those who develop for both platforms), Admin / Infrastructure, Online Marketers and Founders (a position that involves new startups).

Their offices are relaxed, with a business casual attire, perhaps responding to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that states that one must be comfortable before you can be creative! (My kind of work place if I was coding – Byron.)  When recruiting, Wave looks for technical ability and sometimes gives candidates tests.  They also want people who will fit into Wave Digital’s culture.  This means that to work with them, you need to fit well in an innovative environment, be passionate, and keep up-to-date in this technological world.

They are a happy and social bunch.  They do have a graduate program which they ran last year and will hopefully run again this year.  Things they may look for if you are lacking in direct experience in a digital environment are:

  • That you are contributing to open source projects
  • That you have perhaps written an App
  • That you are a contributor on Stack Overflow

They also offer through learnable.com, an insight into making professional digital work and how they do it.  Currently learnable.com is offering free accounts for students in Australia with an edu.au email address for a period of 3 years.  The courses offered include web development, app development, programming, ux design, Photoshop and some design content.

It is an amazing offer and Guy spoke about the motivation in offering this for free was because students in high schools are missing out on learning these exciting things in the classroom, a topic close to the heart of one of these authors (Lauren Martyn) and one she has been delving into lately.

Guy suggested that the best way to get involved with Wave and its talented Developers and Designers is by attending meet-ups in your local areas, searching the seek.com.au website and the LinkedIn website.  Most importantly though, he said, if you are passionate you will do your own projects in your spare time, and that passion with show through.

So, if you’re looking to build an app or a responsive web page, we highly recommend you check out the three time award winning developers Wave Digital.  They love technology, love making Apps, and have a great social club!  A big thank – you to Wave Digital for having us in to their offices.

Contact us @nmitdigs or facebook

By Lauren Martyn and Byron Addison 

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About the author

Lauren Martyn works professionally as an illustrator, designer, artist, academic and teacher. She writes for and manages the content of the Digital and Interactive Games Blog. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art), RMIT University, a Masters Degree in Creative Media (Multimedia), RMIT University, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Melbourne Polytechnic.

View all articles by Lauren Martyn

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