Me voy

Sadly, this will be my last day at dxw. I’m off to a new country with no real plan other than to try to live a new life. Actually that’s not quite true because I have always had this idea in the back of my mind to try and live out the “good life”, the dream of self sufficiency in food, water and power. Given recent events, I’ve decided to start a bit earlier than planned.

To start with I’ll be spending my days practising Spanish, drawing, coding, riding my bike, and reading all those books that remain unread. I’ll also be helping friends to build their house. I’m really looking forward to making something physical, with stone and mortar instead of ones and zeros.

I’m thinking about this in terms of any other project. The first six months will be the discovery phase, where I learn the language and get to know the environment and the people I’ll be living and working with. The alpha phase will be the search for a nice piece of land so I can build or restore my own house. And the beta will be building the house and getting plugged into the Sun for power and the Earth for water and food. Finally we’ll go live and open a little eco-holiday business so you can pay to help me run the place – or relax by the pool.

I have had a brilliant two and bit years at dxw. I have worked on some great projects. The highlights include redesigning and rebuilding the Department of Health intranet, leading design on the NHS England rebrand implementation and building a campaigns platform with GDS.

I have also learned a load of new things, like running user research sessions, prototyping using Adobe XD and Sinatra, I’ve levelled up my JavaScript, PHP, Ruby/Rails and importantly my emoji game. I’ve been quietly refactoring code and trying to apply consistent user interface design to our many projects and products. I also like to think I’ve shared some of my skills amongst my teammates too.

However, the top highlight over these last two years has to have been showing one of our developers (now delivery manager) how to open a bottle of milk (you push the top with a thumb, Michael).

So that’s it. ‘El fin’. I’ll see you on the internets (@alexsexton_) and maybe in a few years’ time you can come to Spain, rent a yurt from me and have one of those disconnected breaks that we all need from time to time. ¡Buena suerte y adios!