About Richard Heyes

A photo of Richard Heyes

About my experience in IT

Formerly an avid winter sports participant and extreme sports enthusiast I've been in the technology sector for over 20 years, and in the web development sector specifically for the majority of those.

Starting in a telephone support role for consumer desktops (both hardware and software support - Windows and associated software) for a well known high street brand I then moved to a firm doing in-person dedicated desktop support.

In this role there were elements of telephone support but mainly it involved visiting peoples desks and either installing new bits of software or resolving faults for people.

This gave me a good grounding in IT and was a great start to then move into the emerging field of computer programming for websites.

So from there I was able to start web based programming, using (mainly) PHP, and go onwards and upwards.

I worked for various firms in the south of England, including one of largest film rental firms (at that time) in the country and an investment tracking and reporting firm that was headed by a well known public figure.

Throughout this period I was able to work on various pieces of Open Source software which were distributed via my personal website and also via the PHP PEAR website.

The technical expertise that has resulted from working on these high traffic websites and Open Source projects lends itself well to producing high quality software with great performance and which is easily usable.

Unfortunately all of this came to an abrupt halt some years ago when I suffered 5 pretty bad strokes which left me with significantly reduced vision, mobility and coordination. I spent roughly six months in hospital learning to walk, talk and eat (!) again (and, much to the nurses chagrin, smoke...).

And then after leaving hospital the next four-five years were spent going to the gym and improving my health (and general awareness).

It was during this time, in 2008, that I started writing RGraph. Initially it was a canvas only, commercial charting library. But it improved over time and it grew (in terms of types of charts that it supported along with the features that it had).

Now it supports well over 50 charts and chart variations across both canvas and SVG and is 100% free as it is now licensed under the Open Source MIT license.

Going forward increased support for SVG charts is planned along with increased features for the SVG charts.

My experience with JavaScript

I started with JavaScript when I first started doing web development back in the late 1990's. JavaScript at that time wasn't really a serious development language like it is now. More of a novelty that really didn't work cross-browser without some serious work.

So for the first half of my career JavaScript really took a back seat in favour of server-side development - ie PHP and MySQL predominantly. Of course I wrote various things in JavaScript outside of work - such as a menu system that was targeted at Internet Explorer and took advantage of that browsers proprietary abilities, a calendar widget for forms, a dynamic tree menu system and an Autocomplete widget for form inputs.

However since around 2008, when RGraph was started, JavaScript, CSS and front-end development in general have really become 'a thing' and that's what I've focused on with RGraph. As such my JavaScript experience has grown significantly - though not so much with ECMA 6 due to it not being used in order to keep RGraph working across different and older browsers.

So now, 10 years later my JavaScript experience is greatly improved and comes far more natural to me. With RGraph being written in native JavaScript - this is a big boon!

Contact me and get support

Go back to the about page to find out how to get in touch with me and get support for RGraph.