As a child, I was forever taking things apart. I loved building, and more often than not breaking things, in order to see how they worked. I was that child that frustrated every adult by always needing to know why. Some would say I haven’t changed!
Although I was inquisitive at home, I personally didn’t much care for school. The subjects failed to interest me and at every parent’s evening my teachers would say “Josh needs to apply himself more”. I wasn’t lazy, I just preferred to ‘apply myself’ to more interesting problems.
This was apparent in my many ‘home projects’. Since a young age I have been a classic developer, over engineering solutions to the smallest of problems. I aim to automate as much of my day to day life as possible. I am a strong believer in working smarter, not harder.
Turning a hobby into a career
As a teen I decided to turn my passion for tech into a way to help people and make some spending money too. I started out hosting the websites that I had built. From here I discovered WHMCS and ClientExec as a way to automate invoicing my clients. I soon found a few areas which I thought I could improve upon…
My dad always said “If you are presented with an opportunity but you don’t know how to do it, say yes first and then learn how to do it.” So I did, I learnt PHP in order to improve the UX of WHMCS. At first I did this just for my clients, but soon extended to a wider audience.
In 2012, I had an opportunity to work remotely for Panthur, a popular web host in Australia. I remain grateful for the people I met and things I learnt during this time. I couldn’t have wished for a more encouraging and inspiring first proper development role, so hats off to you, Panthur.
At Panthur I was responsible for tickets, live chats and telephone support, whilst also developing full time. Being able to reactively code to automate support tasks gave me an insight into the problems web hosts and businesses need to solve. I developed the mindset of coding to solve problems, rather than just building things.
A few years later I made the hard decision to part with Panthur in order to focus my time on development and the WHMCS addon modules market. I am naturally a very methodical person, so I enjoyed providing solutions to problems posted in the WHMCS forums.
I gradually drifted towards more freelance work, setting up my own brand and developing for multiple clients. As with most businesses, clients came and went, a few sticking around until present day. You know who you are, and I am thankful for your continued support. I became stronger as a developer thanks to all the new challenges, but couldn’t dedicate as much time to building my own brand/business. It was this realisation that made me decide to rebrand and register the operation officially, and so began Grizzlyware.
I have always known that I wanted a business greater than just myself. 2019 was the right time to expand, so Nicci came onboard to take over more of the admin and social side of the business. Nicci does some of the development and design too. We have welcomed exciting new projects and continued to work with some loyal customers. It hasn’t always been plain sailing to get to this point, but it has all been worth the hard work.
I am fortunate to do a job that I love and that excites and challenges me every day. There’s a multitude of ideas smouldering away at Grizzlyware right now, and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.