BBC Online

Senior Webmaster – BBC – August 2001 – March 2002

The department that I worked for here was responsible for making sure the BBC brand was maintained and ensuring quality throughout the BBC website. We also managed the passwords/access control to the various parts of the site and acted as a helpdesk/QA department for all BBC website releases.
My job here was to enhance and improve processes through automation and my first task was to build a contacts database/automated site checking tool for the other 6 webmasters and the business as a whole.
The tool itself was a Perl frontend with a Postgres backend sitting on Solaris. Business users/webmasters were issued passwords to the system to access the various parts of the system with differing access levels. It was estimated that the tool saved approximately 40 manhours per week within our department through eliminating paperwork and automating/standardising e-mails sent from the webmasters.
Through data mining(a feature within this tool) we were able to issue company wide surveys to enable us to gather a better understanding of the web publishing workflow.
I also assisted in deployment of BBCi toolbar by administering Solaris staging boxes and coding tools to help check/manage the toolbar rollout before and during the deadline. Consequently I received an award(6 rewards issued amongst 250 people) for outstanding performance after the successful rollout.
Later in this role I installed and deployed helpdesk software and migrated data from existing systems into the proprietary backend.

Technology used


  • Backend for site management tool
  • Backend for some of the helpdesk solutions tested


  • For frontend development of the site management tool
  • To code up various robots/webskimmers to help check rollout readiness of the BBCi toolbar
  • To migrate data from old systems to the new helpdesk system
  • To manage users on the various Solaris staging boxes


  • Acting as staging boxes – using mod_redirect and proxy passing to emulate live environment without the need to mirror the entire site