Jamie Balfour

Welcome to my personal website.

Find out more about me, my personal projects, reviews, courses and much more here.

Mr Jamie Bonnar Balfour

Mr Jamie Bonnar Balfour


I am a dedicated hardworking individual interested in computer science. I have had experience in many different fields, particularly related to the combination of technology and teaching. My other main interests in the field are the world wide web, design, UX and interaction design, networking and hardware, programming and the effects of technology.

Currently, I hold a BSc with a First Class Honours in Computer Science and I am studying an MSc in the same field. I run a digital agency, Jambour Digital ltd. which has allowed me to improve my skills in software development as well as my ability to manage others and some skills in server management.


  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Web design and development
  • Computer programming
  • Graphics and video editing
  • Socialising
  • Playing computer games
  • Photography

Key Skills

  • Technically minded
  • Problem solver
  • Fluent and confident speaker and writer
  • Enjoy computing related projects
  • Interest in my work
  • Leadership skills
  • Planning skills
  • Research skills
  • Public speaker

Technical Skills


Relevant Experience

Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Knox Academy
August 2022 onwards
Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Knox Academy

I finally got the school I had always wanted to work at in May 2022. Whilst working at Knox Academy, I developed many digital tools such as an interactive slideshow engine, an online polling platform that can be embedded as well as an online tracking and monitoring system and I have extended my DragonDocs Engine to allow me to create interactive worksheets.

Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Newbattle High School
August 2020 to June 2022
Fully Qualified Teacher (FQT) at Newbattle High School

After becoming a fully qualified teacher in July 2020, I took on a role as a Computing and Digital Literacy teacher at Newbattle High School in Midlothian. This gave me the chance to work in a school which has been named Scotland's First Centre for Digital Excellence.

During my time here I have developed several digital resources including a very useful slideshow engine which provides many features to make teaching both more engaging and useful, as well as interactive worksheets for pupils. I took a leadership role in digital education within the school.

October 2019 onwards

In 2019 after developing my own tutoring portal, I decided to continue tutoring again. Lessons were carried out both remotely and in person. My portal was vital during the COVID years but continued to provide an excellent resource in the years following and it was developed further for future students.

Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) at Musselburgh Grammar School
August 2019 to June 2020
Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) at Musselburgh Grammar School

I officially became a newly qualified teacher in August 2019 after successfully completing my PGDE. During this time I worked at Musselburgh Grammar School in East Lothian after completing my teacher training placement here.

I also successfully completed the 'Scotland's Mental Health First Aid' course (SMHFA).

Class representative at University of Strathclyde
September 2018 to April 2019
Class representative at University of Strathclyde

My election as class representative for the third time means that it is my job to do what I did at the previous university - act as a voice for students' in the university. As the class representative, I attended meetings and dealt with concerns raised. I also supported one pupil who was not getting enough support at first.

Executive and Technical Officer at Jambour Digital ltd
July 2018 onwards
Executive and Technical Officer at Jambour Digital ltd

Based on my knowledge of web development I was asked to do two large websites for two individuals. I realised at this point that I had a real talent that could lead to becoming freelance. I decided to start my own company, Jambour Digital and registered the company as a limited company in July 2018. Jambour Digital focuses on web development and also on graphics and consultancy.

In July 2023, I stepped down as Executive Director to hand over to Michael and focus more on the web handling part of the company.

Web Developer at DH Systems
August 2017 to October 2017
Web Developer at DH Systems

I developed websites for companies in the car salvage market. My first project saw me develop a system to generate an XML phonebook to work with Grandstream SIP phones using PHP and a database, thus allowing easy updating of the phonebook system. My second major project was to develop a new database-driven server monitoring application using PHP. I then proceeded to re-developing some websites for the car salvage companies that were hosted by DH Systems. I left this job due to health issues that occurred and took the opportunity whilst recovering to start my own company. As well as being a web developer I was focused on UX design.

Support Developer at Maglabs
February 2017 to August 2017
Support Developer at Maglabs

My job at Maglabs was fast paced and required me to think on my feet a lot of the time. My job primarily involved me generating reports on database data and fixing bugs as well as adding small features to a PHP based web application service. The job taught me a lot, and I managed to hone my skills in PHP, MySQL and shell scripting as a result of it. On top of that I learned a lot of React.js and Symfony whilst I worked there.

One-To-One tutor at Heriot-Watt University
October 2016 to December 2016
One-To-One tutor at Heriot-Watt University

As someone who has an interest in teaching and has been recognised as such, Heriot-Watt University got in touch with me and asked if I would support a student with one-to-one tuition. The course I helped out with involved using the D3 JavaScript library, which I had used a year before. As a web developer who actively uses this library, I accepted the offer and began working with the student in October 2016.

Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University
September 2016 to December 2016
Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University

As a second-time lab assistant I was well prepared for what I had to do here. Taking up two courses (F27PX: Praxis and F28WP: Web Programming) gave me diversity in what I was doing. One course, Praxis, a first-year course, gave me experience working with writing tips, IT help and generally helping students with professional development. The other course allowed me to exercise my knowledge of web programming since that is my forte. I spent two hours a week doing this.

PhD research student (PGR)
September 2016 to February 2017
PhD research student (PGR)

Interested in extending my academic achievements, I considered doing a PhD. I accepted an offer out of interest and was accepted as an 'outstanding candidate' due to all of my previous achievements such as my Watt-Club Prize and twice winner of the Andrew Stewart Prize.

My research here involved understanding concerns of carers of children with autism when it comes to their online safety and developing a solution to it.

I sadly left in February 2017 due to financial concerns around buying my own house which meant that doing this full-time was no longer possible.

Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University
January 2016 to March 2016
Lab Assistant at Heriot-Watt University

In this role, I assisted students in the first year of the same Computer Science (G400) degree I was working towards in the Web Design and Databases course. I also assessed students' work to some degree and gave them feedback on their work. I believe that my contributions to this course were valuable. I helped students and the lecturers with my fresh new knowledge and helped to make things clearer for them. This job involved me using my knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP as well as MySQL for the latter part of the course.

Classroom Assistant at Ross High School
October 2015 to April 2016

As part of one of my courses at Heriot-Watt University I was involved in visiting a school to work with secondary teachers in Computing. This course meant that I visit Ross High School, Tranent, every Wednesday to work in the classroom.

All of my own run classes ran within three Wednesdays back to back. The three lessons were on web development. As well as this I assisted students with programming in all year groups, helped with ICT classes (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation packages and graphics) and gained an excellent understanding of what it is like to work in a classroom.

Class representative at Heriot-Watt University
September 2014 to April 2016
Class representative at Heriot-Watt University

My election as class representative meant I had the responsibility of raising other students' concerns, worries and requirements at class representative meetings. I was elected as the third-year class representative from September 2014 until April 2015, and then again from September 2015 until April 2016 as the fourth-year computer science class representative.

As a representative of the department I was given extra leadership jobs to do. During my time as third-year class representative in 2014 and 2015, I had to represent the university in front of a panel from the BCS (British Computer Society) to help the university to receive recognition from them.

Freelance web developer
January 2013 to February 2017
Freelance web developer

When I did freelance web development it was my job to develop websites on request for others. The technologies used had to be modern and as a result, I used PHP7, HTML5 and CSS3. I stopped doing freelance web development in February 2017 to start a limited company doing what I did as a freelancer.

January 2011 to May 2012

In January 2011, I tutored a pupil who was studying the SQA 'Intermediate 2 Computing' course at school. I would meet him twice a week and prepared loads of materials that he could revise from. In the end, he received an A grade.

I took up the job of tutoring an individual again in September 2011, this time in SQA 'Higher Computing' which saw me meeting the pupil once a week to go through topics they were struggling with. I also prepared loads of helpful materials. In the end, the pupil passed the course with a C.

Kitchen assistant at Bissets Hotel, Gullane
July 2007 to July 2009

I worked as a kitchen assistant at Bissets Hotel in Gullane as my summer job for two hours a week whilst I was at school.

This job was an important step for me in becoming confident with individual clients as well as working within a team.

Work Experience (Bissets Hotel, Gullane)
September 2006 to October 2006

This job saw me working with another member of staff tidying and cleaning the bedrooms for a week and doing various other chores around the premises. It required me to get up at 6 am every morning to be at work by around 8 am to ensure that I would get there on time. It showed that I had determination and efficiency as well as the ability to work well as part of a team.

Voluntary Work

Volunteer at Code Club
September 2018 to May 2019

I noticed our local library was offering a Code Club for kids under the age of 16 and since I wanted to be a teacher and loved programming, I saw this as a golden opportunity. I volunteered on a Saturday morning from 10 am to about 11.30 am.

Classroom Assistant at Knox Academy
January 2016 to May 2016

STEM Net is a system in which schools and other institutes request help from ambassadors. As a STEM Ambassador, I saw a request at Knox Academy, Haddington, (not far from where I lived, and also where I wanted to work someday) and emailed to see how I could help. As it happens, I just missed the post. However, Mr Blair asked if I would still like to help and I accepted.

My role here was as a classroom assistant in the Computing department. I assisted in all levels from S1 to S6 ranging from basic ICT to Advanced Higher Computer Science. Both teachers said that having me there was really useful and that I was incredibly helpful.


Watt Club Prize

"The Watt Club Prize is awarded each year for exceptional distinction in the final honours year and as such recognises the highest achievement possible in undergraduate studies. No more than one prize can be awarded in each distinct discipline offered by a School." I won one of 8 out of all the students graduating from the university at the time.

Andrew Stewart Prize for Fourth Year Computer Science

"For the most deserving student in the fourth year of a degree course in the Department of Computer Science."

Andrew Stewart Prize for Second Year Computer Science

"For the most deserving student in the second year of a degree course in the Department of Computer Science."

Merit Award for First Year at Heriot-Watt University (average grade of 70%+)

"Issued to students who obtain more than 70% on average in the first and second years of the degree. I had an average grade of about 80%."

Merit Award for Computer Science at LEAPS Summer School

LEAPS or Lothian Equal Access Program for Schools is a system setup by Edinburgh universities (Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, Napier and Queen Margaret) to help those seeking to enter a university course and/or help them to get into the swing of it all.

I and one other received a Merit Award in the Computer Science course which I received for creating the best project (along with two classmates). Just two of these awards were given away in the class of 20+. I received it for my section of the programming as well as being the team leader. You can find out more in the completed projects section of my website.


October 2015 to May 2016

In October 2015 I began to work on my BSc Honours year project. As part of this, I developed an application to aid new web developers with web development called ClickIt. The main purpose of this was to help school children and new web developers learn HTML using a drag-and-drop system.

May 2015 onwards

In October 2014 I began working on a completely new project, writing my own BlackRabbit Script in Java. I had to stop due to work and university consuming my time. In May 2015, I rewrote the whole engine. This time within one week, I had written a very powerful engine that can be built upon by others too. After two months of work, it featured a mathematical parser, a logic parser and a compiler for Java code. Some of my friends and colleagues were very interested and have written programs in my language. There is much more about it on my website.

Web Independently Styled Project (WISP)
June 2014 onwards

As part of my own website development and moving away from using third party plugins, I decided to invent my own plugins that can easily be reused. I call this group of plugins my Web Independently Styled Project (WISP) and it consists of a slideshow, responsive navigation bar, PHP comment system, a content management system and much more.

DASH Content Manager
June 2014 onwards

This project is a personal project to build the best content management system out there! In July 2017, the project was renamed DASH and was rebuilt from the ground up. My CMS is designed from the ground up to integrate with any website and make it easy to use. DASH is used on my own website and it is constantly receiving updates to make it better and better.

My personal website
April 2010 onwards

My personal website is one of my biggest achievements. In April 2010 I had an idea that it would be good to share what I know with the world. Because of this, I decided to open a website dedicated to both professional work and my personal life. My website went through a major refurbishment in June 2013. My website is built with my skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP and MySQL.

Programming Projects
2005 onwards

I took the hobby of programming due to my interest in it. I have developed products such as an imaging/graphics application, a web browser and an easy-to-use programming language. Nowadays I develop several large personal projects, but I also help others by writing programs to automate things for them.


Strathclyde University - Professional Graduate Diploma of Education
August 2018 - May 2019

I was again voted as a class representative for my one year in the Professional Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE) course. This course is also known as teacher training. The course involves 4 modules which are all assessed at the Masters level (SCQF Level 11). I passed all modules at the Masters level. I did not pursue the Master's Degree, however.

Heriot-Watt University - Bachelor of Science (BSc) [Computer Science] : First Class Honours
September 2012 - May 2016

I was the class representative in the third year and fourth year of my studies for the Computer Science degree which saw me keeping the class up to date with the latest news and events related to the university, taking up issues with staff on behalf of fellow students.

I have worked on a number of projects at university, some of which I have documented on my website.

Below is a table of my results from my modules at university.

YearCourse name%GradeSCQF level
Year 4 Semester 2Final Year Project & Dissertation82%First Class Honours Degree10
Year 4 Semester 2eCommerce Technologies80%A10
Year 4 Semester 2Network Applications64%B10
Year 4 Semester 1Computing in the Classroom88%A10
Year 4 Semester 1Data Visualisation and Analytics70%A10
Year 4 Semester 1Industrial Programming83%A10
Year 3 Semester 2Foundations 269%B9
Year 3 Semester 2Language Processors79%A9
Year 3 Semester 2Operating Systems and Concurrency72%A9
Year 3 Semester 2Professional Development67%B9
Year 3 Semester 2Software Engineering67%B9
Year 3 Semester 1Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents60%B9
Year 3 Semester 1Computer Network Security64%B9
Year 3 Semester 1Foundations 163%B9
Year 2 Semester 2Database Management Systems58%C8
Year 2 Semester 2Formal Specification77%A8
Year 2 Semester 2Software Design60%B8
Year 2 Semester 2Discrete Mathematics37%E7
Year 2 Semester 1Data Structures and Algorithms69%B8
Year 2 Semester 1Interaction Design50%C8
Year 2 Semester 1Programming Languages55%C8
Year 2 Semester 1Web Programming81%A8
Year 1 Semester 2Introduction to Computer Systems66%B7
Year 1 Semester 2Software Development 279%A7
Year 1 Semester 2Software Development 375%A7
Year 1 Semester 2Web Design and Databases81%A7
Year 1 Semester 1Interactive Systems84%A7
Year 1 Semester 1Logic and Proof61%B7
Year 1 Semester 1Praxis80%A7
Year 1 Semester 1Software Development 192%A7
LEAPS Summer School - Computer Science and Physics : Merit & Pass
June 2009 to August 2009

This was an introductory course to university. LEAPS was also aimed to assist those who felt that they might not get the school grades to get into university since it would provide evidence that they have achieved success at university level. Whilst I did not need this support, it did give me a good introduction to what university was like.

I also achieved the Merit Award (given to one other) for Computer Science.

Course nameGrade
Computer ScienceMerit
Ross High School, Tranent
August 2003 to May 2009

I attended Ross High School, Tranent, for the full 6 years.

Whilst at high school, particularly in my sixth year, I was an in-class support pupil who would assist teachers with their classes. My duty was in a first-year Computing class which saw me running the class in two classes as well as generally giving help to the students around the class. This was entirely voluntary and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also was a paired-reading tutor, meaning that I was required to assist someone with lower reading capabilities than the normal levels for high school.

Below is a list of my most important school qualifications:

YearCourse nameGradeSCQF level
2009SQA Advanced Higher ComputingC7
2008SQA Higher Business ManagementB6
2008SQA Higher ComputingB6
2009SQA Higher PhysicsB6
2009SQA Higher HistoryC6
2008SQA Intermediate 2 MathematicsA5
2008SQA Intermediate 2 EnglishB5
2007SQA Standard Grade Computing15
2007SQA Standard Grade SVS15
2007SQA Standard Grade Business Management25
2007SQA Standard Grade Craft & Design25
2007SQA Standard Grade Physics25
2008SQA Intermediate 2 HistoryD5
2007SQA Intermediate 1 MathematicsB4
2007SQA Standard Grade English34
2007SQA Standard Grade German34
2007SQA Standard Grade History34

Other Work

Political party member & canvasser
February 2010 to June 2010

With this unpaid voluntary work, I was a member of a political party for a few months helping out with duties such as delivering flyers and leaflets. My role was crucial in delivering to certain areas that had been difficult to cover by the party before, due to a lack of members in the area.

Young Enterprise Scotland
September 2008 to May 2009

I was a key member of our Young Enterprise Scotland team in charge of the IT side of the products as well as being one of the front members of the sales team. Our team managed to sell the majority of our products that were for sale and were one of the more liked teams by the public.