Get To Know Me

Interested in a bit of background, eh? Ok, strap in!

What I Do

I am a web software engineer with over 10 years of experience building websites and applications, for both agency clients and in-house teams. Frontend development is my main passion, where I strive to build projects using semantic and accessible HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

My current role is as a Senior Software Engineer at DoSomething.org, where I jump between working on the frontend to the backend and everything in between. At the moment I am working on an overhaul of the user interface for the organization's custom Admin system, utilizing React and Inertia to help provide the staff with a more intuitive interface and enable the engineering team to quickly build new admin functionality and interfaces with an established set of UI components.

Building sites and apps on the web really fascinates me, and I am always learning more about the variety of tools I currently use, how others are using them and what else is on the horizon. I particularly enjoy a good coding challenge, where I get to flex my creativity using code to build a solution that accurately executes the design vision and functionality, as well as ensuring accessibility on various devices.

While frontend is my core, I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and dig into backend code as well; I really enjoy it! One of my favorite server frameworks is Laravel, a powerful, yet elegant PHP framework with an amazing and friendly community. It has been taking the PHP world by storm for the last few years and has helped revitalize the language a bit! I have even contributed a couple packages for the framework.

As of late, I have been interested in digging deeper into frontend performance, service workers and in particular progressive web apps (PWAs).

There is so much the web can do, and it is constantly improving while getting more complex. It can be tough at times to keep at pace with it, but the web is always keeping things interesting and keeping me curious!

How I Got Here

My journey with code began over a decade ago; long enough to remember that Internet Explorer had it right early on and originally utilized the ideal border-box model we all love using today!

I got started initially with website design and made the transition into frontend development to implement and build the designs I was creating. Once I was pretty comfortable with the frontend, I got into backend development to better control the output for my frontend builds; preferring less a nested series of <div>'s and semantic HTML so that my styles and markup were cleaner and easier to understand for others on my team.

It was during my time at Bureau Blank, a creative agency, that I honed my frontend skills, while working on creating many responsive websites and apps for numerous different clients. I enjoyed the variety of creative code challenges each project presented, but I started to realize I preferred working on projects that I could iterate on, improve and make more performant. Client projects with defined end-of-contract deadlines did not afford such opportunities.

At my current role at DoSomething, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of projects, both external and internal, over a longer period of time. Some projects, like the main DoSomething website, we've improved and evolved on a number of occasions, even utilizing some of the latest modern tools. During my time here, I've worked on both frontend and backend, and found both to be interesting with their own unique challenges to tackle and worlds to learn.

Over the course of my experience, I have learned to value readable and easy to understand code. I find it is not only helpful for fellow team members when reviewing pull requests, or if they are jumping in to make an update, but it also helps with my own understanding when I come back to work on something after a long hiatus. It is something I value and I hope to continue to improve on during my career.

What Else Ya Got?

When I’m not coding I enjoy drawing and digital painting on my iPad using Procreate, and I have been working on trying to improve over time. If you are interested, you can see my work over at Weerd Art.

I am a pretty big comic book nerd, and filled with seemingly useless comic knowledge1. My origin story with code is also tied to comics because my first extensive code project was my master's thesis, where I created a prototype interactive comic book with branching narratives using ActionScript in Flash (RIP).

When time allows, I try to get outdoors for some exercise and really enjoy playing soccer. Currently, I am searching for an intramural soccer club in my community so I can work that rust out of my legs.

I also love spending time with my son, taking him on bike rides or running after him to try to keep him from getting into trouble now that he started walking. Among a number of things I plan to teach him, I am looking forward to eventually passing on a bunch of my fun, useless comic knowledge about Spider-Man, Batman, the X-Men and Wolverine! Snikt!

1Useless comic book knowledge for now... I'm still waiting for the day when the fate of humanity comes down to me providing the correct answer to what the difference is between green and red kryptonite!