TL;DR -> I’m a software|web developer/programmer, app maker and UX designer.
Like a lot of folks, I started by building websites ages ago using Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I didn’t go to school for design or engineering and honestly didn’t think I’d be doing it for very long. I fell into project after project because people needed help with their websites and I was kind of good at it.
In early 2012 I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and got work in the tech industry. My first job in SF was at a backup and recovery company called eVault (acquired by Seagate and then Carbonite) as the website manager. I worked on the website a little bit but spent most of my time in meetings planning projects and negotiating with other team leads. I really missed being hands-on and making things (still do). Even though I really liked my teammates, I didn’t enjoy the work.
I had pretty decent design skills and ok programming skills, but was conflicted about choosing a discipline going forward. Ultimately, I chose programming because I wanted to learn more about how computers work, which led to an entry level programming job at WalmartLabs. That’s where things really started to come together for me.
While at Walmart, I had my core responsibilities, building HTML/CSS/JS modules for walmart.com, which were mostly fancy banner ads and carousels. In my spare time I carved out a niche building apps for the creative, site merchandising, and marketing departments. It was a lot of fun and a challenge. It was like running a little business inside Walmart. After a while I didn’t need to build modules for the website because I built an app that let merchants build their own modules without having to write code. I also built another cool app that helped speed up the image resizing process for product images. That app saved billions of dollars*.
After being there for a couple years, I decided to get a job at smaller company so I could focus entirely on app development and hone my skills by learning from more experienced developers. I landed a job as a “Software Craftsman”–a fitting title, with a company out of Toronto called Influitive. They had a satellite office in SF and because of my entrepreneurial-ish background I got to work on the Moonshots team, which was like a little startup inside the main company. The five of us conceptualized, designed, and built a new content creation and distribution plaform called Upshot Stories. You can check it out the landing page and read some stories but it’ll cost you some serious $$$ to actually see the app. Sadly, our team was ununceremoniously disbanded shortly after launching, but I was hired back on as a contractor to help with maintainence.
For the past few years I’ve been working semi-remotely as a freelance developer in Sonoma County, California, Petaluma, and San Francisco. I’ve been a maintainer, pinch hitter, architect, and project lead. I’ve designed a few things and built many things. I even fix people’s email every once in a while(if they buy me a coffee).