I’m a developer, from the front-end all the way to the back. I have a well-rounded education of many different languages, though I have an advanced proficiency of front-end techniques. Some of my favorite aspects of development are optimizing code, fixing details, and finding bugs. I’m an independent person, but I enjoy the learning opportunities afforded by working on a team. Did I mention I have a fine arts degree? I’d love the chance to explain why I think all developers can benefit from an arts curriculum.
I chose to study graphic design in the Fine Arts department of Appalachian State. I already had a grasp on web and software development and continued to teach myself during this time, but studying design in an art department allowed me to learn other aspects of development that are equally as important as the tools and languages themselves. The curriculum path I chose focused on web development while also teaching color theory, typography, and layout design in a group setting. I think all developers should have an eye for design, and I believe having this well-rounded education makes me a unique candidate for a position at any company. Outside of web design, we also had the opportunity to learn Actionscript game development. It was here that I learned the importance of architecture, specifically the model-view-controller pattern. Boone, North Carolina
As the only designer/developer/analyst on staff, my job is to maintain our entire web presence. We started with an ASP.NET-backed website, but one of my first projects was to oversee the redesign of ExploreAsheville.com with a new company that worked primarily in Coldfusion, and I’ve since updated and maintained it as the web evolves, as well as creating the matching mobile site and Blogger theme. The site will receive over 4 million visits this year. I’ve been in charge of creating all print- and web-related assets for our various marketing campaigns, all of the digital analytics, and two long-form, media-rich, interactive stories that continue to win awards. Finally, we’re in the process of a second redesign utilizing Node.js and MongoDB. One feature of our new site utilizes web-scraping technology written in Python that we’ll be using to partner with area online events calendars to create a single, unified events calendar for the entire county.
Asheville, North Carolina
During my time at Houser Shoes, I was part of a 3-person team that redesigned their e-commerce website. We created a custom CMS based on Magento, which utilized primarily PHP and MySQL. I also have a photography education, which made me the de-facto product photographer.
Fletcher, North Carolina
Immediately after graduation, I began freelancing. It was mostly branding and identity at first, but I eventually had enough clients needing new websites that I was putting in more hours than most full-time web developers. I still enjoy creating websites for friends from time-to-time. Asheville, North Carolina
Though this isn’t programming- or web-related, I still think my experience working in a print shop can be seen in my work as a developer. On the web, mistakes can be fixed and I think, unfortunately, that mentality is common among developers and leads to sloppy code. Printing, however, requires an extremely detail-oriented approach as there is no room for error. As an example, Appalachian State University was one of our clients, so projects like the designing and printing of 20,000-30,000 graduation programs required efficiency and communication among all members of our team to ensure we weren’t making mistakes that would cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Boone, North Carolina
During my time, I worked with an intern to establish an online presence for The Appalachian newspaper, while still maintaining my role as the lead graphic designer.
Boone, North Carolina