I’m a problem-solver. I enjoy puzzles, figuring things out, and improving things. I am also addicted to learning new things. In my professional life, I apply these traits to my career as a front-end web developer, occasional designer, and when-I-can UX meddler.
The Early Years
I have been in the web industry for a over 5 years now. I started out as an intern as a graphic designer, but when I got my first real job, our company needed someone to turn our designs in to real sites. I took it upon myself to learn how to build a web site quickly, teaching myself by reading blog posts, discussions on forums, and inspecting others people’s code. I built the sites that I and my co-workers designed. Sometimes I built them correctly, sometimes I built them using hacks I probably shouldn’t have, but each time I learned more and more. Each time I completed a project I took what I learned and put it towards the next project, building my skills project-by-project.
The Middle Years
When I went to my next job, I decided to dedicate myself to front-end development (though I still enjoyed doing design during my personal time and for freelance projects). This was around the time that the web standards revolution was kicking in to high gear, with a books by the likes of Jeffrey Zeldman and Andy Clarke changing the way most developers looked at the web. Again, I dived in to reading, exploring, and understanding these concepts and techniques—constantly trying to make each project better than the last.
The Current Years
When I moved on again, HTML5 and CSS3 were beginning see real-world adoption. And still I dived in to these subjects to understand how they could best be utilized to improve the quality of my work. I learned about Responsive Web Design and the Mobile First approach, all building on top of a Progressive Enhancement foundation. I also began to focus on user-centered design and user experience, working closely with Information Architects, UX Designers, Interaction Designers, and Visual Designers to create the best experience we could.
The Coming Years
More and more the web evolves, gaining the capabilities that designers and developers require to build products and experiences and enrich peoples’ lives. And so it will evolve, and our understanding of what the Internet is will evolve with it. And I can only hope that my skill, knowledge, and passion for this industry keeps pace.