I'm a reasonably funny geek who loves using creativity in... well... creative ways. This short quote sums it up quite nicely I think.

I like to build things. Then break things. Then I fix them back up. Usually…

Over the years I've spent my spare time playing and coaching soccer, taking photographs, and dog training along with trying out every new technology that comes my way. These days, I spend lots of weekends in the yard with a not-so-helpful crew of assistants, Netflix'ing (is that a thing?), and coding in one of several half-finished personal projects in my github repos.

Dogs, GoPro's,
and Slow Motion

I have been known to strap a GoPro on my dogs. Usually 45lb Luka gets tasked with being a mobile camera mount.

Photography

I have been known to take a photo or two. Sports, product, nightlife, and of course... dogs.

What I'm Reading

Ready Player One

The book is set in the "not too distant future" where we've basically mauled the planet and real-life pretty much sucks. So most of humanity escapes into an online virtual reality where they can (mostly) be anything they want to be. The creator of this virtual environment (called the OASIS) left behind a puzzle and the one who solves the puzzle will win his fortune. Years have gone by and no one has yet solved the puzzle.

The story centers around a young student who finally figures out the first parts of the puzzle and kicks the race to find the fortune into overdrive. This is being made into a movie scheduled to be released in 2018. There is an incredible mix of 80's culture (video games, movies, music), futuristic grungy filth, and high tech futuristic environments.

Official Synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Next Book -> Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

Employment

If you're reading this far, you may be here trying to figure out if I'm a good fit for your company and whether or not to hire me. You may have already seen my resume, but if you haven't you can get it here.

Personal Skills

I like to solve problems and I like to build things. Those usually tie together pretty well.

  • Fast learner
  • Team player
  • Solves problems
  • Loves collaborating...
  • ...But also loves working independantly
  • Self-starter
  • Takes pride in worksmanship and a job well done

 

Coding Skills

I'm not a "ninja", "rockstar", "wizard", or "unicorn" (ok I made that last one up). I primarily work in either the WordPress or Laravel frameworks.

  • PHP
  • MySQL (or MariaDB)
  • HTML5
  • CSS3/SASS/LESS
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • Git
  • Package Managers (NPM, Bower, Composer)
  • Task Runners (Gulp, Grunt)

 

Experience
(that won't fit on the resume)

Over the past ~18months at Targeted Victory a majority of my time was spent doing "agency-like" work, taking PSD mockups from our super talented web designers and turning them into fast-loading, responsive websites. A minority of my time was spent working on plugins that connected to our own services (usually centered around data-collection) or those of 3rd party APIs. These websites were mostly high-profile and high-traffic. Performance and uptime were a crucial metric in conversions.

I created a starter-template in WordPress that became the standard for new builds. It was based on Underscores with an influence from the Roots Sage starter theme. It was modified with some special page templates, frequently used functions, and with a few small tweaks could be ready to roll with either Bootstrap or SemanticUI front-end frameworks. SASS/LESS is compiled, JS is concatenated, both are minified and versioned to avoid cache issues.

I worked on some automation tools because deploying and updating 150+ sites can be... challenging.

I also spent some time pitching in with DevOps. For example, I helped run load-tests to find possible points of failure in the application or hosting environment during insanely high traffic. I worked on configuring and deploying a Web Application Firewall (WAF) using AWS resources.

Portfolio

Demo: WordPress REST-API & ReactJS

Website: https://react-demo.harvsworld.com

WordPress Bootstrap Single-Page Application ReactJS WP Rest API Custom Post Types

Not only my first project in production using ReactJS, but also the first using the WordPress REST-API. The client was looking for a Single Page Application during a convention for Press to get assets related to the speakers such as images, transcripts, and bios. The content needed to be "fresh" where updates showed up quickly, but also heavily leverage caching to reduce server load and ensure high-performance.

Note: The site was live for only a short period of time, this is a slightly modified version of the site with dummy content for illustrative purposes only.

Advanced Systems Development
Freelance

Website: http://www.asd-inc.com

WordPress Bootstrap Custom Post Types

Advanced Systems Development, Inc (ASD) is a leader in IT Support solutions for Federal and Defense agencies. Their previous website had begun to show signs of age and didn't adequately present an impression of the high-tech company that they are. The goal was to create a website that presents ASD as a modern and forward-thinking company, be easy to navigate, and showcase their areas of expertise.

Data Analytics Media

Website: http://www.dataanalyticsmedia.com

WordPress Bootstrap

Data Analytics Media provides a data-driven media-buying platform that allows clients and partners to target audiences in a more efficiently.

Healthy Me PA

Website: https://www.healthymepa.com

WordPress Bootstrap Custom Post Types

Healthy Me PA is working with PA hospitals to improve the health of all Pennsylvanians. This website features Youtube videos that pop-out into lightboxes, landing pages, and a custom front page layout.

ScholarVets

Website: http://www.scholarvets.com

Custom Framework Bootstrap

ScholarVets aims to be a social network for Veterans on college campuses. Many veterans enter college several years older (and in some cases after having been deployed) than other students entering straight from high school. It can be difficult to relate to non-veteran students so the goal of this project is to help veterans connect to each other on campus for support in fitting in, performing better in school, and finding jobs after graduation.

The backend for this project is currently a custom PHP framework but is being converted into a Laravel project with a mix of ReactJS for live updates.

CCA Educate Me

Website: https://enroll.ccaeducate.me

WordPress SemanticUI Gravity Forms Multi-Page Forms

Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) is a top-performing K-12 public cyber charter school in Pennsylvania. This website is a portal for lead generation and funnels into an online application for enrollment. This site uses a multi-page form that saves user progress and allows the user to come back later and pick up where they left off. Google Analytics is leveraged to track user progress through the form. There is a heavy emphasis on usability and making it "easy" for the user to make it through the funnel.

AndroidFileHost
Freelance

Website: https://androidfilehost.com

Custom Framework Bootstrap plUpload

AndroidFileHost (AFH) is one of the premier file hosts for the Android development community. They host custom ROMs, themes, mods, and apps for just about every Android device in existence. Developers upload their files into AFH's infrastructure and users download from one of several available mirrors that they then install into their phones.

I worked on this project on version 2 and 3. Challenges in this project included enabling developers to upload multi-gigabyte files via their browser (even on mobile!). The plupload library was extended to include a unified queue that accepted files from the browser, an FTP site, and remote HTTP server. Heavy emphasis was placed on mobile usability and performance. Moving from version 2 to 3 featured an almost 50% reduction in requests and size.

Work Environment

I really dig casual workplaces. I like wearing shorts to the office in the summer, I like having a flexible (within reason) start/stop time where the priority is on getting the work done.

My preference is to work in a small company, or at least a small team within a larger company. I like to be able to bounce ideas, problems, solutions, and recipes off of co-workers. It's important to me to be able to have a voice and influence or decide the direction of an application or product.

The company should encourage and support learning new skills and a culture of knowledge sharing. Ideally, they would also support me breaking things all the time because they do too.

Extra points if I can occasionally bring a dog into the office. I love having them sleep under my desk and I think it generally helps to de-stress an office if there are furry creatures lounging around.

Lots of points for the ability to work remotely. I've worked at least 1-2 days a week remotely for most of the past decade and I know how to get work done at home despite without watching soap operas all day.