2015 – Present
Once my wife finished her Master’s program at the University of Michigan, we were anxious to leave the college town life of Ann Arbor and get back to a real city, so we decided on Chicago. I accepted a position there as a Senior Software Developer at Zoro, a sizeable eCommerce company that relies on heavily on software automation.
After about a year of establishing myself as a technical leader and mentor to other devs, I was promoted to the position of Solutions Architect where I was able to work with all elements within Zoro’s IT department and have a guiding hand in the company’s technical direction. And after about 18 months in that role, the new director-level position of Chief Architect was created for me and a formal architecture team was established, allowing me to have a hand in shaping not just the technical direction of the department, but with staffing, budgetary, and organizational concerns as well.
2014 – 2015
After a stint working remotely out of my Ann Arbor apartment for Aydus Consulting, I realized that working from home was not for me. So I parted on good terms with Aydus and began work for Barracuda Networks in their primary development office in downtown Ann Arbor. I worked on the Barracuda Backup Server product, specifically on the web/firmware team.
2013 – 2014
In the Fall of 2013 my wife and I moved to Ann Arbor so she could begin a graduate program at the University of Michigan. Unable to continue working at Washington University, I took a job working remotely for Aydus Consulting, a small company specializing in developing e-commerce websites.
My work was concentrated mostly on the front-end, writing extensive CSS and LESS documents to bring highly customized designs to out-of-the-box Magento installations. I also spearheaded the development of a “base” template to allow any fresh Magento installation to be quickly made into a responsive site. On top of my front-end work, I also did a considerable amount of server side work building widgets and extensions for Magento and general custom code in ASP.NET StoreFront.
2011 – 2013
After 8 months I was promoted from Programmer Analyst level 2 to level 3, and my responsibilities were officially broadened to take into account my increasing workload. I became the primary SharePoint developer for new and complex development, and was generally chosen to work on projects for the more high-profile departments in the university. I also unofficially oversaw the other developers on our team, helping them when they run into problems with their own projects.
2011 – 2013
While at CBS Radio I often picked up freelance work and side projects, and one of the projects I found toward the end of my time there was Brock & Bierk, a web development consultancy based in St. Louis, where I was hired on as their Lead Web Developer.
2010 – 2011
I got my break into the world of professional web development at CBS Radio in St. Louis. I was an Assistant Web Administrator responsible for maintaining the websites for the three stations in the St. Louis cluster: KMOX, Y98, and Fresh 102.5. All three sites run on the WordPress.com platform using a custom theme created by CBS Radio’s corporate office.
My responsibilities included routine maintenance on all three websites, and I was also the primary developer for any custom functionality we needed to create. Since the sites were run on a fairly locked-down platform, my custom development usually took the form of standalone PHP pages run off of a shared hosting account and iframed into the existing WordPress websites. The levels of workarounds I would have to go through to implement some of this custom functionality were often extreme, and went a long way in teaching me how to approach a problem from multiple angles.
Shortly after starting with CBS Radio in St. Louis, I partnered with two friends to create a website called “The Best of St. Louis,” the function of which was to present a new poll each week asking readers to choose “the best in St. Louis.” After a winner was chosen, we’d do a full write-up about the winner the following week. This gave companies involved in our polls incentive to drive their customers to our site to vote, which drove our traffic to fairly impressive numbers very quickly.
Unfortunately we were served a trademark infringement notice by Village Voice Media after about two months of operation, and having no resources to fight it we caved and took down the site. In its short lifespan the site generated a considerable amount of traffic, to the point were we actually received a check from Google Ads.
I was the developer and administrator for the site, while my partners were responsible for content creation and marketing. I built the site on a WordPress.org platform using a customized theme and several customized plug-ins.
Throughout my career I’ve picked up quite a few freelance projects to fill my spare time. These are usually small projects I find through friends or family, often to promote small companies or personal portfolios. I usually choose to build these sites using WordPress.org, using a customized theme based either on the default WordPress theme or a theme of the client’s choosing.