What initially began as an emergency scurry to learn enough CSS to fix a webcomic template eventually spiraled out of control into a career as a developer/designer.
I was an illustrator, a kid who liked to draw stories about every day things (which, at the time, was mostly video games) and wanted to share them with friends. Blogger was a relatively new thing, and although not exactly designed for webcomics, fit my criteria of “free” and “simple enough to use myself.” However, shortly after starting the blog, the tinkerer within me began to get restless.
“Let’s change a color here” or “Move this stuff over there” were common thoughts as I began to adjust things around the site. Eventually, this led to the bright idea of changing the whole theme. Sure, I had an idea for my own “super cool” design that I was gonna hire someone to code some day in the future but Blogger had a fairly nice collection to choose from — surely all I needed to do was select one and adjust it. I literally posted this the day I decided to make the change:
Will be messing with the page layout today, so don’t mind me as I break stuff. ;) EDIT: Ok, so I did break it, but I am gonna fix it throughout the week, with my 2.0 design.
And so it began, 2007, back when Firefox was apparently in version 2; I had begun to dip my toes into the mysterious world of web development in order to fix my broken website. It was never my intention, even “design” was more of a backup plan as I wanted to become an animator, but life is interesting that way. During this time, I had also begun “freelancing” — drawing small banner images for a forum at $5-$10 a pop. Eventually, with these new found “web skills” I asked around my circle of internet buddies if they knew anyone who might need of such services (and perhaps earn me slightly more than my drawings).
This continued for years. In fact, I have continued freelancing ever since then — with a notable “real job” period at a startup web agency where I really learned to hone my front-end development abilities (while studying graphic design at a university). One day, in 2013…
Hi, I am the CTO at ThreatSim (http://threatsim.com). I am looking for a freelance designer who we can engage with for a series of simple small web landing pages. … To be clear, I am looking for someone who is both a designer and developer.
Well, what do you know, that’s exactly what I was at that point! A template here, an infographic there, ThreatSim became one of my steadiest (and favorite) clients to work with. I slowly grew closer to the company as a whole, with assignments of greater responsibility thrown my way and the need to talk to more members of the team to coordinate different things (waves at Kristina). Apparently, the feelings were mutual as the team, which has continued to grow, was in search of some developers and I was requested to join them. After being coaxed with silly things like “a steady job” and “health insurance” I caved in and joined the corporate machine to work for the man…and I couldn’t be happier, I am truly blessed.
I seem to have become the go-to guy for things front-end and/or design around these parts, as well as the never-requested-but-always-necessary sarcastic Slack comedian. With an exciting pipeline of ideas, plus some new developer blood, I hope to help my team make some Cool Stuff™ in the near (and distant) future.