I was born and raised in Ripon, WI. After high school, I decided to go to college at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science but more importantly, discovered an interest in web development.
I spent a little time after college doing some freelance work. I was then fortunate to get my first big break when I was invited to join the team at SparkNET. In the beginning, we were a very small team. I was the second developer hired. We were responsible for all aspects of web development including graphic design, front-end development, back-end development, search engine optimization, and database management. I was part of helping EzineArticles.com grow into the large community of expert authors it is today. It was exciting working on a high-traffic site because you would instantly see the impact of new features and updates.
As EzineArticles.com grew bigger, so did our team and the code base. We knew our current code base was not sustainable so we built and converted everything into a custom PHP object-oriented MVC framework that is used to run all of SparkNET's web properties. We also realized the importance of version control so we started with SVN, but later switched to Git.
My main job responsibility at SparkNET is building websites using their custom framework. However, I also work with WordPress implementing and customizing purchased themes as well as creating completely custom themes. In addition, I also researched, installed, and configured several plugins for various sites such as advertising management, site optimization, and security plugins.
Throughout the past couple of years, SparkNET began developing mobile apps. This created an opportunity to learn Objective C to build iOS mobile apps like Racquetball Journal and Black Friday Companion as well as learn about product conceptualization and user-interface design.
Outside of my current job, I run a small independent web company doing freelance work. I currently maintain a VPS running small business and personal sites.
My future goals are to grow in user-interface design and learn more user-experience techniques that allow web pages to help people find what they want quicker and easier.
I stay current with new trends and techniques by following people in the industry through social media, attending conferences, and watching webinars.
What about having fun outside of work? I like to be with the family by going to baseball games, building forts in the living room, watching a movie, and playing at the park. It doesn't matter what we do as a family as long as we are together. I also like to drive John Deere tractors, play volleyball, woodwork and do some home construction projects.