I was born (and raised) in the metro Atlanta area, the oldest of three boys, in a typical household. My father’s main career and hobbies have always focused on automotive, where my mom’s career and hobbies have been either creative such as being a librarian, reading, writing, painting, and being an administrative assistant where she can put her communication and creative skills to work.
I’ve always had an interest in creative fields such as art and/or writing. I even view web development as an art form since we take a blank canvas and turn it into something unique and interesting to the user/viewer. Because of this I have a passion for working with smart and creative people. If a designer can hand me a design that makes me think and struggle to achieve the desired result I feel more fulfilled. This is also why I try to push designers “to the next” level during design meetings.
In addition to being creative I love solving problems (most of the games on my phone are puzzle games for crying out loud). Given the opportunity I‘d rather write my own plugins and code that use another developer’s work. After struggling with a problem and finally breaking through I’ve been known to either stand up and dance or do a victory lap around the office with a cup of tea.
I started web development in high school around 2001 after fooling around with computer programming languages like QBasic, C++, Pascal, and others. I graduated with a dream of becoming a computer programmer and making applications that people could use in everyday life.
While finishing my degree I worked as a Geek Squad Agent doing in store repairs and working with customers who weren’t as tech savvy. In my spare time I did freelance work for local businesses as well as helped other developers fine tune projects and fix code. One of my first non-freelance jobs was working for the Betty Segal Institute for Ethics doing a complete redesign and development.
After leaving Geek Squad I worked for Digital Blue as a Quality Assurance tester on children consumer electronics and software. After a year and a half I was promoted into a QA Lead role with 2-3 testers to manage; all while keeping up with freelance work. Unfortunately the company was hit during the financial crisis and was forced to lay off most of the work force, including the QA team.
My freelance experience finally paid off with a webmaster position at Chattahoochee Technical College. This was a highly demanding position that required me to “wear many hats” including that of a web designer, front end developer, back end developer, project manager, and account manager. The site hadn’t been updated in about 5 years and used archaic solutions. Since the I.T. team refused to assist with infrastructure upgrades and maintenance I was forced to design and build a robust custom CMS on top of creating a new web site for the school and maintaining the current site.
After 3 years I decided to move on to an agency atmosphere that would allow me to work with people that would grow my skill set as well as give me the opportunity to work on unique projects. This is what lead me to What’s Up Interactive. It was also at this time I decided to be less of a jack of all trades and focus on front end development. Still having a passion for back end development and design I’m the lead WordPress developer and work hand in hand with the design team throughout the process. I started at What’s Up as a Sr. Front End Developer and was handed one of the company’s biggest clients within my first week. The quality of that project has lead to repeat business as well as the parent company utilizing What’s Up for their other brands resulting in millions of dollars in revenue.
After a year and a half I took on the role of Director of Technology Services with What’s Up Interactive. This position allowed me to oversee the entire front end team, set standards for development and technology within the company, scope cost and time of projects, work directly with clients, and still maintain my presence within the development team.