Also pictured: proof that you can look like both a tourist and a local simultaneously with the right mix of naïveté and raincoat
I am a senior front-end web developer with fullstack and design proficiencies.
But really, it's more than that. My Computer Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo taught me the importance of a solid base and good practice, but it's my passion that sets me apart. I write code with the phrase "quality matters" always in the back of my mind, and I build sites that follow what I'm calling the three "R"s: Responsive, Readable, and REALLY easy to use.
During school, co-op allowed me to continually hone my skills in new and exciting environments -- from my introduction to app development and administrative tools at BSM Wireless; to my deep-dive into web accessibility at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre; to my adventures in the start-up world as I freelanced through the Velocity Garage, doing work for companies like Togethr and Charity Republic.
After graduating, I was hired by Local Line Inc. As the sole front-end developer at the company, I was charged with the impossible task of building an enterprise-level toolset for the food industry from practically nothing. When we started all we had was a dream and the dedication to make it a reality. Now, Local Line is establishing itself as a forerunner in the agtech space with a rapidly-growing catalogue of high-profile suppliers and purchasers who swear by what we built.
It was there that I discovered what it meant to be a modern developer. Every day was a new challenge, and as I built out new features and managed an increasingly complex codebase almost alone my talent for solving interesting technical problems in creative and sustainable ways was nurtured into a robust and mature programming style that is able to adapt to ever-changing industry standards. I often find myself pushing the limits of the technologies I'm working with as I strive for new heights in performance and user experience. I have a keen eye for finding problems with function or flow and the drive and dedication to resolve them without compromising the integrity of the system.
In 2017 the paradigm shifted again as I followed my wife to Ottawa, leaving Local Line behind and starting a new endeavour with Shopliftr. Here I joined a small team of experienced developers with a big vision, and over the course of my time with the company I have continued to push myself to exceed expectations and develop an ever-expanding arsenal of tools of the trade, and where once I was restricted to a subset of front-end technologies, I now find myself rounding out a cadre of full-stack and design proficiencies. It was here that I also learned the true value of long-term vision when planning out a project or application. When our senior developer left the team, we sat down and collectively analyzed the codebase he had left behind when he took with him the tribal knowledge of how our systems functioned, and what we found was a mess cobbled together from years of a "get this out the door and deal with the consequences later" mindset. The remaining developers, myself included, spent the following years resolving mountains of technical debt as we completely re-wrote our model and API layers to be consistent and follow industry best practice. We also developed repeatable workflows for pre-development discovery, debugging, testing, and pull requests; instilled a culture of thorough documentation and testing procedures; and wrote quality standards for UI/UX (designed, maintained, and enforced by yours truly) and code (angular, typescript, unit tests, HTML, css, theming). All this while still releasing new revenue-generating features that resulted in two record years with a team of only 3-4 developers.
When I'm not working, I'm probably showing off how big of a nerd I am. Whether it's playing video games, slaying monsters in Dungeons and Dragons, or expanding my mind with some creative writing, the world of imagination has always fascinated me. I love fantasy and science fiction, and the amazing escape they provide from the mundane of every day life. The works of Terry Goodkind, J. R. R. Tolkien, R. A. Salvatore, and Isaac Asimov shaped my childhood and made me want to always strive for something greater than myself. It was these lofty aspirations that caused me to get involved with Sigma Chi, a values-based fraternity boasting a long history of illustrious alumni and numerous growth opportunities in both leadership and personal development; and the Kitchener branch of Food Not Bombs, a volunteer organization dedicated to bringing the community together through good foods and a message of non-violence and low waste. While I have left KW behind, these groups helped to build me into the man I am today, and I will always respect that journey.