Experience

Years I've been a front-end developer: 14
Years I've been familiar with the term front-end developer: 4

Like most of us that have been in this business for a while, I've forgotten more than I know about tools, design techniques, tricks, hacks and even languages.

This is not necessarily a bad thing...

I'm looking at you, frames, CSS hacks, IE PNG fix, spacer GIFs, layout tables, etc.

Fictional pie chart that shows that I've forgotten more technologies than I currently know

Front-end developers should not be judged by their experience with a certain technology or stack. Things move too fast. In this industry, experience teaches how to quickly learn, adapt, and use whatever technology is needed for the job at hand...

To Figure It Out!

Fictional bar chart that shows the large number of technologies I expect to have to learn over the rest of my career.

What's the point? The point is, if you are going to be a front-end developer, you've got to be able to figure it out. Here's what I've figured out so far:

Technologies I use every day: HTML5, CSS3, Groovy, JavaScript, jQuery, wireframing, 508(c), Scrum, Agile, and FirebugTechnologies I use frequently: MySQL, PHP, Media Queries, jQuery Mobile, Objective-C, Fiddler, Selenium, and PhoneGap

Work

HTML, CSS & JavaScript

Bar graph showing that HTML5 has over 4 times as many google results as Gangnam Style

I have been coding HTML professionally for 15 years. For over 8 years I have been designing and coding web applications for State agencies, both in Kansas and Texas.

My skills have grown a lot over the years, and the technologies I use have changed many times. But my basic design philosophy remains the same:

  1. Make every site fully accessibile.
  2. Maintain excellent usability.
  3. Create a design that stays out of the way, yet makes the user experience pleasant and fulfilling.
User Experience should be an equal combination of usability, accessibility and design

My Philosophy on UX Design

Sites: 

  • Texas.gov - Coded HTML, CSS, & JavaScript (in SharePoint)
  • WorkInTexas.com - Retrofitted existing site with a Responsive view using CSS3
  • TAHC Lab Fees - Helped design and code HTML, CSS and JS for application template

jQuery Plugins

Plugins I've written: 10. Man hours saved: 50 or more. Number of times I've kicked myself for not learning to write jQuery plugins sooner: a lot.

Here is a jQuery plugin I wrote:

LimitText Plugin

Problem: You have a table with too many columns, some of which contain lots of text (i.e. comment fields).

Best solution: Have fewer columns, maybe with a detail view for the less important data.

Next best solution after Business says no: Use the LimitText plugin to limit the characters in certain fields.

Working with the SimpleModal plugin from Eric Martin, the LimitText plugin allows a designer to limit the characters that display in a block of text, with the entire block viewable in a modal window.

Before plugin:

Employees
First Name Last Name Comments
Malcolm Reynolds This may not look so bad on a desktop, but it's ugly in mobile. Imagine there are 3 or 4 more columns. Sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut.

After plugin:

Employees
First Name Last Name Comments
Malcolm Reynolds This may not look so bad on a desktop, but it's ugly in mobile. Imagine there are 3 or 4 more columns. Sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut.

I have also written plugins for: Searching and selecting data from a backend service, complex form validation, double-click prevention, and more.

Ect., Ect., Ect.

PHP & MySQL

I often use PHP and MySql to stub out back-end services to test my JavaScript code. In these cases, I usually generate a JSON payload with the PHP.

Application Flow Design

Govt. Entities For Which I Have Designed Apps:

Kansas Secretary of State, Texas Department of Public Safety, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Texas Board of Nursing, City of Houston, City of Mesquite, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Kansas Department of Revenue, and many others.

Certified Agile ScrumMaster

I completed training and passed the CSM test in January, 2013. I have worked on an Agile team since January, 2012.

Hobbies/Interests

Pet Rescue

Biking

Bar graph showing that I bike 60 miles per week and that it would take 245 days for me to finish all 2,100 miles of the Tour de France.

Average number of miles I bike per week: 60.

Number of miles in the Tour de France: 2100+.

Days it would take me to finish the Tour de France (if there were no mountains in france): 245+.

Gardening

Most tomatoes plants I grew in a season: 50.

Neighbors I gave free tomaotes too that year: All of them.