I like toolmaking. If you ask me to make a website, I'll probably make a website generator. The fun starts when you ask me to make a website generator. Unlike a lot of other frontend developers, I didn't find my way here through visual design. I'm more of a verbal person, so I'm good at:
I'm working as a software architect at Volusion, which is both challenging and exciting.
Mozu is the next-generation eCommerce platform from Volusion, built on microservices and modern Web technologies. I was the first engineer on the Mozu project; I collaborated on a lot of initial, fundamental technology choices. I ended up the architect in charge of the theme engine and frontend developer experience. In this capacity I:
Mozu themes are infinitely customizable and I cannot take credit for the visual identities of any of these sites; my specialty was the framework code, that powers the dynamic shopping and ordering interactions. All of these sites, and more, run on my basic commerce frontend system.
I started at Volusion in 2011, when there were very few specialized frontend developers in the engineering department. I helped to:
At Convio I was a technical architect in charge of:
An old friend of mine, Randall Munroe of XKCD, asked me to make a fun "simple writer" for his new book, Thing Explainer. The simple writer helps you write using only the top ten hundred words in our language. You never know when someone might thank you for writing this way. Here is the computer writer I made for him, and here is something he wrote to tell his readers about it. It's very simple, of course, and also it's light green.
A Node testing helper that creates ephemeral local HTTP servers that deliver a single payload, or a sequence of preconfigured payloads, and then disappear. Built for testing the Mozu Node SDK, jort seemed to be useful enough to document, assign a charismatic name, and release. It seems to be finding some purchase amongst other SDK developers, and other types writing HTTP clients whose URLs come in from configuration.
An extremely useful Node assertions pack that helps remind you of some important things about making software that uses networks. Classic Zetlen.
A proof of concept for an exciting usage of the new Arc.js functionality on the Mozu platform that I helped to create. This script package can be installed on a Mozu tenant, and adds a "syndicator library" that allows you to embed live Mozu content (such as products or search results) into non-Mozu sites, using the Hypr template language right on the page. It uses an asynchronous, copy-and-paste code snippet similar to the widget systems used by Facebook and Twitter.
A Node utility for Windows users, who are plagued with a strong disagreement between the NPM package resolution strategy and the Windows userland utilities. It's basically a superpowered
npm dedupe; it aggressively flattens the package hierarchy in an attempt to give you more headroom on Windows.
A dynamic AMD shimming plugin for RequireJS, written before the builtin config-based shim was compatible with the r.js compiler. It allowed you to describe the shim--requirements, arguments, and exports--at runtime, and build the shim into compiled assets.
A widget I made for an overhaul of the Volusion administrative UI. Capable of selecting large amounts of nested data in a small space. Think of it as the tiny house of form controls.
My name is on at least one software patent submitted by Volusion. I'm ambivalent about the utility of software patents in general, but this one was a good idea.
A Node utility for generating anagrams of phrases, as the name should make obvious.
A little toy that displays the color values of words and names whose characters resemble six-character hex codes, like #BADA55 or #FACADE. Now with Wikipedia article titles as well as dictionary words.
A mixtape generator using Yeoman, Assemble, Grunt, and a complex SVG-powered animation that replicates the motion of tape wheels as closely as possible. I'm a musician and constant seeker of new music. This was a labor of love that didn't feel laborious. The directory is full of mixtapes I've made over the years.
An art project to create the most useless DOM manipulation library possible, with the most obtuse API imaginable, the most impossible installation conceivable, and bad instructions.
Ten years ago I accidentally went viral by posting a half-ironic picture on the Internet after the 2004 re-election of George Bush. It got a fair bit of news coverage, including some quotes from 20-year-old me that I still cringe upon hearing. To be clear, I have no problem with my youthful idealism: it was my youthful simulation of cynicism and savvy that I can't stand to think about now. Anyway, there are a lot of adorable pictures on this site still.
My first website, ca. 2003 and redesigned exactly zero times. DIPLOMATIC SHARK WANTS US TO SIGN THE TREATY.