My History in Web Development
In the beginning of my web career (about 1998) I created websites solely for personal enjoyment. My websites were full of crazy animated gifs and neon colored scrolling marquees, and the base font was ALWAYS hot-pink Comic Sans (gross, I know). They were made with services that offered free web space and “point & click” development (anyone remember Expage or Geocities?). They were always personal websites about me and my family, or about nothing in particular really, but nevertheless it was incredible to me that I had created an actual “website” and I wanted to learn more.
I eventually learned real coding and moved onto creating more purposeful websites in hopes that people would visit and enjoy them. I created many websites, all offering either images, layouts, or website tutorials for young nerdy girls, like myself. They were so much fun to work on, and each website had it’s own fan base of visitors. Every positive “guestbook” entry was not only rewarding, but pushed me to keep learning more so I could give my fans the most quality website I could offer.
My most successful websites were DollBuddieIcons.net (created in 2002) and MSNDollies.com (created in 2004). They offered thousands of AIM buddy icons and MSN Messenger avatar images for free personal use. They received 20k and 60k unique visits daily, and I earned revenues through banner advertising. I never intended to make money with my websites, but I felt so lucky that my hobby transformed into the beginning of a career. I managed these websites for several years, but in January 2008 I shut down Doll Buddie icons and sold MSN Dollies (to a San Fransisco based web company called Chai Labs), both due to the phasing out of the buddy icon/avatar fads.
I took the next couple of years easy and worked sparingly from home as a design and HTML & CSS consultant for various companies. For a year I designed icons for the once most popular Facebook Application, “Free Gifts”, and the next year I worked from home for Chai Labs designing web pages and coding them into templates. These two years were unfortunately very unfulfilling for me – I missed the joy owning a website, and working in such solitude was very limiting (not to mention lonely).
In February 2010 I decided to make a change, and I finally landed my first full time web developer position in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Career-wise, it had been a dream come true. I worked with a team of extremely talented, brilliant developers who I learned from and was inspired by daily, and I had opportunities to work on challenging projects that push the limits of modern web technology. I grew as a developer in ways that I never could if I remained a freelancer. I worked at that agency for three years before moving on to new opportunities, learning and growing all the way.
Today I feel fulfilled, well-rounded, and confident in my skills, proudly developing each new project from start to finish, making sure I take something new with me to the next one. I hope to continue to fine-tune my skills for as long as I can, ultimately gaining experience and knowledge in all areas of web development.. and perhaps one day using those skills to once again start another website of my own!
I currently live in Portsmouth, NH, with my husband and our two kitties, Pogo and Ollie. When I’m not development websites, I can be found: indoor rock climbing, cycling, hiking, yoga-ing, skiing, watching “Game of Thrones” or “The Walking Dead”, reading (and obsessing over) “The Song of Ice and Fire”, eating cupcakes, drawing, Reddit-ing, or oogling photos of cute animals.