If you have been following our This Is How I Mesh Series you may have noticed that there are quite a few of us at Pointwise that don’t actually mesh. I am definitely one of those people. Not that I wouldn’t like to someday, it’s just not where my career has led me. It has, however, led me to be the web designer and developer here at Pointwise.
I was born in the Rose Capital of the World, Tyler, Texas, and have spent most of my life after in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. In my pre-adult life I was involved in a variety of school activities that varied from playing the bassoon to being the shortest player on the basketball team at my junior high (I have the terrible pictures to prove it), and being in my high school marching band as a member of the colorguard. I found a way to take just about every artistic type class I could (except for art for some reason) including textile design, photography, video production, and music theory.
I entered community college with no idea what I was doing, what career choices I had, or how college even worked. This led to a variety of jobs before I decided web design was what I wanted to be doing with my life. Before Pointwise I was a secretary, warehouse grunt, legal secretary, office manager, screen printer, sign maker, marketing assistant, and marketing coordinator. While working and going to school I also started two small businesses focusing on handmade clothing and jewelry. There were many years you could find me at many local craft fairs every year. This is where I initially got my feet wet learning all things web. Finally, in August 2013, after 10 years of community college, I completed my Associate’s Degree. This was about the time I decided I wanted to exclusively do web work and thankfully I am one of those rare unicorn types that can do art as well as code.
Oddly enough, my real passion lies in Earth Science. Due to my track record, I have not completely ruled out eventually being a scientist.
- Location: Fort Worth, Texas
- Current position: Web Programmer
- Current computer: Windows 8.1, Intel® Core™ i7-4790 CPU @ 3.60GHZ, 8 GB RAM
- One word that best describes how you work: Efficiently
What software or tools do you use every day?
Adobe Dreamweaver and Vim are probably the two most common as that is where I edit most of my web code. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are practically always open too in case I need to edit an image or create a new button for something. I use Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word pretty often for some of the standard office stuff. When it comes time to upload files from our test web server to the site you fine people get to see, I typically use PuTTY or Cygwin. Google Chrome is my default web browser, but Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari tend to come in to play when I need to review the appearance of certain parts of our website. I also use Perforce for version control and it stays open almost constantly.
What does your workspace look like?
I share the IT office with Randy Spencer and Chris Jobe and with that comes a daily assortment of Dad Jokes. As you can see, I have far more desk space than I actually need so I’ve been working on filling it up with some of my favorite things; Legos and cats. If you look close enough you will also see some relics from my childhood in the form of Lisa Frank notebooks. There is also a growing collection of C3P0 figures and miscellaneous other tchotchkes that have been presents from my wonderful coworkers.
What are you currently working on?
I’m actually working on a pretty major project for the release V18, I’m just not allowed to talk about it yet. What I can say is the Pointwise website will soon be seeing many changes in an effort to make it more user friendly.
What would you say is your specialty at Pointwise?
I would say my specialty is keeping our website current and functioning properly. We have so many events going on most of the time that it requires frequent updates.
Any tips, tricks, or advice for our users?
One tip I have for our users would be to check out our extensive library of meshing resources. We have something for just about every type of learner and try to provide new content as often as possible. In addition to finding videos in the Let’s Talk Meshing section of our website, you can also visit our YouTube channel and find all of our Tutorial Tuesday videos which provide quick solutions for some of the most common Pointwise related questions.
For those of you that prefer written instructions, we also have a DIY page full of step-by-step instructions on how to do various tasks.
What project are you most proud of and why?
Well considering I have only been at Pointwise since February I’d have to say the project I’m most proud of is also the only large one that I’ve completed; re-designing The Connector Newsletter. This was the first project of many to come that will modernize the Pointwise website. This re-design made The Connector easier to read through and incorporates features that were not in the previous issues like related articles and more in-article navigation. The font size was increased to make it easier to read on different screen sizes and we replaced the multiple text links that used to come with every issue with buttons so you can find what you are looking for much quicker.
Have you recently read any books or articles we should know about?
Unfortunately, I just don’t have time to read as much as I would like to anymore. I’ve been working my way through Smashing Book 5 – Real Life Responsive Web Design. Web design and development is continually changing and this book includes many tips for staying current and planning your web projects.
Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?
I don’t have any more planned for this year but I did attend a few things of interest earlier in the year. First was a one day course presented by Edward Tufte titled Presenting Data and Information. As you can tell from the title, this course covers various ways of presenting data in many different situations. Not long after that, I attended the AIAA Aviation conference along with most of the Pointwise staff. Most recently, I attended SpiceWorld 2015 which contrary to its name, has absolutely nothing to do with the Spice Girls. Disappointing, I know. SpiceWorld is an information technology (IT) convention that is hosted by Spiceworks, a tool we use for IT tickets, network monitoring and the like. This was my first time attending and was able to attend some great marketing workshops, learn about the latest IT technology and software, and they even had a Star Wars theme for the entire event. I was also one of the lucky ones who won some prizes. I’m now the proud owner of an UltraSaber Lightsaber and a home security camera.
What do you do when you’re not surrounded by engineers making meshes?
I typically end up doing more work. I’m not very good at doing nothing (some call it relaxing) and I have a fairly steady flow of freelance work that comes my way that includes everything from creating a website for someone, creating art for various print items and signage, and even doing photography. When I’m not doing that I’m usually playing video games, going to new places around town, or running a blog about my cats and my 27 year old three-toed box turtle called Cats of Anarchy. You can also catch me a few times a year playing fiddle with my band, Crash on the Barrelhead.
What is some of the best advice you’ve received?
I’d like to put some sort of inspirational quote here from some esteemed individual, but I just don’t have anything. I’ve actually been given a lot of terrible advice in my lifetime and I find that if I listen to my own instincts I tend to end up making the right decision.
If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?
That’s a hard one because I really, really like food. Thankfully, Fort Worth offers a large variety of places including one of my favorites, Piranha Killer Sushi.