What is your role at Cricket Design Works?
I play the dual roles of web developer and project manager. As a web developer, I participate in the early stages of site planning; that includes discovery and content strategy as well as the traditional development phase of the project. I pay attention to any branding discussions so that I understand the brand and messaging goals for each project.
We don't use account managers here at CDWx and we try to keep project management hours to a minimum to get the most out of our clients' budgets, but sometimes the cats do need herding. I have relatively few scars to show for it! (Wait. What is that on my arm?)
What is your favorite part of what you do?
I like to build stuff and I really enjoy working collaboratively with our designers to find the sweet spot for the client in terms of functionality and ease of use for their website. It's satisfying to build something that’s going to be easy for clients to maintain and a pleasure for their site users as well.
What unique background experience do you bring to Cricket Design Works?
I came to CDWx after a 28-year career as a geographer with the US Geological Survey, where I was involved with all sorts of publishing projects that presented interesting challenges. Much of the work I did involved making science information approachable and understandable to the public. That's a big challenge, but when it worked well, it was very satisfying.
What is the last book you read or movie you saw?
The last book I read was "Sam Phillips, the Man Who Invented Rock 'n Roll" by Peter Guralnick. Many people don't know who Sam Phillips was but he played a pivotal role in the very earliest days of rock music by seeking out artists that he thought had a unique voice and recording them in a way that made them feel comfortable and able to express what they wanted to.
Do you have sites bookmarked and if so, what are they?
My go-to websites include:
The Web Development Reading List at https://wdrl.info. This is a weekly roundup of news and information for web developers.
The New York Times Popcast at http://www.nytimes.com/column/popcast-pop-music-podcastis great for when you want to hear a bunch of smarty pants New Yorkers get way to analytical about popular music.
And I'm just starting to find myself at Medium (https://medium.com) pretty frequently. There’s just the right mix of interesting stories on this well-curated site.
What do you like to do when you're not plugged into the office?
In addition to trying to stay healthy and active I'm a music dabbler. I took up the upright bass when I turned 40, more or less as a dare to myself. Jamming with friends and playing band gigs at bars keeps things fun and interesting. I like music best when it's a social thing...and there's beer involved.
What’s the most memorable journey you’ve taken?
When I was 21 years old my parents gave me a one-way airline ticket to Europe. I choose not to read too much into the meaning of that gesture, but it was an event that changed my life and opened my eyes to many things. I traveled alone much of the time and learned to deal with difficult circumstances when I had no one else to rely on. That's also when I had my first good cup of coffee!