Hi! I'm Justin. I currently live in Boulder, Colorado working as a Software Engineer at Kapost. When I'm not writing code, I could be rock climbing, enjoying a beer with friends, or immersed in a new VR game.
I started in software after working on a multiplayer Minecraft server in college. I love software, and particularly web development, since it is a world with few boundaries. It allows me to explore ideas and prototype all sorts of projects. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and software development helps me scratch that constant itch of wanting to try something new.
In my professional career, I have naturally gravitated towards the front end. I like to see what I am architecting come to life and have a strong interest in thinking through the UI/UX of what I am building. I have built multiple front end applications from the ground up, as well as helped port legacy front end applications to newer frameworks and patterns. I have worked across the stack however, as I desire to have a solid base in all areas of the code.
My long term goals include starting a company, or joining a venture that I can get behind. This would allow me to utilize both my software and entrepreneurial skills. I am happiest and feel most fulfilled when I am working on something that I understand and can impact with my own thoughts and opinions.
Sendtric - https://sendtric.comJune 2015 - present
Sendtric is a SaaS product for email marketers. It allows creation of dynamic email countdown timers for use in HTML email templates. Originally a small side project, I have grown Sendtric (with a colleague) into a sustainable and growing small business in the email marketing space. We have many big name clients and our volume regularly exceeds 100 million requests every month. My responsibilities have included building the web application, marketing, sales, business development, legal, and more.
ama.io (inactive)May 2013 - Jan 2014
The idea with this project was to design a better system for people to host "Ask Me Anything" sessions with their followers. These are essentially live Q&A sessions, popularized by Reddit. However, the UI/UX of Reddit is not well suited for AMAs, and thus ama.io was born. This screenshot is from a live AMA session conducted with a Google Engineer and author.
Post Mortem: We had a couple of successful AMA sessions on the site, but ultimately it was difficult to get in touch with people to try our site with their followers. We had significant value add over Reddit for AMAs, but this was not enough to make up for the loss of not having near the traction and audience size of Reddit. Without this, we had to reach out in a very cold fashion to people who we thought would be good fits for the platform to engage with their audience.
Dynoroute (inactive)Feb 2014 - May 2014
Dynoroute was a software solution for indoor rock climbing gyms. The system allows for tracking of all of the different climbing routes, which reduces overhead and management time, as well as add value to the climbing gym in general since it provides an interface for climbers of the gym to see new routes and even track routes they have climbed.
Post Mortem: We had a handful of very successful rock gyms use our site. The main difficulty was the education piece of our software. It was easy to get local rock gyms on board, as we could communicate directly with them about the tool and how much value it provided. Outside of that, it proved challenging to convince climbing gyms that the initial learning curve and effort needed to use the tracking software was worth the investment. We made the software as easy to use as possible in attempts to reduce this initial effort, including making the software completely mobile compatible so that climbing routes could be entered easily while on site in a gym, but I ultimately decided to end the project after the realization of the time investment needed to get gyms established. I'd love to try to revitalize this project in the future in some way, as I still see an opportunity.
Mystic Realms (inactive)Oct 2011 - Dec 2012
Mystic Realms was a Minecraft game server, with a number of custom Java plugins to enhance the experience. Our team of three created a giant mystical world with quests, spells, multiplayer events, and more. We implemented a donation system to help with server costs whereby players would donate for in-game benefits and items, which successfully helped keep the server going for over a year, with many months experiencing a surplus of funds. We had over 17,000 players play on our server from launch to shutdown. I published a few of the custom Java plugins I wrote for the server online and received 20,000+ downloads for them in total.
Post Mortem: Our server had a very successful run of over a year. It was a great learning experience, as it presented many challenges similar to running a small business. The biggest area we struggled was with marketing and although we had an absolutely amazing server concept, and our player retention rates were extremely solid, we had difficulty finding effective ways to market, especially since we were 100% bootstrapped and self funded through donations. Ultimately we were unable to keep up with the rapidly changing multiplayer server scene and started losing out to larger server networks that had much larger teams and funding.
May 2011 - Graduated high school with an International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2011, and accepted enrollment at the University of Florida, one of the top schools in the state. I started my progress towards a Computer Engineering degree, which involves both software and hardware classes.
Jan 2013 - Interned under the co-founder/CTO to learn about user engagement and business, followed by a part-time role as the Email Marketing Manager for Grooveshark. Through this role I led multiple large-scale email campaigns, developed new email templates, and enhanced the PHP transactional email system.
May 2014 - Spent the summer of 2014 in Boulder, Colorado where I took part in the Startup Summer program and worked as a Cloud Engineer intern at Revolv, a tech startup in the home automation space that was later acquired by Nest (Google). I continued on to do freelance front end work for the company remotely for a few months.
May 2015 - Graduated from the University of Florida. I received my Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering, with Cum Laude honors designation.
June 2015 - Joined Kapost, where I have rapidly advanced my technical skills in all areas, especially with front end development through the architecture of multiple new front end applications.
I do freelance work on occasion in addition to my full time job and side projects, including:
- - Local small business web sites
- - Wordpress, Shopify, etc.
- - Twitch.tv integrations and chat bots
If you would like to work with me, send me an email. Let's chat!