Hello From the Big Easy!

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Front End Developer

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Hello From the Big Easy!

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Hi, I’m Bill Brown, EchoDitto’s front-end developer and its first New Orleanian.

First things first, what is a front-end developer and what makes it different than your normal, ‘full-stack’ web developer? I’m specialized! I focus on the front end, or what is sometimes called the theme layer. I use tools like HTML, CSS (Sass these days), and Javascript (mostly jQuery) to turn static designs into fluid, interactive, and production ready interfaces.

My background is in web design, but I’ve moved into the development side of things over the past few years. When I first started designing websites, responsive design was just taking off, and the idea of designing inside the browser with CSS and HTML (instead of in a program like Photoshop or Illustrator) was starting to become popular. I jumped head first into that workflow and I quickly started to learn and take on the responsibilities of a front-end developer.

I still do design as well, but it’s in a slightly different capacity. My design work tends to be doing things that can’t be properly communicated or visualized with a static design made in Photoshop: interactive bits like small animations, roll-over and click states, or how elements might change as you scroll down a page.

I also spend a lot of time identifying and extending design patterns. Design mockups sometimes only cover two or three specific pages, and it’s my job to extend those designs into all of the other (and future) pages. This same concept is essential for responsive web design as well. The design mockups may only show a desktop and mobile version of the site when in reality there are an infinite number of devices and screen widths, all of which need to render the website properly. So if I can identify some design patterns up front, I can make sure to extend those to all pages, screen widths, and devices to make a website as future friendly as possible.

I’m also the first Crescent City Ditto! I work out of an old icehouse in hot and sweaty New Orleans, Louisiana. I love it here and I consider myself very lucky to be able to live in a city I love, while working remotely for an awesome company like EchoDitto.

I’m excited to be on the team, and I’m looking forward to a great year of website making. To start us off on the right foot, I created this EchoDitto robot skin for Minecraft—just upload to your Minecraft profile and enjoy.