my digital work

You probably arrived here looking for my digital work so it’s best for me to tell you about that. Yes, I do design and development for web-based and mobile applications and have done since 1995; yes, 95, (that’s a long time).

I started out in design (you know, the graphic stuff) and somehow ended up designing code. It should be explained that designing an application starts at a virtually invisible level that most people assign to magic, which is both a blessing and a curse, let me expand on that.

Technology has always baffled the majority of people. The few who ‘get’ it and make the magic happen are misunderstood at best. Most are content to work away behind the scenes and simply bring the content to life. Some however, myself included like to work directly with the client and help educate them as to the detail and the exacting process of designing and developing software; that there is no magic, just intelligence and hard work. Basically, dispelling the myths generated and perpetuated by Apple and Microsoft that anyone can develop software.

I know (I’m such a wet blanket), however unless there are no illusions about the time and effort required to bring a project online then the likelihood of it succeeding is slim to none. Great systems require great effort and collaboration, not magic and the sad delusions touted in the media.

Oh, I can almost hear it now. “this guy has a bit of an ego problem” which may or may not be true (I won’t deny that), but after 16 years of delivering consistent results and working on projects large and small it occurs to me that I have the experience to offer an opinion and my clients are more than happy to pay me for that.

No, I’m not for everyone. My team and I have a particular way of working that we developed over the years. We don’t deviate from it because it works. Yes, we are opinionated and yes, we will challenge your assumptions. If this isn’t for you and you just want a room full of ‘programmers’ then we’re definitely not for you. If however you’re looking for a team of developers and you value experience and informed opinion then we should probably talk.

So, what have we done lately? Glad you asked, here’s the short list:

Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.
We’ve developed both the public web systems as well as the intranet and a custom file exchange client for Turner Fleischer. Our work replaced a flash-based, unmanaged system that the client had no editing or content management capabilities with. We developed a new, light, clean, fresh look and feel and backed it with a CMS from Kentico (www.kentico.com), our ‘go to’ CMS backbone for larger scale content solutions.  The results? A client that can manage every aspect of their online presence, whose systems are all delivered on a unified technology platform and are inline with their network technology practices and a clean, fast, smart system that outperforms the old one while providing a framework to build on. Pretty and smart.

http://www.turnerfleischer.com

The Brampton Jazz Festival
We developed the new Art of Jazz web site on the WordPress platform, our other ‘go to’ platform for developing solutions where the budget is paramount and the need for high level functionality can’t be compromised.  We developed custom field based content administration and presentation templates to allow the clients to create and manage discreet content in a streamlined way and then later aggregate that content at the end-user level for presentation; oh I know, ‘sounds like bafflegab’ but trust me, it’s not. Think of it this way; you create lots of small content items, we take them and work with them as a whole body of content, making them searchable, sortable and easy to get at, that’s about it really and isn’t that what you’re looking for? A simple, scalable solution that works across PC and mobile platforms?

http://www.artofjazz.org

BMI Construction
BMI Construction’s new site was also developed on a WordPress platform, why? The client had both hosting and budget concerns and when we weighed them against their internal resources for content management; content management is always a staffing and skills issue, we suggested that the solution be based on a custom field and template approach in WordPress. The results? The client is fully managing their web site, projects and image data with no help from us. Independence is paramount. A successful solution is one that the client can manage without us.

http://www.bmicon.com

Terrabrook Homes
We developed Terrabooks homes’ new site on the WordPress platform using custom fields and templates on top of a fully customized design. Again, client independence and flexibility, the ability to manage 100% of their content in a simple, efficient way.

http://www.terrabrookhomes.ca

Ontario Lottery and Gaming
We managed and re-developed three separate properties for OLG. The Entertainment system, the OLG Sponsorship system and the Know Your Limits site. The applications were developed by another developer some years before and had become brittle over time based on design decisions at the code level which left the applications open for content management but closed to change and changing requirements. Our tasks revolved around developing approaches to introduce more flexible code into the fundamental architecture of the systems and improving both stability and performance.

Past Work
In the past we’ve developed content and workflow systems including the car configuration system for Mercedes-Benz Canada and world markets. The fostercare and case management systems for Moss Beach Homes in California as well as for the City of New York. The document and records management systems for Rogers Communications’ Policy and Process departments and a host of sites for special events, not-for-profit organizations and community groups as well as a host of independent artists and individuals.