Oh no,

Jefferson Lee!

The Jefferson Lee and his secret hobby.

I am a friendly front-end developer...

And this is my portfolio page.

Who is this guy?

Things never really go according to plan. I went to college to be a comic book artist, but as the prospect of starving for my art became less and less romantic I began to steer my courses toward graphic design. When I realized that print was dead I jumped on to the web design bandwagon.

Then web development called to me.

I made the switch because I figured I could at least make money and almost be an artist. At the time I was told the real money was in web design, so in 2004 I took an internship with the University of Northern Colorado. I spent my days reverse-engineering CSS files and debugging cross-browser issues, building table-based layouts, and avoiding the then feared Javascript. I found a new face to the web, digging around in its construct, and as I solved each new riddle, I found myself more and more delighted by its potential.

The next stage: falling in love.

Anyone who spends hours agonizing over quirks mode and listening to Internet Explorer scream "I Can Haz Layout?!" either burns out, or falls in love.

I've stuck around long enough to see IE6 drop off to 6% market share, so I think I'm in love.

The internet is a place of incredible human potential: in one place you can slump down to the very darkest recesses of our disgust, then leap to the heights of triumphs and ingenuity. It is the reflection of the entirety of our existence, parsed and streamed one bit at a time for us to fear, or to marvel.

And if that sounds just absolutely hokey to you, tell me what you think.

And onward I go!

And so here I am. Eight (eight) years of wandering the web and I am still discovering new delights. The technologies available to us today are incredible: the re-insurgence of Javascript, the explosion of modern browsers, the evolution of the web, and oh boy, CSS3! Then there's Canvas, Node.js, WebGL, and the wide open horizon of mobile computing. The web is admist a renaissance, and there are millions of passionate developers pushing the boundaries of what's possible, far past the restrictions of what is profitable.

So we poor developers find ourselves back in the company of artists. We find ourselves enamored by the wonders of creating something truly unique and beautiful all on its own. We go back to the romance of doing something daring and new, blissfully ignoring the grumblings of our stomachs when we forget to eat...

I wouldn't want it any other way.

Jefferson Lee really loves the web, and if you would like to help him explore, leave him a message. He really likes mail.

The Talents

Javascript is my favorite right now,

but I am a softie for PHP too.

Just the points:

My specialties:
  • Javascript (so cool)
  • CSS3 (bonus: CSS1 and 2!)
  • HTML5 (HTML4.01 too; table layouts even!)
  • Graceful Degradation (i.e. getting the first three to play nicely with IE7+8 and FF3.6)
  • Progressive Enhancement (making magic work where ever it can)
  • Node.js (full stack Javascript!)
  • PHP (straight procedural, object oriented, or MVC flavored)
Tools and Frameworks I Use and Love:
CMS' I Work With:
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • PostGRES
  • MySQL
The Things I Went to College For:
  • Web Design
  • User Interfaces
  • User Experience
  • Image Optimization (slicing and making sprites are rolled into this category)
My Adobe Products:
  • Fireworks (vectors, bitmaps, and amazing image optimization? Thank you Honey!)
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
Everything Else:

The Work

I spent four awesome years (2008-2012) at Tarot.com,

and these are the delicious things they got me to do:

Beta.Tarot.com (2011)

This is the evolution of our flagship site. I worked extensively with the Javascript components on the site as well as the major work on the HTML and CSS layout. This was built using modern HTML5 and CSS3 standards, while still exercising graceful fallbacks to older browsers.

I was mainly responsible for the site's container template (including the header and the footer), the site's hero spotlight area (which appears on the home page as well as the Horoscopes, Love, Insight, and Fun and Game pages), and the article and blog pages (as seen here).

Numerology.com (2010)

I helped refine the templates provided by the designer on this project and made them compatible for Internet Explorer (versions 7 and 8), handled all of the Javascript work, and performed the coding for the rest of the site layout. I also handled integrating the front end components with the back end Drupal 6 platform, as well as integrating the Drupal 6 platform with our proprietary platform that handles member accounts and sign ups. Working on the backend stacks is not my specialty, but it is definitely something I enjoy and find refreshingly challenging.

This is also one of the more playful sites I had the pleasure of developing. I especially loved working on all the site details: the subtle hovers, graphical details, and UI candy. Some of the interaction was handled through CSS, but the more sophisticated effects (the carousels and the main hero spotlight) were handled through Javascript and still hold up in Internet Explorer 7.

DailyHoroscope.com (2010)

This is one of our sister sites and I was responsible for most of the HTML and CSS of this site as well as the Javascript. This is one of my earlier projects with the company. It was built on a Drupal 6 platform, and I helped integrate many of the templates.

Twittascope.com (2012)

I had to upgrade this site from an older design to a more modern one, updating all the CSS, HTML, Javascript, and backend PHP. What is most unique about this site is that it is built with a responsive layout, so that the structure changes dependent on the size of the window. This was built with a "mobile-first" mentality -- create a mobile version of the site, and allow it to dynamically transform for iPad users then transform again for desktop users. In this way one site could service all three platforms. The responsive templates even work in Internet Explorer 7, with the help of Respond.js.

Ideal Client

This is the kind of person I like to work for,

just so you know from the start ;)

The web is an exciting frontier right now; not just for all the technological possibilities, but the humanistic ones. A vast continuum of human connection spread end to end on an infinite global canvas. It's beautiful and scary -- even scarier for someone who is bewildered by a few lines of HTML code.

My ideal client is someone who can look past the technology and see the web as a tool for communication. A client that recognizes that she wants to say something with the web because it is the best medium and not because it's what she sees her competitors are doing. Someone who can see beyond the fear of something big and new and get to to core of her message and vision.

And after all those boxes are checked off, it's the client that shares my values, and gives me enough respect to let me have a chance at earning her trust. The kind of trust that lets a stranger spin her dreams into HTML, because she is clear in her intentions.

When that full picture of a client appears, she will always bring an ideal project with her. If I have learned anything from the web, it's that everything can be exciting, from spoons to world peace, as long as the people behind that thing have a thirst and passion for their work.

Does that sound like you?