Hello! My name is Tessa and I am a Web Developer. There are so many titles and terms for what I am capable of; Front End Developer, WordPress Developer, Full Stack (LAMP) Developer, Joomla Developer, DevOps, Web Designer, UX Developer, and so on. Essentially, I have some awesome skills in a lot of areas!
Around 2008, I decided I wanted to create a tournament website for Guitar Hero, the video game. At the time, there was no other site or system out there that allowed for online stats and tournaments between members playing online. I ended up installing quite a few open source CMS’ and landed on Joomla. I was clueless about PHP, MySQL and Joomla, but diving in head first worked before, so why not try it again, right? So I did. And it worked. I ended up creating a bracket-style tournament system mainly in PHP but integrated with the user registration and profile features of Joomla 1.0. It was amazing and exciting. Activision eventually ended up partnering with my website to advertise our tournaments in their online community forum and I got some really cool GH swag out of the deal too. But most of all, it was fun to build!
I started as a freelancer completing projects for various clients I would stumble upon and later working on some cool projects with some great agencies as a contractor. I then moved into more of a full-time, permanent role place in my life. I worked for a Member Management Software company integrating .Net software into client’s pre-existing websites, meaning I touched just about every CMS & coding language under the sun. Next, completing a 6 month contract at a corporate food company creating 6 new websites and establishing standards for future projects. I then moved on to building an entire team of people in an agency-like setting building websites and ecommerce stores for various clients. Afterwards, relocating to the Twin Cities to take on more advanced development roles including a Lead Developer for a creative agency in Minneapolis & a Senior Front End Developer at a Fortune 100 company.
I now have over 11 years of front-end development experience, 8 years of LAMP stack experience (including Joomla 1.0 to 3.6) and 7 years of WordPress & Drupal experience. Throughout this time I have had the pleasure of learning so many great things, way too many to name, but I will try to touch on most of them;
- Kept my code organized using version control – SVN & Git
- Mastered Linux Servers – cPanel, Server Setup & Management, WHM, WHMCS, SSH & more.
- Worked on 50+ Content Management Systems including Open Source & Commercial and all spectrums of coding languages.
- Learned the in’s and out’s of Social Media as it relates to web development specifically integration of feeds & data.
- Became a pretty fantastic designer – I love to code but there is also a special spot in my heart for web design & branding.
- Gained skills in marketing & company branding through exposure to many different industries and company sizes.
- Perfected the art of writing HTML emails – this is not a task that should be taken lightly.
- Lead a team of 10+ designers, developers & project managers as well as established policies and systems.
- Fell in love with Twitter Bootstrap, Less/Sass and other great tools that make my life easier and more organized and help me build fantastic responsive & mobile-friendly websites.
- Familiarized myself with SSL Certificates, Payment Gateways & Shopping Cart Systems like Magento, Shopify, Volusion, Virtuemart, WooCommerce & more.
- Created my own custom WordPress & Joomla theme using Bootstrap and some other great libraries I love that allows me to create a very custom & task-specific environment for those CMS’s.
Agency and Community Engineer
2017 - Present
Work with agency partners to help them standardize on Pantheon. Migrate websites to Pantheon, troubleshoot problems that arise and train agency developers.
Provide technical guidance, best practices and process improvements that can benefit partners to make them more successful. Act as a key liaison between agency partners and Pantheon's internal teams, with the aim of enhancing agency experience so that everyone gets the most out of Pantheon's services.Other Responsibilities:
- Attend WordPress and Drupal events around the country and speak on interesting, helpful topics. Be proud of and represent Pantheon well. Demo Pantheon at our booth.
- Be a part of the WordPress and Drupal communities. Help community initiatives with a special emphasis on performance, scalability and workflow issues.
- Help with Marketing initiatives. Including blogging, webinars and helping the rest of the team by brainstorming, proofreading and otherwise improving the quality of our marketing materials.
- Help better serve our agency partners by sharing pain points on Pantheon. Work to improve those things.
- Be aware of the direction of WordPress, Drupal and web design, and development so to plan for future trends, ideas and services that Pantheon ought to support.
2015 - Present
Responsible for writing, presenting & teaching various web development classes such as Intermediate HTML & CSS, Advanced HTML & CSS & Intro to Wordpress.
Application Developer II
Primarily front end development working with solutions in SiteCore, .Net and C#.
2014 - 2016
Create clean, accessible, pixel-perfect HTML and CSS from design files (PSDs) provided by the in-house design team
Code and test responsive, highly customized Open Source CMS-driven websites (primarily on the WordPress platform) independently, or as a team with a back-end developer, as the project requirements dictate
Work from and contribute to flexible boilerplate themes Modify and edit existing plugins/modules to customize display and functionality
Test websites for cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility
Work in a Mac environment using sublime text with Git, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Drive (Docs), Open Office, and Microsoft Office
Other related responsibilities as needed to help the company operate efficiently
Web Services Manager
2013 - 2014
Manage web wervices department as a whole. Manage website projects using Basecamp and internal tools by setting budgets, proposals and assigning project timelines and tasks. Completing web development in HTML, CSS, PHP using Joomla, Wordpress, InkSoft, Pressero and other CMS'. Work with the design team to create website design concepts that meet the customers needs. Manage web services employees and interns.
Integration Specialist / Web Developer
2012 - 2013
Responsible for integrating the ChamberMaster software with client's pre-existing websites. Clients websites were built a large variety of different Content Management Systems as well as a variety of different development coding languages.
I also helped integrate a new Project Management system and other various organizational processes to help the department run smoothly.
2005 - Present
Freelance & contract web development projects utilizing Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and a large variety of other types of code languages, libraries & CMS's.
Worked with a variety of different companies in the Twin Cities area on a per contract basis like space150 & Olive & Co. working on projects like The Lincoln Center & The Children's Hospital of Minnesota.
Restaurant Manager (Baxter Location)
2004 - 2006
Manage front-of-the-house staff and departments including wait staff, hostesses & bartenders. Responsible for hiring, employee management, scheduling and general operations.
- Command Line
- Photoshop + Adobe Suite
- Responsive Design
- Linux-based Hosting
- DNS Management
- Agile Methodology
- MailChimp Integration
- Visual Studio
- Lots & Lots More!
Web Development, AAS
2009 - 2011
3.8 GPA, Deans List
Business Management, AAS
2003 - 2005
Marketing & Sales emphasis, 3.7 GPA. Formerly known as Aaker's Business College.
2016 - Present
Volunteer with various tasks such as Tranports, Home Visits, Puppy Parties & more.
Chapter Leader, Director of Operations
2014 - 2017
Chapter Leader evolving and overseeing the Girl Develop It Minneapolis Chapter.
Home Visit & Transport Volunteer
2008 - 2010
Volunteer by completing home visits of potential adopters & assist with various transport needs of surrendered dogs.
Chapter Leader at GDI Minneapolis
I work with Tessa on the leadership team for Girl Develop It Minneapolis. Tessa's work with GDI is amazing. She is a popular and effective teacher, as measured by the evaluations for her classes. In addition to teaching, Tessa finds many opportunities to lead the organization. She built a beautiful website at http://gdiminneapolis.com which demonstrates her ability not only to create a beautiful website but also a highly interactive one. Tessa is a self-starter; when she sees a need she uses her talents to meet the need. For example, when we needed an application process for the Front-End Developer Series, Tessa created a webform with a database for collecting and tracking student applications. She is a natural leader and has been instrumental to the success of Girl Develop It.
Owner at XT Creative Group
Tessa is an extremely detail oriented, organized individual who isn't afraid to lead a project to success. She is one of the most talented web-development engineers I've had the pleasure of working with. Not only does she know everything about the web, but she knows customer service and how to uphold professionalism in the workplace. A fantastic problem solver, amazing project manager, savvy web girl and a bright personality to boot!
Web Services Lead at ChamberMaster
I would recommend Tessa for her speed and quality work. She tackles any project with a 'can-do' attitude. Tessa has a high energy level to get the job done. When creative feedback is needed, she is straight forward with her perspective and ideas. Tessa is a great part of a team environment and a pleasure to work with!