I have been employed since the day I graduated college from Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Web Designer and Graphic Designer & Professional Illustrator for over 33 years and PHP Developer for 17 years and the list goes on. I was first introduced to PHP language in 2006 and I have been hooked ever since. In 2001 I started my open digital agency called DNI Creative Solutions, LLC my main focus then was flat html websites and flash music web sites. I helped a few local record companies get off the ground. In 2006 I built e-commerce store for a Canadian start-up called Me To We https://www.metowe.com/. I worked with design team and configured the shopping cart system for a foreign bank (no easy task) We had to put this site up in 1 month to meet a deadline for a event that Oprah Winfrey was hosting in Chicago. More client testimonies can be found here on my website.
My first experience with open source CMS was with Joomla and Drupal was the latest greatest technology to turn out mid scale web sites. Then in 2011 Drupal started to become very popular for creating intranet sites that had to have decent security and scalability. I was the first to build a internal sales center web application for Sterling Commerce (who was later purchased by IBM)
We had a short deadline and very little resources so Drupal being free allowed us to build the site quickly and allow user permissions to upload private documents to help the sales teams do their job. Most of my web technology experience was learned observing other experienced developers and learning on the job. http://www.Lynda.com continues to be my #1 source for the best training.
It took a tough sales pitch to convince IBM security and the IT team that WordPress was safe to use within our infrastructure. It took about 6 months of trial and error to build a solid web server with redundancies in place and a theme that was approved by web standards team. I was the lead architect and I had a college intern named Ryan Sebade who had never touched wordpress before. Not only did I have to coordinate the strategy and wire-framing but had to train a new guy. But it was well worth the effort. Now more members of the dev team were added and I was able to hand the theme maintenance to a new younger generation who can continue to work on enhancements and improve it.
I designed the wordpress theme and designed the branding and style guides to be shared across over 100 blogs. I also put together instructional videos and documentation of how to use the themes.
All the blogs were inspire by my business unit theme http://www.ibm.com/blogs/commerce. All of these blogs will continue to live on long after I have left the company which is a pretty good feeling. Our plan by end of 2017 is to move all the blogs and marketing pages from ibm.com into Drupal. I am happy to report that my persistence about open source was well received at the highest level now all CMS within ibm.com will be using Drupal.
One of the greatest compliments about my work ethic was from Rick Genett my first manager at IBM. I was always the most positive person on the team full of ideas and that I was the glue that held everything together. I have enjoyed 9 years helping IBM design and deploy successful websites and email campaigns.