Though my web building started in 1995 during early releases of Netscape, my oldest running site, created in 2003, is iowamold.com. Running for ten years now, it shows its age, but it represents the earliest evidence of 18+ year progression as a web developer. What can’t be see from the front end is a fully custom project-progress tracking system used by this manufacturer’s clients. As timelines are critical in the plastic injection industry, these reports have been a great selling feature for them. Last December I converted its content pages to WordPress to take advantage of some content management features, but leaving most of the site in it’s 2003 state. Other past experience include work on hooplanow.com, thegazette.com, kcrg.com and corridorcareers.com. Some other more recent WordPress sites include eiairport.org and bradleyriley.com.
My e-commerce experience began in 2008 here at The Gazette, building a site to sell the flood book, EPIC SURGE. We sold over one million dollars worth of books. The platform was osCommerce. The site was customized to handle both web and on-site orders for the benefit of fulfilling orders from the same system.
Following that success, KCRG produced a few more books. In search of a more robust platform, we used Yahoo Small Business e-commerce site. Though several more books were sold, that platform too was disappointing because of its lack of flexibility.
My discovery of Magento came by doing some international online shopping. I ran across a site that I really liked and viewed the browser’s source code to discover its platform. With little to go on but some file paths, I was able to stumble across Magento. Shortly after discovering it in late 2009, Magento 1.7 was released in January 2010. Liking this virtual store in a box, I development a business plan with a friend (that part was a mistake), formed an LLC and started my own Magento storemuddybootcreek.com. Though it’s now just a developer’s play ground for coding and theme testing.
Other Magento experience comes from converting KCRG’s Yahoo Small Business book store into the SourceMedia, The Gazette, KCRG shared site at shop.sourcemedia.net. This site became a Magento multi-store when it was shared with a school initiative, The Blueberry Partnership,shop.theblueberrypartnership.com. The two stores shares the same tax, shipping, and merchant account configurations. It uses the Exactor sales tax API for all jurisdiction calculations.
Another startup venture using Magento was a company sponsored, team-building effort where my team created the dropshipping site, winebarstore.com. It was an opportunity to discover a viable product using Google Ad Word tools, using social media marketing while having our own choice in an e-commerce platform. Of course being picked to be a team captain, Magento was a none debated choice.
Earlier this year I attended the 2013 MagentoImage conference in Las Vagas and it inspired me to become a student at Magento U working towards certification. This will add to my existing Microsoft certification, A+ (computer hardware and OS), Network+ and MCSA (Microsoft Certified Server Administration). Having Microsoft credentials may seem irrelevant for the work I do now in a Linux and open sourced web development environment, but it represents several thousands of dollars of personal expense and 8 months of very hard work and much gained knowledge of computers, servers, networking and the internet.