Teaching Philosophy

In the age of code schools and online content, I've formed a few strong-held values about teaching technical skills.

Coding is about solving problems, understanding concepts, and having the faith that you can always figure it out. In my experience, learning syntax, frameworks, and memorizing acronyms through tutorials and coding classes will only get you so far.

I like to say I teach what you don’t learn in tutorials. Things like workflow, keyboard shortcuts, debugging, best practices, and project planning. You’ll learn about where files actually go, why they go there, and how the Internet really works (you think you know…). Stuff like that. And of course, code.

Most importantly, I’ll teach you how to continue learning. At the end of the day, you have to have those “Ah hah!” moments on your own, and my role is to set those up for you.

Experience

A few highlights.

I have been working as a freelance web designer/developer since 2012. During the spring of 2013, I taught my first web development course and soon realized I had a passion for teaching. Since then I’ve been shifting my practice from client design/development work to instruction and consulting.

Teaching

In addition to my independent work with clients, I regularly teach classes and workshops with organizations:

Pratt Institute of Design (current)

Courses: UI Prototyping in Code, Coding I – III. Instruct and develop curricula for Pratt’s continuing education courses, including the new Mobile UI/UX certificate and Coding program. Course material is catered to designers.

Decoded (current)

Facilitate Code_in a Day, a full-day intensive seminar where non-technical corporate professionals create a webapp in a day. Clients include GE, Liberty Mutual, Capco, and McKinsey & Company.

General Assembly (past)

Front-end Web Development lead instructor. Teach front-end fundamentals to a course of 25 adults, including HTML, CSS, responsive/mobile first design, best practices, jQuery/JavaScript, and computational thinking.

Speaking

As well as teaching, I am always on the lookout for speaking opportunities, whether it be at a meet-up, school event, or conference. A few highlights:

If you think my experience would be a good fit at your event or meetup I’d love to discuss. Get in touch!

Writing and Interviews
Education

My background is in Fine Arts. I spent my first two years of college studying Printmaking at the University of Colorado at Boulder and finished up at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (SMFA). During my final year of college, I became a bit jaded about the art world and learned to make WordPress websites. The rest is history!

If you’re into resumes, you can download mine here, or take a look at my profile on LinkedIn.

FAQ

A few things you may be wondering...

  • What's your hourly rate?

    Unless it’s for a specific type of project, I don’t have one. I try to frame my services in terms of value, experience, and effort rather than time. That being said, teaching engagements generally start at $500 and custom design and development projects at around $9,000. That being said, I value customizing my services per client, and am happy to talk about a unique solution that fits your budget. Get in touch and we can set up a call.

  • I'm not in NYC, can you still help me?

    Sure! Skype or Google Hangout is great.

  • My website is broken. Can you fix it?

    No, but I can help you fix it. See my “Fish With You” page for a description of how I can help with fixing and debugging websites.

  • Will you sign my NDA?

    I charge $1,500 to sign NDAs prior to an official agreement to work together.

  • What's your favorite cocktail?

    Ah, the ultimate question! It’s a daiquiri, hands down. And note that a daiquiri is not a frozen strawberry drink with a tucan on top, rather:

    • 3/4 oz. (fresh) lime juice
    • 1 oz. simple syrup
    • 2 oz. white rum

    I prefer mine slightly less sweet though and use just 3/4 instead of 1 oz. of simple syrup, but the real magic happens by substituting the 2 oz. of white rum with half an ounce of Smith and Cross (read: pirate juice) and 1 1/2 of white rum (Plantation 3 Stars preferred). Seriously, magic.

    Read more musings on my cocktail blog, drinksonme.nyc.

  • Did you really grow up on a llama farm?

    You betcha. Though I was way more into horseback riding during my childhood. I think my first experience with HTML and CSS was on a site called Horseland when I was around 10 years old. And looks like it still exists!

  • Where should I get brunch this weekend?

    Another tough question, but a particular favorite is Mother’s Ruin at Spring and Elizabeth in Nolita. It’s great for non-brunch as well. Or Cafe Orlin at 2nd and St. Marks. Brunch is kind of a sport in Manhattan, so be prepared for a 30-ish minute wait. But it’s worth it!

  • What podcasts do you listen to?

    Ohh, I love podcasts. You walk a lot in NYC, might as well be learning things. Here’s the run down:

  • Are these really frequently asked questions?

    Well, it started that way but now I’m just having fun.