Name, rank, and occupation soldier!
My name is Taylor Smith and I’m an Interface Developer. I take all the pretty pictures the designers draw all day and turn them into functioning, interactive websites.
What was the first development project you worked on?
The first websites I can remember working on weren’t exactly what I would call “development projects.” They were more like personal sites put together with the limited knowledge of HTML and CSS I had back in the late 90s. At the time I was more into photography and messing around with Photoshop, which sort of naturally led me to web design. From there, it seemed that becoming better at HTML and CSS was the next step I needed to take in order to get my designs online, so that’s what I did.
At six, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a front-end XHTML/CSS/JavScript specialist with an emphasis on user interface design and usability, obviously. I also had a short lived interest in becoming a Ghostbuster.
In this field, who do you look up to?
The people I look up to most in this field are the people who blur the lines between development, design, and interaction. There are a lot of talented people specializing in just one of those fields, but the people who can take a step back and understand the overall experience of a website are the ones I find are creating the most compelling content. People like Dan Cederholm, Jason Santa Maria, Dave Shea, Shaun Inman, and many others are not only actively engaged in furthering their skills as front-end developers, but they make it look damn sexy in the process.
What podcasts do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Taking the bus between Denver and Boulder provides me with about 3 hours a day of downtime, and my commute is only made tolerable by the likes of This Week in Tech, Macbreak Weekly, This American Life, You Look Nice Today, Car Talk, and Diggnation. The nice thing about these podcasts in particular is their length; they usually span the entire length of the commute. I have to say, however, that my favorite podcast is The Moth. These are much shorter, but I have yet to hear a story that hasn’t moved me in one way or another.
What nerdy things do you do outside of work?
I use internet lingo in everyday conversations, apply Twitter hashtags to situations outside of Twitter, and have been known to text in lolspeak. I also go lollersaking, ride in a roflcopter, and have an escape route planned for the impending zomgie apocalypse.
Tell us the funniest thing you saw online?
I spent way too much time “researching” this question and have decided it’s impossible to narrow it down to just one, so I’m going to list five that come to mind. Auto-Tune the News #2, Motherf***ing Parking Ticket (NSFW), Cat vs. Printer, Lazy Town Remix feat. Lil’ Jon (NSFW), and David After Dentist.
If you could take a Delorean back to your freshman year of college but only 10 seconds, what would you say to yourself?
“Go snowboarding. A lot.”
How would you change HTML?
My biggest gripe with HTML is definitely the amount of time it takes for upgrades to be implemented. It is unlike almost every other technology out there. HTML5 includes some amazing advancements, but is slowed down not only by the people creating it, but also by the implementation of all the major browsers, AND the adoption rate of customers. Ian Hickson, the editor of the HTML 5 specification, has estimated that HTML5 will be completed in 2022. That’s right. Thirteen years from now.
What is the best part about working at Imulus?
The best part about working at Imulus is almost certainly knowing that everyday I get to work with a group of immensely talented and passionate people. Not only that, but I get to make a living doing something I genuinely enjoy doing, and something that I can actually see myself improving at everyday.
What’s the problem with radio today?
The biggest problem with radio is that there’s no diversity; every station sounds the same. In their defense, it’s a tough industry to be in these days, but I think they brought a lot of that on themselves. Their attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator has resulted in there being a lot of stations with zero personality. When a new station emerges that tries to do something different, they are often short-lived. Indie 101.5, for example, had great programming, but has recently brought their broadcast online and been replaced by The Pole: Stripper Radio. Sounds like a winner.
If electronic devices stopped working, how would you cope?
I think I would cope pretty well. I could be wrong, but I feel most people who work very closely with technology have the occasional urge to leave it all behind and disconnect permanently. If I were ever in a scenario where I could no longer do the work I do I’d probably find some remote part of the country to move to and find a job working outside. Although I would certainly miss working on the web.
What’s the first thing you do when approaching a new project?
I do not have one specific thing I do when approaching a new project, but I’m beginning to realize there are many things I should be better at doing during the initial phase of a new project. Specifically I am trying to be better at foreseeing how the finished product will work from all points of view: from the view of Imulus, the client, and the audience. The specific tasks I take to achieve this is constantly evolving.
Name the best prank pulled at Imulus.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t working for Imulus at the time of what many refer to as the best prank, but there have been some good ones since I started. I was particularly fond of the prank I’ve always wanted to pull myself. I think it worked out pretty well.