Matt Spaanem, Senior Front End Developer.
With a background in design and a strong foundation in front-end development, Matt brings practical coding skills with a dash creativity to the development team.
As a front-end developer with experience in design, Matt puts a laser focus on user experience when he’s coding a website. He loves design but has no time for a pretty site that doesn’t work. Because of his strong commitment to function over form, he’s not going to jump on the hottest new trend in web dev unless it offers an actual benefit to the end user.
Matt comes to Station Four with a Bachelor’s in Communication Design from The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and extensive experience in designing and developing in a range of industries. Today, Matt rounds out S4’s West Coast office, living in the Portland area with his wife, young daughter, and their eleven-year-old Malamute. When he’s not in the office, he loves spending time outdoors (mostly hiking). He’s also an avid homebrewer who likes to make beer with wild yeast he captures himself.
Four Quick Questions
Do you have a personal web development philosophy?
Keep it simple. Sure, that new JS framework is really cool, but is it the best way to accomplish your goals? Test things on crappy equipment. Most computers are four to five years old before they’re replaced. People are using those computers to view sites I make. They should not have any trouble with my site due to their older technology.
How do you keep up with industry trends?
I surf the internet a lot, and if something interesting catches my eye, I’ll dig into the code and try to see how it’s done. I also follow a lot of CSS and JS nerds on Twitter who are always posting interesting techniques and ideas.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
I really enjoy brewing beer. Like web development, it’s a blend of art and science. You start with a concept or idea of what you want, build a recipe, and adjust the processes to achieve your goal. Then you sit back and see how it turns out in the end. Also, the end result is typically a delicious beverage (you might call it a good user experience).
What’s something that fascinates you these days?
Capturing and cultivating wild yeast for my beers. People have been making beer for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until a hundred years or so ago that you could buy yeast from a lab. So I’m delving into some of the historical aspects of brewing by catching wild cultures and seeing what effects they have on my brews.
Four Quick Facts About Matt
Grows fruit, hops & vegetables
Loves skiing in Park City, Utah
Not afraid to DIY
Legend of Zelda for days