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Greetings from Upstate New York! I’m Alex, a software developer and a lifelong learner with an insatiable curiosity for all things tech. This website is my attempt to represent myself digitally.

Here, you can find a brief overview of my journey as a developer. You can view a more detailed description of my work experience on the Experience page or on LinkedIn.

How I Became A Developer

Like many Millennials, my journey into software developing began with writing html for websites like MySpace and GeoCities. While my MySpace page was mostly a combination of various pre-written designs that I copy-and-pasted into my html, I hand-typed all of the code that went into my GeoCities website. I remember being so excited by all of the possibilities for personalization, and being completely blown away when I saw custom music players embedded in the middle of homages to The OC.

When the iPhone was announced in 2007, I quickly became obsessed. As the last person in my family to get a cell phone, a tech nerd from an early age, and a bit of an Apple fanboy, I was determined that my first phone would be an iPhone. When the iPhone SDK was announced a year later, I was immediately inspired to become a developer. I quickly threw myself into the resources that were available at the time, and quickly became overwhelmed. While I was able to easily understand the basics of programming, the road between calculating the sum of variables and creating an entire mobile application seemed long, and difficult. Without any strong guidance through the intimidation, I decided that development wasn’t for me, and I walked away.

However, a new path seemed to emerge to me when I discovered freeCodeCamp. Within a few hours, I was writing html again, and within a few days, I was using JavaScript to solve algorithm challenges and add interactivity to pages. Through freeCodeCamp, I would learn about a variety of technologies, such as jQuery, React, Angular, and Ruby. It was also through freeCodeCamp that I found a large community of developers who continue to motivate and guide me as I build my skills and experience.

One topic that freeCodeCamp introduced fairly quickly was accessibility, which would eventually become one of my greatest passions in development. When I started working at Cornell University, the accessibility remediation effort quickly became one of my primary responsibilities. This was an amazing opportunity for me to not only continue to learn more about accessibility issues and how to solve them, but also to learn how to advocate for accessibility, and how to overcome objections from stakeholders.

While working at Cornell, I also had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of technologies, including Angular and Drupal. I gave a talk at Cornell DrupalCamp 2019, obtained a Nielsen Norman Group UX Certificate, and had numerous opportunities to share my growing body of knowledge with fellow developers, as well as other colleagues.

After working at Cornell, I worked at the American Foundation for the Blind, where I divided my time between accessibility consulting work, CMS maintenance, and new website/application development. I was able to work directly with the Director of Client Services and Technical Development to build a website for the Talent Lab Program, and also work directly with the UI/UX Designer to implement a new design to meet program requirements.

Outside of professional work, I have built multiple personal projects, both as an individual and as a member of a team. This includes a project for the Dequeue Axe Con Hackathon, as well as The Confused Cyborg.