Scott Lewis – Experience & Qualifications

My name is Scott Lewis, and I live and work in Richmond, Virginia. I help small and medium-sized businesses achieve their marketing and sales goals by applying my 20 years of experience as a full-stack, senior web developer to building applications and web sites that support their overall business strategy, engage with customers, and deliver products to market.

I specialize in web-based applications, content management, and e-commerce, including implementations of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and PHP and Python frameworks such as Laravel and Django. Unlike many developers who specialize in only front-end or only back-end, I am equally proficient in end-to-end website and web applications development. I am available for hire for $125/hr. but like most things, my rate is negotiable depending on the length of the engagement, turnaround time, and other factors.

Download My Resumé

If You Want to Know How Something Works, take it apart.

I have always enjoyed taking things apart to figure out how they work. My parents found this particularly frustrating when, as young as 7 years old, I would disassemble every electronic or mechanical device we owned – remote control cars, radios, the lawnmower. What I have learned from a lifetime of taking things apart, however, is that they are usually easier to fix than one realizes, if you learn to take your time, take good mental or physical notes, and remember how to put them back together, of course. I have also learned to recognize patterns common among different machines and devices.

From Design to Development

I spent the first decade of my career as an art director. But as much as I like doing creative work, it wasn’t challenging enough. I wanted to make things that move, improve efficiency, and interact with people. So in 2001, I taught myself computer programming. Since no company would hire a self-taught developer with no prior work experience, I spent 3 years hustling up work on my own and built a content management system, and joined an open source team building a JavaScript-based HTML editor. I also spent a lot of time taking apart WordPress and Mambo CMS (the predecessor to Joomla). I also (accidentally) found myself a mentor.

Work Experience & Former Clients

Like anyone who has been in the work force for more than 20 years, I’ve done a lot of jobs, worked a lot of places, and learned a lot of things. Unfortunately, the largest chunk of my career was spent doing a lot of government and corporate contracting. I don’t have a lot of examples to show due to non-disclosure agreements and, in some cases, the sites I built being replaced as soon as the company or agency in question hired a new director (this is painfully common in government and corporations). I am happy, however, to have a conversation with anyone who would like to verify that I know what I’m talking about or to take any test or programming challenge to demonstrate my skills.

Telecommunications

I worked for Cavalier Telephone, a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) based in Richmond, Virginia. Despite the word “telephone” in the name, the primary product was DSL internet service. The main problem I worked on at the company was an online a service to predict whether a physical address was eligible for last quarter-mile telecommunications service.

The application was built using a client-server architecture. Given at least 3 addresses known to have Cavalier’s service, the application would triangulate the coordinates of any address and predict with a very high probability whether the customer’s address would also qualify.

Since Cavalier is a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) and must rely on Verizon to check whether or not an address has existing copper running the “last quarter mile” from the closest exchange to the address, the process was often very slow (several minutes) using Verizon’s SOAP web service.

Our approach gave results that were about 85-90% accurate and took fractions of a second. The result was the “drop off rate” of customers lost due to impatience declined by several orders of magnitude and online conversions increased threefold, thus significantly increasing sales.

Enterprise Content Management

Because of my experience building and implementing content management systems, I very boldly telephoned a consulting firm named Ironworks Consulting based in my city of Richmond, Virginia, and asked for an interview. After several unsuccessful tries, I was hired by the company and spent seven years building very large websites for the United States Navy, UPS, Lowe’s, American Cancer Society, and Genworth Financial, to name a few.

Tech Startups

One of my career goals from the time I switched to programming was to work for a tech startup. I wanted the experience of building something from the ground up and to do work that had a direct and immediate impact on the success and growth of the business. How this came about, in 2015, was a bit unexpected.

In my free time, I enjoy doing vector illustrations and creating icons. You know, the tiny black and white symbols on your phone, your coffee maker, or your car’s dash to indicate where to turn on the headlights, adjust the temperature, or change your settings. I even sell these to make a little extra money.

My love if icons got the attention of a startup in Copenhagen, Denmark named Iconfinder. After spending a couple of years getting to know the founder and CEO, I was offered a job to grow the supply side and seller base of million-dollar-a-year e-commerce site. The biggest part of my job was building web apps on the Django (python) application framework backed by a Postgres database, running on Amazon Web Services.

Conclusion

I have worked with a lot of different programming languages, content management systems, application frameworks, and scalable, high-performance systems. What I have learned is that no matter what my specific skill or role, my job is always to help clients use technology to achieve their business strategy. Clients are experts at their business. My expertise is in building websites. I apply my expertise to help you reap the rewards of yours.

I was described by George, my former mentor, as having “pit bull tenacity and will not give up until I find a solution”. This is pretty apt as I do not like not knowing or not finding the answer.

If you need help with anything from building a site from scratch, trouble-shooting problems with your website, hosting migration, site upgrades, I can help. You can reach me via the contact form on this site, or you can reach me via Twitter/@iconifyit, or at scott at atomiclotus dot net. My direct contact information is also included in my resumé.

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