About Ben

Thank you for checking out my website! 👋

I’ve been developing web and mobile applications for quite a while, and I’ll probably write about these things on my website when I have the time. You can often find me running, hiking mountains, skiing down a slope, paddling in a stream, or exploring a new area by bicycle.

My Journey into Web Development

In the mid-90’s, I got my start with web development by managing my high school’s web server and building various Seinfeld fansites that, of course, featured lots of awesome animated gifs. One of my websites, Cosmo Kramer’s World, was even featured in Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine.

I was fortunate to land an internship at Bank of America (formerly MBNA), which gave me a lot of experience doing IT network management and gave me my first taste of developing software. I eventually learned how to develop applications in Powerbuilder and C# and eventually learned the power of having applications on the web and not needing to be distributed on a floppy disk.

During college, I worked for the University’s Communications department, building web applications with ASP.NET.

After college, I had a couple of stints at “traditional” software companies but found the work not as interesting or exciting as I had hoped. Eventually, I found a job at Colby College as a Senior Web Developer and eventually became the Web Manager of the college web department. Working at a college was the creative opportunity I was looking for, and it had a wide range of technologies and responsibilities.

During that time, I had the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, developing web applications, and learning iPhone/Android app development. I even created an early iPhone app called iLobster, which I expected to make a million dollars from, but sadly was mistaken (though I did eventually sell it).

Engineering Leadership

Most recently, I’ve been keenly interested in focusing on engineering leadership as a skill and new career challenge. I managed the web development team at Colby College, I’ve worked alongside talented engineers as Director of Engineering at 10up, and as Head of Development at Automattic. I supported three teams who built and enhanced the contributor experience, tools, and infrastructure for the WordPress open-source projects.

I thoroughly enjoy the challenge fulfillment of helping support engineering teams to help them achieve success. I’ve worked remotely with globally-distributed remote teams for the past decade and have enjoyed learning about new cultures through my global connections.

Fun Facts About Me

A fun fact about me is I’m semi-fluent in German (though I’m losing my skills each day), and I studied German and Computer Science at the University of Maine. Why German? Warum nicht? I’ve always enjoyed experiencing new cultures and traveling, and for some reason, German interested me in high school, and I stuck with it. I enjoy traveling, practicing my German skills, and ordering good beer and food.