About, Skillset, and Interests

Hello and Willkommen! ("Welcome" in German) 🇩🇪

Hi, my name is Andrew, I’m a Front-End Developer. I’m super passionate about design, development, and business.

I enjoy building websites that are intuitive, accessible, and fun. I live in Austin with my amazing Canadian wife (a civil defense attorney). I’m also a huge fan of Germany soccer. When I'm not working online, I like to get off the grid and enjoy nature or a long bike ride.

Now may be a great time to grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. ☕️

I've always enjoyed learning how to "figure out" new technologies (I was usually the person who actually took the time to meticulously read the product manual to better understand how something could be configured). Fortunately, this level of curiosity to learn and problem-solve has helped me throughout my life.

In addition to web technology, I have always been intrigued by the ocean. Growing up, I was always interested in learning more about the ocean and marine life (especially cetaceans – whales and dolphins).

After university (in the late '80s), I fulfilled my childhood dream (at the time) of becoming a Dolphin Trainer at SeaWorld. I believe with hard work and persistence, you can accomplish anything in your life if you set your mind to it.

About three years ago, not knowing anything about creating websites, I began learning how to configure (and eventually deploy) this website. I first learned how by using WordPress, and became a huge WordPress fan!

I had so much fun learning WordPress that I decided to dive deeper and learn more about how websites and open-source apps are actually built.

This experience is what initially inspired me to make a “pivot” in my career path. In my former career, in various business development and channel management roles, I worked with several "high-profile" clients to resolve their challenges using (SaaS) technology.

Let's face it, change can be daunting. Especially if you are changing your area of expertise and "comfort zone" to something new.

Regardless, I just decided to go for it! I figured I love doing this, and it helps people. So I took the plunge and began my transition into web development. I am also learning more about UX/UI design. I find it super fascinating when code “becomes alive” on your page.

In early 2018 I decided to immerse myself in code and successfully completed The University of Texas at Austin Full-Stack Web Development Program (that's a fancy way of saying "Coding Boot Camp"). Since then, I have been continuously learning to improve my coding and design skills.

I've gained familiarity and experience working with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and primarily MERN-stack (MongoDB, Express, React and Node) technologies. I'm currently reinforcing and expanding my knowledge by completing a Techdegree (in Front End Web Development) through Treehouse.

At times I feel like I’m drinking from a firehose, but I choose to persist (with or without "imposter syndrome"🙂).

My first real experience with computers and software was in the early '80s when I took a BASIC course in high school.

I'm currently working on adding new projects to GitHub (and launching an updated portfolio site soon). I eventually plan to give back to my community by helping others learn how to code and build websites.

I thought it would be interesting to create educational “marine life” content for this site (and at the very least provide some cool photos and videos with informative links).

To actually see "live" orcas or even humpback whales in the wild (in real-time if they are in view), click here (then scroll down to "Live Cams”).

I'll post an updated video of humpback whales when I get back from Maui later this year (2019).


Watch Humpback Whales (the movie) here on Netflix.


For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.”―Jacques-Yves Cousteau


When I worked at SeaWorld as a Dolphin Trainer I helped to educate and promote awareness about our oceans and marine life. This was precisely why I wanted to work there (well, besides working with the dolphins and whales of course)! 

My views have since changed dramatically towards marine habitats and marine parks (especially captivity), marine conservation, and environmental protection.

Feel free to click on the seemingly endless list of informative links, photos, and videos. I hope you learn something new!


maui-whale
Pacific Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) demonstrating a "Pectoral slap"…
hawaii-surf-rainbow
Nice view from the tube…
Humpback whale tail  "Flukes" (photo by Talbot).
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Humpback Whale…

whale-flukes

Kaanapali Beach HD Desktop Background
Black Rock, Maui (Kā'anapali)

It's surreal to see and hear the Humpback whales end their 6-8 week journey from the feeding grounds of Alaska to the shallow breeding grounds of Maui (and other nearby islands). The first whale sightings usually occur in October; however, the best time to see these whales is anytime from January 15th – March 31st (peak season is usually February). Official whale season is December 15th – May 15th.

To learn more about whale watching in Maui, click here: (This is one of my favorite websites 🐋🐳).


The Hawaiian Islands

Humpback with calf...
Humpback with calf…(photo borrowed from link above)
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North Pacific Humpback Whale off the coast of Maui…

I enjoy meeting people and learning where they are from. My ancestry is German, Dutch, and Swiss. I find learning about someone’s ancestry interesting.

I'm an avid fan of the Germany soccer teamDie Mannschaft (which translates to "The team"). When the World Cup is not on (every four years), I enjoy rooting for my favorite team in the BundesligaBayern München (Munich, Bavaria).

Check out the travel videos below of Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. Thanks for visiting!

~Auf Wiedersehen


Deutschland/Germany

Bayern Munich


The Netherlands


 Switzerland


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