Nate Northway

Profile

About 4 years ago, I started blogging on Tumblr, mostly taking photographs of my hometown of Milwaukee, WI. I was getting frustrated with the theme options and started getting interested in building my own themes. Through this, I learned HTML and CSS (and a bit of JavaScript). Eventually, I figured out how to build websites using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I built a few static sites for some projects I was involved in, but I never launched them.

In 2014, I started a small record label with a few friends. My web development knowledge had progressed a little bit by then and I was becoming familiar with WordPress. I started learning how to build WordPress themes, and thus, became familiar with PHP. I simultaneously learned about hosting, web security, and started learning about responsive design.

It was about this time that I felt comfortable enough with web development to want to make it my career, so I set about signing up for classes at the local technical college, MATC. I took two semesters there and learned a great deal about programming, specifically with C#, Java, and a little bit of Swift. A lot of the concepts from these languages transfer well to PHP, and I used this to my advantage, developing a few PHP apps that were more advanced than anything I had built before.

When I started school, I began freelance web development, starting with smaller projects and moving into the professional field quickly. I worked enough to support myself and quit my day job to pursue freelance web development full time.

In the year since quitting my day job, I've only continued my work, and I've focused on 3 key areas of web development that I believe few other freelancers in Milwaukee work on:

  • Responsive Development and Design
  • Web Security
  • Modular Design
Responsive Development and Design is important to me because a lot of the internet's traffic comes from non-desktop platforms. Phones, tablets, watches, and other IRDs are more popular now than ever - and their popularity will only increase. I think it's important to ensure web technology is accessible across platforms, not only to cater to a mobile centered market, but also to ensure that all who need to can access web technology.

Web Security is another important aspect to web design. With attacks happening more and more frequently, it's important that users' information is not only transmitted securely, but that it's also stored securely. To do this, I make sure that I stay up-to-date on the latest trends and information and keep myself educated on the changes to the languages I use.

Modular Design is a concept that I think is lost on some people. What I mean when I say this is keeping the front-end and back-end separated from each-other. Data processing should not affect data visualization, nor vice versa. I could go into further detail on how to keep the processing of data modularized and the visualization modularized, but I don't want a paper published on this page.

As of now, I'm working on three major projects: a multi-part video series to introduce web development in an easy to understand way, a food-delivery app, and a rebuild of DIY:MKE.