“Real World Practitioners” Jose Lopez of TUMIS.com, Kristin Long of MIGHTY Minnow, and our very own program assistant Max Gibson of Wine & Bowties presented the stories of their web enterprises to the Hack the Hood team on July 18.
Another piece of advice Lopez offered: get good at one thing. In order to succeed, web developers need to decide on their role, which can be a front-end engineer, a back-end engineer, a designer, a UI/UX (user interface/user experience designer), or “DevOps,” who “just have ideas,” said.
Lopez, like Kristin Long, has been highly successful in their careers even though most of their clients are non-profits.
“I won’t work with anyone I wouldn’t have dinner with,” Minnow said. “That’s a pretty awesome lifestyle to have—to set the ground rules and tone to have a relationship with someone and how you’re gonna do it.”
Minnow also started her career with little means, and emphasized that “you don’t need anything special to do what we do.”
Both Lopez and Minnow are attracted to working with people on social justice causes. Tumis has an all people of color staff, and develops websites for clients such as the UC Student Association, Eat Real Festival, the East Bay Local Development Corporation, I-SEEED, and more. Tumis also uses their branding expertise to advocate for movements and causes, making posters to commemorate Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant.
Long designs websites for clients such as Friends of the Urban Forest, TechWomen, San Francisco Suicide Prevention, the Indiegogo Blog, and others. She also uses MIGHTYMinnow as a platform to teach D.I.Y. Website Classes. Working with nonprofits, Long says, is rewarding because she can improve their ability to make change.
Both Lopez and Long spend a lot of time doing exactly what our team at Hack the Hood is working on: optimizing websites for mobile displays.
Lopez describes the current state of web design as an “eco-system” containing a website, mobile app, tablet view, Twitter card, Tumblr, and other packages. “You don’t just want the website to look good, you want everything attached to the website to look good,” he said.
Max Gibson started his lifestyle website, Wine & Bowties, when he was still in college. Of his many startup ideas brewing, this was the one that stuck. “The thing is that the idea is only the beginning,” he said. “Its really about the execution. The second you put action behind the idea, that’s when things start happening. That’s when the magic happens.”
Though Wine & Bowties started as a personal blog, it has expanded to more of an online magazine, publishing poetry, and thought pieces, album reviews from people around the world.
“We’ve attracted contributors from Oakland, SF, LA, New Orleans, NY, D.C., and even Bristol, England. It has provided a platform for these people to express themselves.”
This week, Wine & Bowties launched an online store, selling t-shirts, Max’s hand lettered stationary, and a photo book.
“It’s been a labor of love for real,” he said.
Jose Lopez: TUMIS.com
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