Don Denton

2200 Oak Street, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Cell: 785-554-2046
Email: don@happycollision.com

I am an affable, self-motivated individual who loves to learn about new topics in the field of programming and computer science. I advocate clean, considered code that others can understand and reason about. The next topic I would like to explore is accessibility and best practices for it in the browser.

My Pluralsight Skill IQ scores are as follows:

Skill Score Percentile
Typescript 268 98th
Javascript 245 94th
Angular 258 97th
React 196 78th
Skill Score Percentile
HTML 5 210 84th
CSS 243 94th
Git 202 81st
GitHub 203 81st

Professional Experience

Freelance website design/development 2006–present

This was my side job after college graduation. I was my first client, and started with nearly zero knowledge. Today, I maintain a couple sites, using very simple GitHub Pages workflows. Though I have had less need for freelance work since starting with Flixpress, I still actively maintain a website for Post Playhouse and myself, as an actor.

Skills/Responsibilities

  • Self-teaching. Because I did not study any form of computer science in school, I had to seek knowledge on my own. That continues to this day, and I am always learning about new technologies and practices.
  • Comfort amidst confusion. Learning a new skill or topic without a mentor is difficult, and being comfortable with not understanding a topic as you take your first steps is critical.
  • Goal-setting and time management. With no superior to set the schedule, this is a must.
  • Confidence. My first largest project came around 2010. It was an internal tool for a company called Rainbow Computer Technology, Inc to track downtime and maintenance details for their clients’ printers. After several years of low-stakes website development, this was the first time that a client had real money on the line if the product failed. I had to have confidence in my skills to move forward with that project.

Flixpress LLC, full stack developer 2013–present

I maintain some backend code at Flixpress, but mostly work on new front-end projects, often as the solo front end dev.

Selected Projects

Transition to version control

When I began working at Flixpress, the company was not using any version control for their code. Files typically lived on a network drive and were edited from there directly. The system worked well for them in the beginning, but of course it became untenable as the codebase grew. I took it upon myself to help the company transition to Git. Today, all major new and ongoing projects at Flixpress now live inside repositories on each developer’s machine with its origin stored on GitHub. It is rare for anyone to run into a Git-related problem anymore, though when they do, I am always happy to help.

Responsibilities
  • Teach my colleagues how to use the basics of Git
  • Troubleshoot any problems that arose during the transition
  • Create repositories for all the legacy code I had access to
  • Periodically maintain all repos while my colleagues continued to work Git into their routine
  • Create a Git-based deployment workflow for our main product: Flixpress.com
  • Answer continuing questions about Git from colleagues
IVjs — Interactive Experience Library

In early 2018, Flixpress was hired to create a Javascript library to replace the functionality of a legacy ActionScript codebase that read XML documents to create interactive video experiences in Flash. Ultimately we decided to move forward with a rewrite in Typescript resulting in a Javascript library with a DSL which would allow novice Javascript developers to create video experiences in the browser. The decision to use Typescript meant that the code for the project was mostly going to fall to me, while documentation would mostly be my boss’s responsibility.

Responsibilities
  • Teach the fundamentals of Typescript to a colleague
  • Advocate test coverage
  • Teach the basics of testing to a colleague
  • Communication with a non-technical client about how we planned to meet their needs
  • Architecture of the entire library
  • Implementation of 95% of the library
Micronews.tv — An Angular Application

Flixpress took on a new project near the beginning of 2018 called Micronews. The goal was to automate an entire news broadcast recording from a browser connected camera-with-teleprompter setup. The client should be able to create all the copy, CG elements, upload over-the-shoulder media, and choose different camera angles from one application. That same application would then prompt and record the anchor. This project is ongoing as of December 2018.

Responsibilities
  • Work closely with the back end developer to come up with an API structure for the application
  • Design the UX for the client application
  • Engineer the client-side portion of the application using the Angular framework
  • Implement new features as requested
Template Browser — UI and Performance Improvements

The template browser at Flixpress.com used to call the server on every user interaction and re-request a list of every template available on the site. This was the default behavior of a DNN plugin that was used to navigate through the list. I suggested a re-implementation of the browser that only made one server request (other, DNN related page requests notwithstanding), and was highly responsive.

I re-implemented the old browser with a new design and, because I opted to use a client-side library (React), the responsiveness is far superior to the old implementation. The widget no longer makes any additional server requests (aside from downloading images) after the first request to a single text file that houses all the information for Flixpress’s available templates.

Open Source Contributions

My Projects

  • Think System Memorizer Website Code

    A PWA that to help my wife and me memorize lines. I may polish it up and create a service for actors.

  • Production Calendar Renderer Website Code

    Custom tool for Post Playhouse which takes show dates and renders out a calendar ready to be captured and printed in a full color brochure.

  • ASP inside HTML Syntax for Atom Package Page

    Open Source, MIT.

  • Respondr Code Demo

    Open Source, MIT. jQuery plugin replace formatted strings in your HTML with a responsive <picture>.

  • Happy Helpers Code

    Open Source, MIT. A small, dependency free Javascript helper library that I created for myself.