Alumni Stories

Michael Starks

Web Design & Interactive Media

Developer at Bukwild
The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University

Alumni Michael Starks

My education [showed me] how to apply myself and have the desire to always learn more than what is given. Michael Starks , Developer at Bukwild Bachelor of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media, 2014 , The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
Michael Starks is a developer at Bukwild, a digital agency based in Northern California. He’s responsible for creating data structure for websites and front end development. “I collaborate with project managers and designers to determine data areas and then wire up APIs (application program interface) for front end use.” He utilizes Vuejs, Coffeescript, and Stylus for his front end work.

Before moving to Bukwild, Michael was a lead web developer for Digital Gear. Today, his workdays include jumping right in to focus on the current websites he’s building. He also meets with other developers to discuss best practices, questions, or for programming sessions.

He says that he faced an obstacle when he took a larger role in doing back end development for Bukwild. “I was not very comfortable in PHP (a scripting language) and databases, but with time and a lot of work, I am at a place where I can solo a project without much help.” His group works to implement best practices and new technology to make the company more efficient. This recently involved a large change in the tools the group utilized. “It was a challenge to switch so many tools at once—all the while trying to keep up with what I have been learning in PHP. But now, I feel like it was relatively smooth—we progressed and now it's amazing to look back and see what we used to use, and notice the efficiency of switching over.”

Development requires commitment, he says, and lots of late nights and stressful weekends. “There are many times where I feel like I'm overworked but the benefits outweigh the downside for me.” Those benefits include working with creative people who share thoughts and ideas. “I often can contribute with my animation background, and I feel like it's a very helpful group that can get things done in an excellent way.”

Michael, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media from The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, says that his education taught him how to apply himself and have the desire to learn more. He adds that while school and work can be challenging, developers should understand that trying their best is rewarding. “There are so many things in development that I don't understand, and probably won't ever understand, but I'm always trying to improve and I know eventually it will come. That’s the way it's worked for me. If I don't waste time stressing about something I don't get, and focus on something else that I do get, it works.”

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