Web Design & Interactive Media
Front End Designer for Wonderful Union
The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
[In school], I learned the skills and networking required to get my foot in the door at a web-dev shop, and worked my way up from there. Nathan Gabriel , Front End Designer for Wonderful Union Bachelor of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media, 2011 , The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
“I turn designs into websites, and build new tools and platforms to increase the quality and effectiveness of our product,” he says. Nathan previously worked as an intern and front end developer at Digital Gear, and as a front end engineer at ground(ctrl)—which became Wonderful Union.
Each morning, he reads web-dev and general news articles to keep up-to-date on industry trends, then takes care of client-requested low-level site edits. “After those are complete, I move onto my main project for the week/month, which is usually a full website for a client. Nearing the end of the day I’ll work on platform enhancements or tools that may make my job easier.”
He adds that one of the biggest professional challenges he faced was when Wonderful Union decided to rebuild its platform using AngularJS. “Through roughly eight months of work and many late nights, we had a minimum viable product that we could deploy and test in the wild. We currently have five sites on the new platform, with many more in the pipeline.”
Nathan emphasizes the need to be committed to a creative career. “In order to excel and progress in any given field, you have to be motivated to learn and re-learn what you do, every time increasing the quality of your product and/or development time. The web-dev environment is ever changing, if I don't continue to learn and grow in my field, it won’t be long before my knowledge is outdated and I'm out of a job.”
Nathan says that he shares his knowledge with co-workers to build a creative give-and-take. “That knowledge is shared between all the developers at Wonderful Union, and all the developer friends I've made as I progress through my career.” Additionally, when the going gets tough, he notes it’s important to take a step back and assess the situation. “Break your work down into small manageable tasks you can tackle one at a time.”
Nathan, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Science in Web Site Development from The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, says that he knew nothing about his field prior to attending school. “I learned the skills and networking required to get my foot in the door at a web-dev shop, and worked my way up from there.” He’s proud to say that by earning his degree, he was able to quit his retail job and enter the web design industry.