Max is Linchpin’s Lead Front-End Engineer. While his main goal is to structure your site to function correctly, he is also equally focussed on and making it look nice. Before joining the Linchpin team years ago, he worked at an agency doing digital marketing for an insurance agency. It was there that he picked up his WordPress and Sass expertise. When Max is away from the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two year old daughter.
Q: Where did you work before this, what experience do you have from there?
A: Before Linchpin I worked at an agency doing digital marketing for insurance agencies. This is where I got into WordPress/Sass and got to know a lot of great people in the community, like Jeff and Jesse from Automattic! And Brian.. he was there. He’s pretty cool.
Q: What is your career focus? (What do you do at Linchpin)
A: I am the Lead Frontend Developer here at Linchpin, but I love to dabble in the backend where I can! So my goal is to structure a theme/plugin, make it function correctly, and make it look pretty.
Q: What do you like about the work you do here?
A: We have a wide range of clients, I spent 5 years building insurance sites so the variety of industries we work with is nice.
I’ve spent a lot of time studying how others approach their Sass structure…
Q: What do you believe your best strength is within the company?
A: My best strength would have to be Sass and JS. I’ve spent a lot of time studying how others approach their Sass structure so that everything makes sense and is easy to work with, and I try to implement that and improve it as we go.
Q: How would describe yourself with three words?
A: Great with Sass
Q: How would your friends describe you?
A: “Genuinely a good dude, and tries to figure things out and bring people along on the journey. Committed to false causes, like the Bruins. Can take verbal abuse. – Bruce Willis” – Aaron Ware
Q: What is currently your computer background?
A: My current background is an astronaut on the moon.. with a lawn mower.. mowing the moon.
Q: If money didn’t matter, what would you do all day?
A: Ohh I would mostly just hang out with my daughter, Molly, and my wife, Megan. I do get restless not doing things that are productive though, and I really do have a passion for the development I do. So I’d probably work on passion projects and try to make awesome plugins/themes/whatevers for everyone.
Q: What have you gained from working at Linchpin?
A: A lot! I’ve learned so much since I’ve joined the team. Aaron schooled me on some JS and WordPress templating, our previous Senior Engineer taught me a TON about working with the WordPress backend and the best practices. Together we’ve researched and implemented some great Grunt and Gulp set-ups and experimented a lot with what processes work best for us.
Just follow the old “treat people how you’d like to be treated” motto and you’ve mastered common courtesy.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: In real life or coding life? Coding life.. poorly formatted code, too many selectors, and when my code doesn’t work – usually because I’m a doofus and fat-fingered a period instead of a comma. In real life.. people with lack of common courtesy. It’s not that hard, just follow the old “treat people how you’d like to be treated” motto and you’ve mastered common courtesy.
Q: What makes you bored?
A: Not being productive in some way, I need my couch potato time but can’t stand sitting for too long.
Q: Tell me about something you would happily do again.
A: Starting my great little family, I have a lot of gingers in my life 🙂 My wife, daughter, 2 cats and 1 dog are all gingery, and I have another dog that just looks like a weird mix between Falkor and Master Splinter. He’s all white, so doesn’t fit the ginger role but I always imagine he’s got no soul like the rest of us ❤️
Q: What are your three most overused words or phrases?
A: Horse-shit, BRIIIAN, and “That’s all I have to say about Vietnam”.
Q: What are two things you have with you at all times?
A: I always have my phone and my Bruins hat.
Q: How would you define success?
A: For me, it’s soaking in knowledge about different development practices, applying it and things going smoothly. The path from implementation to smooth might not always be quick, but really figuring out a solution or problem solving a strange bug is very satisfying to to me.
Q: What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
A: Maybe just to learn WordPress sooner, or not to be afraid of new coding languages in general. I moved to RI to go to school when I was 19, went to school and got hired a few months after graduation – I was 20 when I started working full-time as a developer. So I’m pretty happy with the path I’ve taken since I was 18, and all the hurdles I ran into since then have made me the strong developer I think I am.
Q: What is the first thing on your bucket list?
A: I want to see a Bruins/Canadiens game in Montreal.
Everyone starts out knowing nothing and you’re never going to learn the best way to approach something if it’s done for you.
Q: Favorite activities on your day off?
A: I love spending time with my wife and daughter. When weather permits, we like to play outside with the dogs.. and to me there’s almost nothing better to me than relaxing at home, grilling some cheeseburgers or steaks. Also, Rocket League.
Q: What is one thing you can’t live without?
A: Family would be obvious, so I’ll go to number 2 and say music. Life would be so boring without music.
Q: What does true leadership mean to you?
A: It’s steering people in the right direction, giving them the tools to be successful, and being firm when you need to. Let people make mistakes (not costly or to live sites though, that’s bad news bears) and encourage them to problem solve. If problem solving isn’t going good then jump in, help and explain. Everyone starts out knowing nothing and you’re never going to learn the best way to approach something if it’s done for you, this requires some trial and error – but that’s not a bad thing!