Kurt Kemple has joined Pixafy as its latest front-end developer. He took the time out to answer out standard interview questions as he settled into the job.
Q: How did you discover Pixafy? What led you to apply for the job?
I discovered Pixafy on Craigslist when searching for a new job. I wanted to find a place to make a career from doing what I love, web development. I wasn’t satisfied with my previous employer because I wasn’t doing what I love.
Q: Where are you originally from? Do you still have family there? Do you have any siblings? If so, what do they do? Any significant/insignificant others?
I am originally from Virginia and then New Jersey. I have still have some family in New Jersey but no longer any relatives in Virginia. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. My older brother is a truck driver and my younger brother just finished med school and is currently looking at places to do his residency. I also have a sister who just left the Navy and is a dental assistant; she is also currently going to school for dentistry.
I am recently engaged to Donna; she is the best thing to happen to me. Our engagement is really what made me take the leap to search for new employment.
Q: How did you get into front-end development?
I got in to front-end development about four years ago when a friend of mine started a website project for something he was doing in school. I took to it naturally and soon fell in love.
Q: Any mentors/other people who’ve been particularly instrumental in your direction to date?
I have one mentor who helped my greatly when I was first starting out. Jeffrey Way, from Envato’s Net Tuts+. I watched and read hundreds of his tutorials and before I went to school he was basically my sole training experience. I just liked his tutorials better than any others, he was very good about covering how and more importantly why he did certain things certain ways.
Q: What is your first impression of Pixafy?
My first impression of Pixafy was that it is a very relaxed yet buzzing atmosphere. There is definitely pep in everyone’s step and everyone I met my first day was very polite and easy to talk to. I also loved the diversity of employees at Pixafy.
Q: Hobbies/interests outside of work?
I have a few hobbies that I enjoy in my free time, the most prevalent being longboarding (not surfing, but street longboarding). I got into it about three years ago and I haven’t been doing it as much as I would like to, but whenever I get a free moment I like to take the board out and just cruise. It helps me calm my head and I tend to find answers to problems that before I couldn’t solve when I’m riding. I also enjoy painting, photography, and tattooing.
Q: What was the toughest front-end development challenge you’ve faced to date?
Q: What qualities do you most admire in others?
The qualities I admire most in others is tenacity and a willingness to mentor others. I am very driven and I love to help others so similar qualities in others are something I like. Mentoring serves two purposes really. Studies show that helping people learn something will increase the amount of knowledge you remember about the subject as well. So essentially you are teaching them and yourself. Win win!
Q: Any pet peeves?
I don’t really have many pet peeves. I guess the biggest is sloppy code. Nothing worse than digging through a huge messy file looking for a specific function or line of CSS.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a front-end developer?
My favorite part about being a front-end developer is making the web more pleasing to look at for viewers. I love that my work will be viewed my people who have no idea how that content got there or who did it. I just want to deliver the best user experience possible.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish at Pixafy?
I hope to accomplish a number of things at Pixafy, mostly mastering Magento and WordPress, and when the need arises, help migrate to responsive design patterns and mobile design patterns. I also want to improve my PHP and cement myself as a valuable team member that can help others.
Q: Any unusual hobbies that we should know about?
An unusual hobby would be tattooing. I like to do it when time allows me to and it’s definitely not a hobby most expect me to have.
Q: If you won the proverbial lottery, what would you do with your windfall?
I think I would travel the world for a year or two and then start my own company for web development. Not sure which niche market I would try my hand at, but I guess that is what I would do.
Q: What’s something that no one at Pixafy knows about you (until now)?
My flame tattoos on my left forearm were actually done by me.