THE YEAR IS 1998.
I'm in middle school, sporting some fresh braces and some OH-SO-COOL bangs with no less than five cowlicks. (In retrospect, the bangs were always a bad decision, although I didn't know it at the time. Seriously, if there'd been a competition for the number of cowlicks a girl could have in her bangs, I would have taken home the gold...) Anyway… It’s 1998, and I’m hating my advanced math classes, typing 80-90 words per minute, listening to an absolutely embarrassing amount of Savage Garden (that "cherry cola" song was my jam), and suffering through the hissing of AOL dial-up Internet every time I connect to the World Wide Web. It’s 1998, and that’s important. Why? Because that’s the year I start teaching myself how to code.
While my family sleeps peacefully each night, I patiently wait for my AOL dialup to connect to the Internet -- the entire time, hoping my parents don’t wake up. As soon as I hear that familiar voice telling me I’ve got mail, my heart flutters; I know I’m now free to surf HTMLgoodies.com until the sun comes up, teaching myself basic HTML in Notepad.
This is my typical night in 1998. I frequently stay up until 4:00am or later on school nights, learning to create animated .gifs and basic tables — because that stuff was all the rage back then.
LEARNING TO CODE WAS A SLOW PROCESS.
Very slow, although it never felt painfully slow. I was driven, not discouraged, but I also didn’t know many other coders.
Were there any female web designers? Were there any programmers my own age? Were there any in Kentucky, in the South, in the Midwest? Would there ever be?
In 1998, I had no answers to any of these questions. I just remember thinking to myself that this coding and web stuff was important. Websites and graphics and this thing called the Internet would change the world.
...AND MAYBE ONE DAY, I WOULD BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET PAID TO DO THIS FOR A LIVING...
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY...
SINCE 1998, I’VE MADE A CAREER IN THE INTERNET INDUSTRY.
I’ve been fortunate enough to gain a broad range of experiences, including:
- – creating online ads for big name companies like Microsoft, HSBC, Rosetta Stone & Wells Fargo;
- - creating websites for NFL players, musicians, politicians, and more;
- – being interviewed by SEO Talk Radio, ABC News, & being published in several magazines;
- – editing and writing articles for leading design, marketing and technology industry magazines and newsletters, including the Adobe-sponsored Bluegrass Area Digital Media Artists Group Magazine, WebProNews, SEO Forum Watch, and Marketing Pilgrim;
- – visiting Google headquarters;
- – conducting on-site interviews with Yahoo!, Ask.com, and Cartoon Network;
- – founding and/or serving as a leadership member of the Kentucky Web Designers and Developers Group and an active member of the Adobe-sponsored Digital Media Artists Group;
- – managing numerous online newsletters and e-Marketing campaigns with over 500,000 subscribers per issue;
- – managing various online communities with up to 50,000 members and supervising up to 20 forum moderators at a time;
- – winning several awards over the years (see below)
AWARDS & HONORS
View a full list of awards I've won, my publications and interviews, and other honors here.