They have In-N-Out; we eat at Culver’s. We switch to T-shirts when it’s 50 degrees, and they break out the jackets. But we’re all one happy team. You may have heard the news back in November that we acquired ONYX, a Los-Angeles based e-commerce web design agency. By far the most valuable thing we gained from that venture has been new people. We’d like to introduce you to two of the talented additions: Jacob and Michael. They’re both developers, having worked on sites for change-making businesses including SIN and Worn, and they’ve continued to wield their e-commerce skills with Mediaura to make our current — and new-to-us — clients happy. Now it’s your chance to learn a little bit about who’s behind your latest (or next) web project.

Jacob has been tinkering with computers since he could talk. OK, maybe not that long. But he definitely has been charmed by coding since childhood. He started fiddling with the inner workings of websites at the dawn of MySpace before he graduated to the sophisticated world of Neopets. From there, he turned (one of) his passion(s) into a career by earning a degree in Graphic Design and Web Development from The Art Institute. The year of 2020 brought one good thing, because that’s when Jacob started in his current position. We asked him some questions, including his favorite projects to work on and his ever-expanding list of fascinating hobbies. 

1. What has been your favorite project of your career (so far) and why?

My favorite projects of my career have been the ones that have had real-world applications for clients and those that have been accomplished using coding languages and techniques I was really interested in using but hadn’t gotten the chance to yet.

You’ll meet lots of developers who have done a bunch of fake or portfolio projects to learn the latest and greatest, but I was sick of making essentially “To Do” applications that didn’t result in anything usable in the “real world.”. I prefer to do a project for a client (and get paid to learn!)

2. What current website trend are you loving right now?

I’ve never been one for trends or one-size-fits-all in terms of development or design. I find all clients and businesses are unique and should be treated as such using best practices. But in general — and I don’t know if you would call it a trend — but I love the headless approach. 

The headless approach means you can, for example, use Shopify for product information and shopping functionality and a platform like Contentful for blog and page content. You can have awesome results when you aren’t limited by going with only one provider like Squarespace and relying on them entirely for all your features.

3. You seem like the type to never stop learning because you’ve got some pretty eclectic hobbies. Care to share them with us? 

Outside of work, my hobbies include but are not limited to timelapse photography, cars, graphic design, and home automation. I drive a modified 2018 Volkswagen GTI, which first saw the track before the odometer hit 1,000 miles. As for the others, I’ve always been into photography and graphic design ever since I got my first DSLR and had Photoshop 7 on my computer as a young teen. These days I create posters, desktop wallpapers, and more — mostly just for my personal use. Home automation is the most recent addition (well, if 7 years counts as recent!) and I’ve got my apartment set up to be almost entirely controlled and monitored from my phone.

The path to becoming a developer is paved with natural curiosity — at least it was for Michael. His career started as a hobby. It was his love of video games that led him to the internet where he learned the basics of code structure and general principles. He studied computer science at California State University and finished his education with an immersive web development program. Michael started his job with ONYX in 2019. While there, he has worked on creating and maintaining e-commerce sites, as well as on marketing. Lucky he joined a combo web development/marketing agency, huh?

We asked Michael a few questions about his job and the wide world of the internet. 

1. What is your favorite thing about being a web developer?

Being able to come up with solutions that allow clients to grow their businesses. Solving the problems or issues that others encounter is also very fun/important to do. Knowing that there are a wide variety of ways to accomplish the same goal.

2. What is the importance of a business having a website in 2023?

It is crucial to have a business website in this day and age. It’s the first point of contact between a company and their potential customers. It can be accessed 24/7 (In most cases), and it can provide the potential customers with information about their business, products, services, etc. The way the world gets most of their information now is through the internet, so what better way to advertise your business than to have your own website? Furthermore, if you don’t have a website, it’s more than likely that your competitor(s) have one. To stay relevant and compete having that online presence is a must.

3. If you could visit only one website for the rest of your life (besides Google), what would it be and why?

Probably Reddit, as it’s the self proclaimed front page of the internet. It provides a wide array of information (some true, some false, some hilarious, etc). I feel like I would be able to consume everything that I would need from the many different subreddits and popular posts.

Want to punch up your e-commerce site and need a development team that knows what they’re doing? Let’s talk.