Let's get to know you first. Tell us about yourself.

My name is Victor Mak, a full-stack web developer with heavy focus on UI/UX design. I’m a 4th year student at the University of Waterloo and currently work as a software engineer for SoapBox, an innovation management tool based in Toronto. I like to think of myself as a true generalist with interest in various areas of web development, from making things look pretty on the front-end to dealing with databases and servers on the back-end.

I love working on random side projects and interacting with talented people in the design and development scene, as I am able to learn and incorporate their methodologies into my everyday work. Because of this I'm a frequent user of GitHub, Twitter and frequent viewer of various design and development blogs such as Smashing Magazine, and The Next Web

Aside from coding I have interest in things ranging from startups to photography (500px) to finance, it’s just the generalist part about me.

Cool, so what's the story behind your website and its design?

The primary purpose of my site was to have a place for potential employers to see my side projects and get to know me better. Being in the co-op program at waterloo I would go through plenty of application and interview rounds, almost as frequent as every four months. I simply wanted a site that could help describe who I was through the web and get some bonus points for having a side project ;).

Version 1.0 of the site had me playing with multiple pages, a nav bar that stuck to the left and my poor attempt at a responsive design. It was my first stab at creating a website and looking back, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Version 2.0 is what I would call the current site, be-it there has been plenty of revisions since the initial update. This time I wanted a much more minimalistic design, and honestly, what’s more minimalistic than a solid colour background, simple typeface and a few text. The colour-scheme is based on one of my favourite colours (blue), which naturally compliments many colour schemes.

What part of your website is your favourite, and why?

My favourite part of the site would probably have to be the jQuery animations. The initial fade-in and the showing of my projects may seem simple in terms of code, but the site benefits greatly from the effects and does not take away the simplistic feel I wanted.

Technologies, languages, frameworks, or libraries?

Just JQuery for the JavaScript effects. I don’t like including libraries such as Bootstrap for a simple project like this where I don’t really have other assets such as buttons or a nav. I might decide to include Bootstrap in the future for its grid system, but for now I’m happy as it is.

Any upcoming changes we should look out for?

The biggest change I want is to make a more responsive site, one suitable for phone and tablet viewing. Also I might change the JQuery animations into CSS animations and go with a JavaScript-less design.

Apart from those I’m really not sure where I want to take it next, maybe I’ll try for a multipage site again, maybe I’ll add some pictures of cats, or maybe I’ll just CMD+A -> delete and call it a day.

Interview date: 04 Dec 2013Permalink