Niftiness Afoot!

A sketchbook and portfolio of web developer Matthew Smith

3 things about myself

The Batman

The thing about Batman is that he’s a hero built, not made. Granted, Bruce Wayne’s the holder of untold fortunes, but he could have spent his days actually living the playboy persona and squandering his wealth. Surely nobody would have asked more of a son of Gotham—the city is a haven of sloth and squander. But Wayne asked more of himself. He chose a harder path, and continues to choose what is hard, and right, every day.

I like growing from the harder path. I believe in doing something right over easier. Easy can be okay, but easy needs to be earned. In that sense, I like to understand what I’m building. Code tools and libraries like jQuery, Backbone, and Sass are great, but I have great needs to understand the underlying code first.

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt held no ceiling; even being president wasn’t enough for him.

After his presidency, Roosevelt led two major expeditions, one through Africa, the other through South America. The latter of which was so incredible, the Brazilian river ominously named The River of Doubt was renamed the Roosevelt River.

I believe in building and tearing down and building again. I cut code without mercy. Sometimes to a fault — this site has seen more designs and redesigns and content never launched than I can remember now. But it’s because there’s always something new and exciting to behold.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers stood firm in what he believed in, even against the tide of the contrary. He went into television because he disliked the messages it offered; he believed children deserved better. That they needed love and to learn to grasp feelings and self-esteem.

It would have been easy to take all of Rogers’ messages as fluff, but, and here’s the hero part, Rogers stood by his message every moment of his life. He even kept himself a steady 143 pounds because the words in the phrase I love you is written with one letter, then four, then three. Even when television became more violent, more vapid, Fred Rogers stood strong. That’s conviction I aspire to.

Matthew Smith

Front End Web Developer

Download résumé as PDF


  • HTML
  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • CSS3
  • Sass
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • AJAX
  • JSON
  • XML
  • LAMP
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Git
  • Subversion
  • Wordpress
  • CodeIgniter
  • SEO
  • Image Optimization
  • Web Standards
  • Responsive Design
  • CSS Preprocessing
  • Social APIs

Work Experience

Front End Engineer • 1stdibs

September, 2012 – Present

Implemented transactional and account management functionality.

  • Sales rose exponentially upon launch.
  • Utilized object-oriented PHP, CodeIgniter, jQuery, and Backbone.
  • Implemented RESTful services to deliver dynamic content to heavily cached templates.

Modernized outdated code

  • SEO changes brought from seventh to first results page in key Google queries.
  • Slashed page size and rendering time by updating legacy code.

Senior Interactive Developer • Biggs|Gilmore Communications

August, 2006 – September, 2012

Shipped web, mobile, and social media campaigns as front end of a digital agency.

  • Coded semantic, standards-compliant HTML, CSS and JavaScript, generating millions of unique hits for Fortune 500 brands.
  • Social media campaings generated Like counts ranging from 100k to over 4 million.
  • Optimizied existing code and assets. Page weights slashed as much as 1/5 original size.
  • Transitioned existing static sites to responsive designs.

Webmaster • CU*Answers

October, 2002 – January, 2006

Enabled more than two dozen credit unions nationwide to offer online banking.

  • Offered full consultancy, from site conception to execution.
  • Integrated online banking data into client sites, minimizing site maintenance.
  • Designed and build intranet platform in PHP and MySQL, used internally and as client product.

Front End Developer • Herman Miller

March, 2000 – June, 2002

Front end component of furniture manufacturer's direct-to-consumer projects, HMStore and Herman Miller RED.

  • Maintained product and transactions using ATG Dynamo and MS SQL Server.
  • Designed and Photoshopped extensive site assets from company photography library.

View my résumé

Ruh Roh

It seems you have one of those browsers; the kind that don’t support all the modern whiz-bangery the web has to offer. While I’ve worked to make the site readable, it may not be as readily usable.