Inside Orbit with Andi Ruggles
Continuing our ‘Inside Orbit’ series, I’d like to introduce you to Andi Ruggles. Andi is one of our super smart Lead Web Developers, a WordPress genius, and crusher of video games.
Where are you from?
A teeny tiny little town in Bridgton, ME, where no, I did not ride a moose to school contrary to popular opinion.
What made you decide to become a developer?
I wanted to be better at computers than my sister. Really! Also, when I was in middle school I started my first message boards for Harry Potter, and the desire to make them fancier led me to modifying the code until I realized I was having more fun doing that than running the site.
What brought you to Orbit?
My college’s Portfolio show where Andy came to meet a few of us, but when Andy said where he worked, in a moment of pure stream of consciousness I blurted out ‘Oh, that’s where Jessica works!’ as we’d been friends first in college and used her as an accidental reference.
Tell me about a favorite project you worked on and why?
This is a split between two projects – I’ve built the last two iterations of the Orbit site, which is always a fun from a challenge standpoint as we always want to push ourselves to the limit and MediaRadar as it was a WordPress project and had a fabulous project team.
Can you share at least one tool or trick that makes your life easier as a developer?
The most obvious thing to say here is Google as Google knows the answer to almost all questions, but I adore BitBucket & Git from the standpoint that it makes it really easy to take a development site and a live site and merge them together with little to no problems.
What industry blogs or sites do you read religiously?
Who’s your hero? Why?
J.K. Rowling, without the Harry Potter series I would never have first built websites, or met a friend through them and ended up in Illinois, have met my husband here, and then ended up at Orbit … really, all fabulous things in my life stemmed from the books.
What’s one tip that you can give a client about redesigning a website?
Trust your designer! Not only is your designer incredibly smart, but they also have a whole team of people impacting their decisions for your website. They’re really only trying to do what’s best for not you, but for your users who are the people that really matter.
What motivates or inspires you?
New challenging development + hearing when our clients love the features we build for them.
Often development is one of the longest cycles on a project. Sometimes we’ll spend weeks on just one portion of the site. When the client passes along how much they love how something came out, it makes my week.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
My love for WordPress started by accident. One of my co-workers needed someone to lend a hand on their project, and I had free time, so I built a blog. It’s been true love ever since.
How many cups of coffee do you consume in a day?
Zero! I have never been able to get into coffee as it takes too much work to get it just how I’d like it.
What’s your favorite nickname and how did you get it?
Andi (my real name is Andrea)! As far as my parents will tell me, I apparently gave myself my nickname in 1st grade when I just started writing it on my homework and it stuck.
If you could see any band (past or present) who would it be?
Oooh, I feel like this is a trick question as I don’t really like older music… I suppose I would say The Beatles, just for the sake of being able to say ‘Yeah, I saw the Beatles once.’
What beer do you currently have in your fridge at home?
There is likely some WoodChuck in there from the last time Jimmy visited, and I think one Guinness for Sunday nights when my friend comes downstairs to watch Game of Thrones with us.
What do you like to geek out on?
Everything geeky! Video games, books, manga, technology, fantasy/sci-fi TV shows…