Inside Orbit with Jessica Larsen
It’s Friday again, and you know what that means…
Say hello to another one of our talented Orbiteers: Jessica Larsen!
Jessica is a web developer who has been at Orbit for almost eight years, and after being here so long, it would surprise me if her good-natured attitude, strong work ethic, and infectious laugh haven’t rubbed off on everyone by now.
Jessica is one of the code geniuses behind many of our more custom websites like Lou Malnati’s, Sports Media Monitor, Terlato Wines (currently working on – and where the above photo was taken), and Vienna Beef. Not only is she a brilliant developer, she’s also a very talented photographer.
Everyone, meet Jessica.
Where are you from?
I am from Bloomington/Normal, IL. Home of the first Steak n’ Shake!
What made you decide to become a developer?
I knew I wanted to do something with art and computers, so I decided to go to school for web design. After college and my internship at Orbit, I decided I loved coding more than design so that’s the route that I took.
What brought you to Orbit?
With 1 semester left, Andy Crestodina asked my professor at the time for someone who he thought would be good for an internship. I took the internship in the summer of 2006, while balancing school. For the 3 months of my internship I was also teaching myself PHP (we were taught ColdFusion) so Orbit would hire me. After I graduated in Dec. 2006, Orbit hired me on full time!
Tell me about a favorite project you worked on and why?
I have so many favorite projects that I’ve worked on here at Orbit. Each one of them brings a different challenge and they all have great designs!
One of my favorites though would have to be Lou Malnati’s. The design and all the new features were both fun and challenging. They were also a great client to work with! But mainly I just loved looking at that delicious pizza everyday!
Can you share at least one tool or trick that makes your life easier as a developer?
To get out in the community, you can learn a lot from attending conferences and meetups. Just talking to people outside your circle expands what you know and will ultimately make your life easier as a developer.
What industry blogs or sites do you read religiously?
I follow a lot of web related feeds on twitter as well as the php[architect] magazine to keep up with the current trends in web development.
What’s one tip that you can give a client about redesigning a website?
Make sure it’s responsive, or at least optimized for mobile and tablets. There are more and more people viewing your website on other devices than a desktop, you might as well catering for the multitude of screen sizes out there and in the future.
What motivates or inspires you?
Just working with a great team here at Orbit, we always keep each other on our toes and the drive for learning and creating the best websites! Also, that excitement you get when you finally get to push the button to launch the new site (really that’s how it works)!
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I grew up on Sesame Street
How many cups of coffee do you consume in a day?
I love coffee.. but I recently switched to drinking tea everyday. Our daily tea times are the best!
What’s your favorite nickname and how did you get it?
I wouldn’t say my favorite, but my only nickname I have gotten that stuck was “Bug.” Many people just knew me as Bug in my hometown for years without even knowing my real name.
If you could see any band (past or present) who would it be?
The Beatles and Fugazi
What beer do you currently have in your fridge at home?
Dogfish Head Aprihop, New Belgium La Folie, Southern Tier Creme Brulee, Bell’s Oarsman Ale, my husband’s homebrew, and probably some PBR.
What do you like to geek out on?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been into photography. Developing my photographs in the darkroom was the best, when I had access to one. Now I spend my time editing them on my computer.
Can’t go wrong with Tetris OR Dr. Mario! If you agree or just want to say hi to Jessica, you can do so in the comments below.