About Dan

Me holding the 2011 Gold Addy for the American Visionary Arts Museum
Me holding the 2011 Gold Addy for the American Visionary Arts Museum, great project, great team

Hi there, I'm Dan Blake, Front End Web Developer, beer lover, boyfriend, dog owner, cat owner and Baltimore native.

I spend the majority of my day coding websites and I couldn't be happier about it. I'm what is known as a Front End Web Developer or Web Production Specialist. In short I write HTML, CSS and JavaScript for about 8 hours a day.

As a former member of the web team at The Berndt Group I've worked on many award winning websites; 14 to be exact. Those awards include 2 Daveys, 3 W3 Awards, 1 Web Award, 4 Omni International Awards, 2 Horizon Awards, 1 Summit Award & 1 Gold Addy. I also finished up a Webby Award Honoree website after a personnel shift.

When I'm not working I can be found fixing up my house, spending time with my lady and pets, strumming the guitar or trying a new beer. As I said before I'm a beer enthusiast, geek,etc so you can often find me trying the newest craft beer. I'm also trying my hand at home brewing but right now my hands must be broken because nothing is that great (yet, I hope). If you're curious I do have a favorite hop and it is Nelson Sauvin out of New Zealand, yes I am that big of a geek.

About My Workflow

As I said, I'm a Front End Web Developer which means that I take designs and turn them into functional HTML pages. I then work with backend developers who make my templates dynamic by hooking them into the database.

Generally I'm involved in the entire web design process. I review the wire frames and point out any potential issues I see with the functionality, or potential browser issues. I then review the designs and do the same thing. I'll often say, "This looks great but in Internet Explorer 6 this will be an issue,can you provide a squared image for that browser?" Yes I still deal with many sites that have to look great in a 10 year old browser.

After the designs are finalized I take them into Fireworks, or Photoshop when needed, and start to export the images that I'll need. At this point I also start to write the HTML, CSS & JavaScript to make the whole thing work. When I'm done the designer reviews my work and I fix any issues and then hand the templates off to a Back End Developer.

When the Back End Developer is finished integrating the templates with the CMS I go through and fix any visual glitches.

My Tools of the Trade

I code all my websites by hand, so I don't use any WYSIWYG editors. That is not to say I won't use Dreamweaver, but I only use the code view. My essential list of tools is:

Other Skills

Everything listed above is used in my day to day job at The Berndt Group. On the side I'm known to dabble in CMS development with ExpressionEngine and WordPress. If I had to choose one ExpressionEngine would be my tool, so much more robust than WordPress but both products have their uses.

Recent Work

Creative Alliance
Creative Alliance
The Baltimore Montessori
The Baltimore Montessori