Introduction

The web nerd

This is the tale of a nerd growing up on the web. He has an overflowing desire to build digital products that make the lives of a lot of people a bit better.

In a nutshell

  • frontend
  • user-centered design
  • accessibility
  • webdesign
  • semantics
  • rwd
  • futurefriendly

Adjust reading time, if needed.

The beginning

He has been in love with the web ever since he laid eyes on the wonders of bleeding edge browsing technology that was Internet Explorer 2.0. Whodathunkit he would be making a living out of what happened inside that chrome 15 years later? Certainly not that 16 years old teen, that's for sure.

Around 2003, he stumbled upon Dan's simplebits.com. By starting to explore his blogroll, he was thrown into the world of webstandards and hasn't let go ever since (see remote mentors section). He then ended up designing and coding his homegrown blogging platform (full-stack) which powers andr3.net/blog for almost a decade. Also launched the now extinct mobifeeds.net — an RSS reader for XHTML mobile browsers in 2006. Later co-launched iGive and DailyPhotoWall.net (Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011).

But let's fast-forward to today, shall we?

Today

André is now a mature front-end engineer with an acute concern for elegant and purposeful design. Coming up with delightful solutions through a user-centred approach drives him to pursue simplicity, with enough complexity within users' effortless grasp.

He's also grown quite fond of climbing onto a stage and speaking to his fellow colleagues and sharing best-practices and experiences.

How did he get here?

2013 The Startup World

A screenshot of Uniplaces.com
A screenshot of Uniplaces.com

Leaping at the opportunity of being part of a young and promising team building a useful product from sunny Lisbon, André joined UniPlaces to lead the front-end development and assist in proving the validity of the pivot in the business model through a user-centered effort. André joined the early ranks of UniPlaces in April 2013 to lead the front-end development and assist in proving the validity of the pivot in the business model through a user-centered effort.

The effort came into fruition when, 7 months later, the company successfully raised $1,000,000 from Octopus Investments, with a track record of impressive growth supported by the launch of the MVP launched in June and its improvements over the next months.

About the company

UniPlaces is an online platform that connects students with accommodation providers and facilitates the renting process. Currently operating in Lisbon and London.

Highlighted work

  1. Student Website uniplaces.com
  2. Recommended Areas uniplaces.com/london/recommended
  3. UniPlaces Pattern Library uniplaces.com/eng/pattern-library

2012 to 2013 The Future Friendly Awakening

André had been working at SAPO—a local company to the likes of Yahoo!—for 4 years when he was challenged to be part of the team as Lead Front-end Engineer that would go ahead to redesign the #1 most visited website produced in Portugal: www.sapo.pt.

With roughly 30M monthly visits, its audience made it incredibly challenging to deliver not only a Responsive solution, but a future-friendly one: resolution-independent, device and browser agnostic but also usable and enjoyable. It strived to be a modern example of bleeding edge good practices but also universally accessible as much as possible.

A screencast of a High-Impact Multimedia Ad Format created and deployed at SAPO.pt (© PTC/SAPO) Available formats: 23MB mov · 6MB webm · 3.9MB ogv

He also worked closely with the sales team on defining, designing and implementing an unobtrusive commercial solution to a high-impact multimedia responsive ad format that allowed advertisers to reach audiences that were until then restricted to small almost static graphic banners (mobile formats).

About the company

SAPO is a web company born out of the 90s portals. It has grown to become the most important and most used network of content-producing websites in Portugal.

Highlighted work

  1. Responsive Web Portal sapo.pt (Ed. 2012 - now)
  2. Multimedia High-impact Responsive Ad Format Watch the Screencast (23MB video)
  3. Slides about the Technical Challenges (Presented at ESAD) Responsive Web: A story from the Trenches (in Portuguese)

2010 to 2012 The Quality Phase

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.

— Steve Jobs

This is the phase where he honed his love for Usability and Quality. By conducting dozens of user interviews (some of which changed his perception of the role of technology) he learned methods to get into users' heads as they use a product or simply consult them to help build a product more in-tune with their needs.

Also worked as a Quality Assurance engineer, in which he constantly conducted heuristic usability reviews, performance load testing, helped teams establish test flows in order to assess whether projects from all areas of the company were fit for launch.

About the company

SAPO is a web company born out of the 90s portals. It has grown to become the most important and most used network of content-producing websites in Portugal.

Highlighted work

  • The entirety of this work was conducted internally, so very few traces are visible from this era.

Before this, he worked as a full-stack web developer.

He also got a degree in Computer Science and took the CPE from Cambridge ESOL.

Remote Mentors

As an avid speaker, André has tried to share with others useful knowledge as kind of a pay-it-forward thing, since he has been helped by the open sharing by plenty of remote mentors.

These are the names of those who have taught, inspired and shown him the way. Thank you for everything. By the way, these are not endorsements.

  • Dan Cederholm
  • Jeffrey Zeldman
  • Jeremy Keith
  • John Hicks
  • Doug Bowman
  • Ethan Marcotte
  • Molly Holzschlag
  • Dunstan Orchard
  • Dave Shea
  • Tantek Çelik
  • Elliot Jay Stocks
  • Hugo Baeta
  • Bryan Veloso
  • Rui Lopes
  • Jonathan Snook
  • Simon Collison
  • Jason Santa Maria
  • Richard Rutter
  • Chris Murphy
  • Nicklas Persson
  • Lea Verou
  • Gustavo Pimenta
  • Wilson Miner
  • Paulo Zoom/Pereira
  • Dan Rubin
  • Andy Clarke
  • Brian Suda
  • Robert Bringhurst
  • Jon Tangerine
  • Tiago Pedras
  • Daniel Burka

If your name is up there, you have been a major influence on André's work.