Hi. I'm Matt.

Matt

I'm a pretty versatile guy.
Some of the hats I wear now:

I build things on the web.

I'm qualified.

I'm a full-time web developer in the IT department at UNC Greensboro. I build and maintain mission-critical web applications that power our cloud services. And in my spare time, I take on side projects with my business, Ridge Ten Creative. I'm proven in my current skillset, but am learning every single day about how to do more, and make what I already do better.

I'm experienced.

I've got over 12 years of website-building experience. I've built everything from simple personal-portfolio-style websites, to complex, interactive sites for small businesses, schools, and nonprofits.

I'm reasonable.

Everyone wants their money to go farther. I hear you. In my work for Ridge Ten Creative, I offer a reasonable rate to start, and a further discount if you're not-for-profit. My quotes are guaranteed - you'll only pay for the time I need, and if I need more than I thought, that's on me. I keep clients informed and in the loop, where they want to be.

I'm flexible.

If you are interested in the nerdspeak, I'm full-on into the Laravel PHP ecosystem these days, utilizing all kinds of the framework's goodies including queues, event listeners, gates, and much more. I can containerize with Docker, or deploy on your LAMP/LEMP stack, easily.

For frontend tooling I am familiar with Bootstrap and Font Awesome, but these days am relying heavily on Tailwind CSS for ridiculously easy scaffolding and component-driven design. When I need reactivity or SPA functionality I'll reach for Vue.js, or stick with the lightweight Alpine.js for small stuff. I'm knee-deep into Laravel Livewire as well.

Style-wise, the sky's the limit. Responsive design is a must these days (your site needs to look good on any device), and I'll make it happen. But there's more. Want to integrate your Google services or Twitter Feed? No problem. Dynamic content and interactivity? Check. Interested in a complex web app? Laravel happens to be great for that. No matter what you're looking for, I can help.

I play musical instruments.

Take a listen.

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, mvmt. 4 - Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (2009)

Hillandale Waltzes, mvmt. 6 - Victor Babin (2008)

Interméde, from Quatuor pour la fin du Temps - Olivier Messiaen (2005)

El Salon Mexico (excerpt) - Aaron Copland (2008)
with the Western Piedmont Symphony (clip used with permission)

You could call me a professional.

Actually, please do. I am classically-trained clarinetist - I even have two degrees to prove it. Currently, I am a member of Quintet Sirocco, a Greensboro-based reed quintet. I also play as a freelancer with professional groups across the Piedmont Triad.

I'm also a doubler.

Clarinet is only the beginning. I'm capable on saxophone, flute, and others as well. I've performed in many a pit orchestra in my days, and while I'm doing that less these days, I'm no stranger to versatility. In the recreational vein, that means I can shred (OK, wrong word) on guitar and mandolin too.

I appreciate (and brew) beer.

If there were a beer equivalent of "sommelier," I'm pretty sure I'd be it. (Actually, they're apparently called "cicerones" - I need to get on that). I enjoy beers of all kinds, from all places. And when I say "enjoy," it's a thoughtful, meaningful appreciation; I don't "enjoy" beer like a frat boy. I have the kind of appreciation that compels me to seek out the local microbrews when I'm visiting a new place, just to see what it has to offer.

If you ask me, Fall and Winter are the best times of year for beer. It's the Oktoberfests, the winter warmers, and the nice big stouts. I've also got a particular affinity for Belgian-style brews, and a fondness for a well-done dark beer. Oh, and those juicy DIPAs are nice too.

I homebrew. And my wife helps. (I'm a lucky guy.) We've been happy with the results so far, especially our Saison, Russian Imperial Stout, Belgian Dark Strong, and Breakfast Stout. Our current setup is extract / partial mashes with full boils on a propane-fueled burner, fermenting in a temperature-controlled chamber, and then into the keezer it goes for serving on tap. Our process is down pat by this point, but we're always open to making that next step into all-grain or even trying some of our own recipes soon - we'll see what happens.

I'm also on Untappd - and so are my beers (Birnamwood Brewing), if you're ever in the neighborhood to try one.

I love games.

Board Games / Eurogames

I'm totally one of those guys who has a shelf full of games that nobody's ever heard of before. (Unless they're as into board games as I am.) Regardless, you don't have to twist my arm very far to get me to sit down and unbox one with you. Thankfully my wife enjoys playing just about as much as I do.

Disc Golf

It's basically awesome. It's free (except when you're like me and keep buying gear). It gets you outside. If you've never played before, give it a try. At the worst, you're enjoying a nice hike through the woods, and smashing plastic things into trees. I don't have the strongest arm out there, but I've been holding my own in local leagues, and enjoy playing the annual Oak Hollow Open here in High Point, NC. I have three aces in my pocket (along with several other close calls) - shots I'll remember for a long time.

Video Games

Definitely not a "gamer" in the colloquial sense...but I do my share of casual gaming on my Nintendo Switch. Occasionally I'll also pull out my retro Super Nintendo and N64, from the true "golden age" of consoles. (Yeah I said it.) And my bro and I play a couple things remotely together on PC. So... I guess I do my fair share of gaming.

I occasionally take nice pictures.

My Gear

I'm not a professional, but I have some OK gear. I shoot Canon, with a 50D as my primary. A few lenses, nothing too special - stock, telephoto, a nice 50mm prime, and a fun macro lens. No L-glass...too expensive. I've also got a neat set of filters, and a decent Canon flash.

What I Shoot

I am mostly nature / landscape - things that don't move around too much. I try and shoot on full-manual so that I get a good sense for those things like ISO, aperture, shutter speed...etc. Most of my good shots are from vacations and travel...I've only gone on a few trips specifically for photography.

I've also done event photography in the past for Music for a Great Space. That's fun, because musicians are usually pretty photogenic, and their spaces are pretty nice to shoot in.

Take a look.

Click a photo to enlarge.

photo gallery 1

Antelope Canyon - Page, AZ

photo gallery 2

Portland Head Light - Portland, ME

photo gallery 3

Superstition Mountain - Phoenix, AZ

I'm really just a nerd. In a good way.

Technology

Yes, I'm one of those guys who gets a bit giddy when some really awesome piece of technology comes out. I try and stay on top of trends and new developments.

I also can't stop learning. I'm eyeball deep into the Laravel ecosystem right now, which has caused me to step up my PHP game quite a bit. The dulcet vocal tones of Jeffrey Way at Laracasts are music to my ears (especially at 1.5x speed). I'm constantly learning more about code by getting better at Laravel, including hot topics like Test Driven Development (TDD). Bring on the challenges!

For Good, Not Evil

Lots of tech out there exists to improve the way we live - and no, I don't mean enabling you to find new and creative places to Tweet or surf Facebook. I am passionate about finding ways that technology helps people to be more efficient at making a difference in the world, which is why being involved with technology at a University has fit me so well.

What Tech Does for Me

Being a programmer, troubleshooter, trainer, and general tech enthusiast brings out the detail-oriented, never-say-die, friendly, and super-geek sides of me. Technology has improved my life at both the superficial level and the inner-most level.