AZ Web Something – Eric Haltom


Over the years I have found myself everything but sure about what I am in professional capacity. At first I called myself a web designer, then I got lost for a while, where I still called myself a web designer, but in reality I was much more. Well I think that I have become keen on the title Front End Web Developer. The front end web developer takes a website, whether custom built or a framework and turns it into a complete site, responsible for the aesthetics (HTML/CSS), cross compatibility (works on all browsers and devices), usability across those devices and any other bells and whistles you may experience while using the site. However, over the last year and a half I spent my time developing ASP.NET MVC websites more than designing. In fact I’ve done so little design I couldn’t in good conscious call myself a designer at all. Which, I am ok with. I guess the fairly new term “Full Stack” web developer is a better fit.

A Web Developer in the Making

When I was a kid, there were two things in this world I wanted to be able to do. One was to be able to fly and the other was to draw for the rest of my life, not really draw, but create images that moved people. Although I never really mastered the skill of flying, a piece of paper and a pencil was all that I needed to take me to that fantasy world that seemed to have alluded me. A lot of my drawings found their way to the garbage can. But once in a while I would come up with an original image that was both unique and well formed.

I had considered a few careers as a high school student; Architect, Graphic Designer, Musician… beneficiary to a wealthy inheritance. But I dropped out of high school in order to pursue my dreams of being a machine operator at a local manufacturing plant. As time went on I lost more and more desire to create art. In the mid 90s when the internet became main stream, I did not think much of web design as I really didn’t think that type of career could even be in my future. So I joined the military for half a decade and as I got out it was time to decide what I wanted to do for a living.

I began going to Collins College in Tempe, AZ. and earned my Associates in Art as Valedictorian for Visual Communications (Graphic Design). In General I found it more exciting and rewarding to build a functional website (my portfolio) that you could interact with rather than a static printed item which you could read and make a paper airplane out of. So an AZ web designer was born.

In 2007 I started building websites for different folks here and there, but nothing was really taking off. My son was born in 2008 and I decided I needed to make a better living and so that’s what I did. I put my resume out there and a few days later I was called in for an interview as a web designer. I quickly proved my skills and attained the Senior Web Designer position. Over time, I became frustrated by my lack of knowledge in ASP.NET, as my frustration grew, so did my library of knowledge. I soon had found myself developing more than designing. Which is where I am today.