Recent Projects

Here are some highlights of projects I've recently completed. I would be delighted to discuss any of these in more detail!

The navigation menu on the right has a selection of some "mini-projects" I've done recently. Most are just fun little ideas used to explore some piece of technology.

Gift Hipster - Give better Gifts

(site launched December 2015)
Summary:

This site is a complete micro-business project based on Amazon.com's affiliate marketing program. Visitors can shop for gift ideas based on the targeted gift recipient's personality instead of traditional product grouping categories.

Technologies:
  • ASP.NET MVC
  • Entity Framework
  • LINQ to MS SQL Server
  • C#
  • jQuery / AJAX
  • HTML5 / CSS / Bootstrap
  • Amazon.com Product Advertising API
  • Facebook / Twitter Social Integrations
  • TFS Source Control
  • Azure w/ Continuous Deployment
  • Twitter Marketing Bot
Highly Shareable

The project planning revealed a need to be highly-shareable on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Items shared on Facebook are well-formatted and use OpenGraph elements. In some situations, specific landing pages were designed to faclitate sharing.

Buttons for posting to Twitter are also available. The button will generate a tweet with a short message and a link to the page the user is tweeting from.

Bookmarking

With a goal of helping users aggregate gift ideas in one place, I incorporated bookmarking. Wherever there is a product or gift recipient profile, there is a thumbs-up button. Simply pressing the button will mark the item so that it shows on the user's Bookmarks page where he or she can see all the ideas they liked on one page.

Though not everyone wants to sign up for a local account. In cases where people were not signed in, their likes were stored during that session, maintaining much of the functionality even for anonymous site visitors.

Amazon Integration

As an Amazon affiliate marketing site, I designed it to be tightly-coupled with Amazon's API. Because of this, I can quickly populate the site with data using Amazon's product IDs. Simply enter, submit, and you'll see all the product details. Once assigned to a profile and submitted, the product immediately becomes live on the site.

Because I am also the operator of the site, I designed the application to follow my preferred work flow. However, as future iterations may require other approaches, the design is still flexible that I can quickly make changes because of a carefully-designed object-oriented approach.

Blue Ribbons Review

(site launched December 2015)
Summary:

Blue Ribbons Review connects product sellers with customers with the ultimate goal of increasing a seller's product review quality and quanity on Amazon.com. Customers can browse the site for deeply-discounted products. If they are selected for the deal, they also agree to write a review on Amazon once they've had a chance to try the product.

Note: several final syling elements on the homepage and contact page were completed by a team mate. All other site work was done myself.

Technologies:
  • ASP.NET MVC
  • C#
  • Entity Framework
  • LINQ to MS SQL Server
  • jQuery / AJAX
  • HTML5 / CSS / Bootstrap
  • Amazon.com Product Advertising API
  • MailGun API
  • TFS Source Control
  • Azure w/ Continuous Deployment
From Idea to Reality

The company owner had been operating their small operation via Facebook groups and extensive manual tracking using spreadsheets which made scaling too administratively-intensive. The company explained in detail how things worked, and I was tasked to turn their process into a site.

No specific design elements were given to me. Instead, I was given virtually free-reign to develop a solution that could bring their operation into the modern age. I'm quite proud to have developed a fully-functioning web application from idea to reality.

Admin Command Center

In planning, it was clear that though the spreadsheets were labor-intensive, the data they tracked was critical to how the owners operated. The extensive functionality of this website is on the admin side where there are mountains of metrics that are readily available to inform decisions.

Additionally, because so many administrative tasks are now automated, they can focus on more important things, such as growing their business. And to help with that, I've included many pieces of data to help them identify their best customers and sellers in real time.

Automated Email Sending

As part of the operation, customers need to be informed when they receive a product discount. It was critical that there was a method for sending customers information they needed. In parts of the operatio where the owner would previously send a Facebook message to a customer with a link to purchase an item and the discount code, the application now sends the information via email without any steps by the owner.

Additionally, email address confirmation emails and password recovery emails are also sent automatically. And with MailGun's excellent tools, you can identify email delivery issues easily and respond accordingly.

Twitter Bot - @binary_bawler

(launched September 2015)
Summary:

This Twitter bot posts several times a day on the current trending topics. It continually collects tweet data, and when an algorithm determines it's time to tweet, the bot analyzes the collected data for patterns to generate a tweet.

I have tweaked the tweet algorithm a few times. The bot still needs better logic, but I've enjoyed making it, and it's a solid starting point. It was also the background I needed to make the Twitter Marketing Bot used for the Gift Hipster project.

Technologies:
  • Python with SQLite
  • Twitter API
  • Azure Virtual Machine

Pondering who is more attractive: Tarzan or Thor...and in Spanish!

Keeping up on the presidential race.

My bot has secrets. Secrets I probably don't want to know about.