For our third instalment of our teen developer interviews I had Chris Frees come on to talk about his experiences with developing and designing websites.
You define yourself as a designer and developer. Which do you enjoy most? Do you define yourself with one over the other?
That’s a pretty hard question for me because I don’t see myself as more of one or the other. I spend a bit more time designing but I enjoy both of them equally.
What would you say was the most difficult project you’ve ever undertaken? How did you overcome any obstacles?
A few months ago I was designing a site for a local business. I was pretty excited about it because I thought I had a lot of “creative freedom”. As the project went on it became apparent that the clients weren’t really taking me seriously. One person hated sliders so that was off the table. Another employee didn’t like “big background images”.. They were really just looking for someone to push the pixels around for them not someone to truly design a website. I ended up not working with them. I actually don’t look back at with too much regret. Yeah it would have been nice if it would have worked out but I ended up learning a ton about client relationships and freelancing in general.
If you had to choose, what do you think is your favourite project you’ve ever done?
I’ve had a great time working on ThinkPress with Spencer Neitzke and Kieran Webster. It’s not quite finished at the moment but it’s getting there.
What inspired you to get into this field? How are you compelled to design and develop every day?
Curiosity mostly. When I was 12 or 13 I think I Google’d something like “How to make your own website for free.” I ran into a lot of things like Wix, Webs, and other drag and drop stuff. Thankfully I later found HTML and CSS which got me hooked on web development. I really like the whole process of an idea being made into a real working website. That’s one of the coolest things about being able to design and code. You get to be part of every aspect of the process.
What are your plans for the future? Do you see yourself going to post-secondary studying design or computer science?
As of right now, I’m not planning on going to college. I can definitely see the benefits but I’d rather jump start my career without student debt and loads of homework. Long term I’d love to work on more apps and create actual products. Freelancing is great but nothing beats the joy of building your own things.
As always, feel free to contact Kaleb if you’d like to be featured. Posts come out Thursday mornings every two weeks.