Hiya! 😎

My name is Zach Scott. I'm a freelance full-stack web developer working in the Detroit area. I've worked in the areas of mainframe analysis, customer order tracking, engine supply chain analysis, healthcare, and more. In all of my work I've focused on front-end design, clean code, and, maybe most importantly: making something that was a joy to use.

I love to do:

  • Front-end design – everything from small business pages to enterprise web apps. I've worked with many major frontend frameworks, and I'm comfortable working without them as well! I love to create slick interfaces with their own unique character.
  • Back-end service engineering – I've worked with Spring Boot, Node.js, Deno, and other platforms to create robust, enterprise-grade microservices. I've also done work optimizing databases!
  • Branding – need a logo, or maybe some help developing a style guide that really reflects your personal vibe? I can put together a branding package and designs for any electronic or print materials you need to represent your brand.

Together, we can build your entire web presence, from the logos and fonts that express your brand to the services that support your web app. 🤘

I've used many different frameworks and languages as a software engineer, but the icons below are what I would consider my main skills and passions.

Click/tap each icon to learn more about my experience and thoughts!

HTML5 logo Sass logo JavaScript logo TypeScript logo Angular logo React logo Vue logo Jasmine logo Node.js logo Java logo Kotlin logo JUnit logo Spring Boot logo Git logo PostgreSQL logo Inkscape logo

My development philosophy

Alan Perlis said:

I think that it's extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun.

This has always stuck with me. As developers, we have a responsibility to engineer applications that really help people. Through colors, animations, optimized backend programming, and a healthy, well-indexed database, we can create software that can improve a person's day. At this point, just about every person on Earth spends a significant portion of their life using web applications. As developers we owe it to our users to engineer applications that are fast, ergonomic, and enjoyable.

This runs in parallel with another goal: it should be fun to code these systems as well.

From The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs:

Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.

Good code is fun to read. It doesn't bog you down in unnecessary complexity or messy formatting, it doesn't hide its intent. It conveys its ideas well and offers many clear extension points.

To me, development is a craft. As craftspeople, we refine and refine, improving the system as we go. Eventually, we have something that starts to sing. And then we refine, refine, refine...

From Uncle Bob Martin:

It is not enough for code to work. Code that works is often badly broken.

How do we go beyond code that merely "works"?

  • Self-documenting strategies – I use descriptive naming conventions and break functions down until they're easily digestible.
  • Unit testing – this allows us to prod our edge cases, but, more importantly, it allows us to refactor without worrying we may have broken something.
  • Collaboration – the code review is, to me, the most important step of the development process. It's how we learn and grow together.
  • Experimentation – sure, it might meet the acceptance criteria, but is it fun to use? It's important to keep questioning the design until it feels right.

I'm a generalist. The field as a whole is so interesting that I can't just stay on the front or back end! I love to try new technologies and new approaches to things, and I'm always reading programming books and articles.

Here's an example of a website I built from scratch using plain JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. No frameworks!

My approach to branding

This is the really fun part! Oftentimes, people have a strong feeling for their personal brand, but they might not know how to express it with images, fonts, and colors.

That's where I come in! I really enjoy talking to clients and getting a sense for their aesthetics. Together, we can create a brand style guide that will become a touchstone for you as you continue to express yourself.

And the important thing is – it won't look like anybody else's branding!

I love to try new things and explore fun options while creating brand assets. Your site will never end up looking like a cliche, and it will never have the "hey wait, this was made with Wix/Squarespace/WordPress/etc." issue. No matter what platform best suits your needs, it will have an original, custom feel that expresses your personality.

Here's an example of a branding project I did for West Point Dental.

But enough about work...

I do other stuff too!

I've been playing guitar for about ten years, and recently I started playing the drums. It's a ton of fun! I'm a massive fan of all kinds of music, ranging from Captain Beefheart to Can to Coltrane to 100 gecs. There really isn't a genre or artist that I can't enjoy in some way. 😀

Oh, and I'm a pretty big comedy fan. I've seen Norm MacDonald and Gilbert Gottfried at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, and I was lucky enough to see Todd Barry at the Planet Ant in Hamtramck while he was doing some crowd work. Probably the funniest show I've seen, though, may have been Neil Hamburger at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids.

I'm also very interested in mental health and mindfulness. If you ever want to talk about awakening or shadow work, I'm your guy. 😜 For real though, I highly reccomend Johann Hari's Lost Connections and Bessel van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score. Our society has been learning a lot about mental health over the past few decades, and I think it's extremely important and fulfilling to research depression and anxiety.

And who could forget?! This is my cat, Piper:

My cat, Piper

Who drew that lovely picture of you?

That was drawn by Super Bunny Pop Studio. I'm extremely happy with it, and you can have your own too!

Can I hire you?

Of course! Send me an email and I can give you a quote. I can do small, single page business sites or full web apps. We can also talk about hosting your site in the cloud, which will save you money and give you the most reliable platform available.

Looking forward to working with you! ✌️