Bolt Bio: Megan Mertes
“In any job, you need a reason to do it. I feel like knowing I’m helping someone is the most rewarding thing.”
Name: Darin Larimore
Title: Junior Web Developer
Album Recommendation: The Big Lebowski: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Darin Larimore joined the TrendyMinds team in July 2017, following not just one but two successful internships with our agency. We’re a big fan of his ingenuity. The cool gadgets on his desk — which include a light bar connected to his computer that glows when he receives notifications — always draw the eyes of passing coworkers and inspire creative conversations.
Get acquainted with our Junior Developer and office tinkerer in this TrendyMinds Bolt Bio Q&A.
Q: As a Junior Web Developer at TrendyMinds, what do your days look like?
A: In short, I work on code all day! I am more front-end focused, which means most of what I do deals with the visual style and usability of websites. Because of my artistic background, I think of myself as half designer, half developer.
Q: What did you do before joining TrendyMinds?
A: I joined TrendyMinds right after graduating from IUPUI’s Herron School of Art. My major was in graphic design, with a focus on web. Before transferring to IUPUI, I was a student at Ball State University, where I studied fine art, drawing, video, and glassblowing. I’ve also had a handful of different non-advertising jobs like construction and cooking, lessons from which inform my work now in interesting ways.
Q: What’s your personal philosophy about design and web development?
A: In what I do, you need to always be experimental, and pay huge attention to details. I also try to make every line of code I write as simple as possible, so it’s easy for everyone else to understand. That future-proofs the site and makes it possible for other people to manage it and edit it, even if I’m not available. When I look at art, I like to know the work behind it, and what I do is the work behind the art of a website. When you look at my websites, I want you to see and feel details and a lot of time spent.
Q: Do you have any advice for developers who are just starting out?
A: It’s so important for web developers to not be afraid to ask questions. There’s no shame in not knowing, especially in web development where we handle so many small details, as long as you’re brave enough to ask about it. Also, the best qualities in a web developer are positivity and collaboration. People assume developers don’t have to talk to people, but that’s where they run into trouble. You have to be able to talk about tiny details in huge depth — details people outside of web development wouldn’t even think of. Finally, take on freelance projects to hone your craft. If you’re doing this daily and figuring out solutions for people, you’ll gain the skill set you need to do this professionally.
Q: What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on at TrendyMinds?
A: The Kappa Alpha Theta website is my favorite. It’s beautiful, and the backend tech used is flawless. There’s no junk code in there. There’s also a really cool animated hero image for the 150th anniversary of Theta. I’m proud to say I made that one. I’m also very proud to have been on the team for the IU Health website redesign, and I love the look and components of this year’s Rev website.
Q: What’s really inspiring you in the world of web design these days?
A: Recently, Google Play has started to accept Progressive Web Apps. This is super inspiring to me because it potentially allows web developers to create simple apps and app-like solutions at a fraction of the maintenance cost previously required of native apps. App developers had better watch out! ;)
Q: What do you do outside of #agencylife?
A: Oh, I’ve got a ton of hobbies. I love going to concerts and riding my bike outside. I’ve recently taken up rock-climbing, and I try to go twice a week. I’ve got a little glass blowing station at home, and I still love making glass art. I also have a saltwater fish tank with clownfish, a blenny, and some anemones. Sometimes I even come home and code an Arduino, prototyping something that may (or may not) be useful.