Big Skillet
Web Developer
“Good design inspires me to write good code.​”
What makes an excellent web developer? Is it their deep knowledge of HTML and CSS? Or that they know PHP like the back of their hand? Sure, technical knowledge and mastery is of paramount importance, but what we like about Matthew is not only his ability to translate our designs into pixel perfect code, but his ability to seamlessly integrate with our team and help bring our projects to life.

Tell us about your path to becoming a web developer.
My path started back in middle school with traditional art classes, then took a turn towards digital in college where I studied Multimedia. Do you remember when you could put a CD in a computer and a little interface would pop up with music videos, photos and a bio about the band? Yeah, we did that… and the technology was totally obsolete by the time I graduated, so I took my newly acquired arsenal of graphic, audio/video, coding skills, and descended into the dotcom chaos that was prevalent at the time. Bored and jaded with the boom, bust cycle, I retired from tech and now work with studios and creatives.

Who or what inspires you?
I’m all about minimalism; less is more, so those who can refine the complex down to its essence; it’s always inspiring. Watching a creative start with a blank slate and give birth to a new brand and personality is fascinating. Good design inspires me to write good code.

Were you creative as a kid?
Many hours were spent in my room as a kid, listening to music, drawing, painting, sculpting. Skateboarding and BMX videos were always in production, along with a steady stream of X Games inspired photography.

What do you like about living in Austin?
The juxtaposition of West Texas country, metropolitan Manhattan, combined with a conscious Californian, Northwest mindset… food, music, movies, the creative culture. There’s no place else like it. I’ve toyed with the idea of moving away, but every time I travel, people always express their interest in Austin. Why leave when I’m already where everyone wants to be?

What is your typical day like?
My “ideal” day would start around 6:00am with meditation and a light workout, but that’s anything but “typical.” Either way, I try to start work around 9:00am with email and identifying tasks for the day. I’ll do a short, late morning coding block for small projects, then a longer block for larger projects after lunch. Dinner with the wifey early evening, then I usually try to squeeze in another late night work block in an attempt to keep up with the constant barrage of new coding languages, tools, techniques, and to streamline my development workflow.

What's your favorite food?
“All of it.” — Erick Montes