As I work on the day-to-day to establish my business, Key Medium, I have been struggling to successfully monetize solutions built like the underlying technological solutions I own–Net Qualified and Private File Share. And, since I have to pay the bills somehow, it was definitely not beneath me to accept a temporary contract position in downtown Philadelphia at an independent advertising agency after having just completed a several month set of projects with another independent advertising agency in Princeton, NJ, where I worked on the completion of a bank site, a b2b site for North America’s leading fruit puree supplier, and a J&J-sponsored calorie challenge site, among other things.

So. I was supposed to have started earlier than Thursday, so work just accumulated for me since Monday. I was able to meet those awesome people whom I would directly work with, got a tour of the break/coffee area, as well as the entire office. We grabbed lunch and ate at our desks, combing through various tasks that needed to be completed.

I applied bug fixes and UX improvements, helping to perfect a website built atop WordPress with the Enfold theme. This was my first task and project. It was developed rather quickly from what I gather, so bugs were plentiful. There were a ton of conflicting styles which all used the !important attribute, which overrides other styles set before… needless to say, it was a headache to navigate. At least at first. 

Once I got around to understand how it was built, what working files I need to focus on — it was smooth sailing. Though I consider some fixes to be a bit hacky, they were pixel-perfect. A solid user experience is key, and so is security and performance. Since the styling was nested and had tons of white space, I had to compress that to optimize performance right off the bat. Every millisecond of decreased page load time is important to myself, and users.

I’m told that I will be working on Expression Engine — a proprietary Content Management System that focuses on modeling content before building pages. This is a pretty cool concept; I’m able to grasp this new way of creating a website — from the “bottom-up.” I’m used to modeling MySQL databases for custom systems (like the one that currently powers TheA.li, Key Medium, and others), and this is pretty damn similar.

All in all, my first day was good, and I was glad to have started on completing tasks right away!