This post is part of the A Day in the Life series

Our next interview for our “Day in the life” series is with one of our developers, Evan Thompson. Evan has been with Simpatico for over four years! Today, he talks about what kinds of development projects make him happy and why he loves working at Studio Simpatico.

I’ve won a sword fight against a six-fingered man, and I’m credited as a consultant in National Geographic’s book, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.

Meet Evan Thompson

Hi there – I’m Evan! I’ve been living in New York for a long while now, but I’m still a Virginia boy at heart. I started teaching myself how to code about a year before being hired at Simpatico, and ultimately completed Thinkful’s bootcamp course in Full-Stack Development. When I’m not at work, I can be found cooking, bouldering, and playing a bevy of trading card games.

What’s your typical day at Simpatico like? What are some of your duties?

Typical can be hard to nail down in agency work! On any given day I might work on a single feature for a client, or bounce between three different websites. For the most part though, you can often find me fixing JavaScript bugs, writing website code using HTML/CSS (special shoutout to Flexbox!), and creating WordPress admin experiences using Advanced Custom Fields.

What made you want to work at Studio Simpatico? What do you think made Tamara want to hire you?

As a Front End Developer, a big part of your job is working with designers to insure that the finished product matches the designs. It can be a real problem if either the designer or the developer doesn’t “get it”.

For me, it’s a dream getting to work with the Simpatico designers who keep development in mind from the minute they start work on a new site. They know when to ask us what features are possible, and they clearly communicate their intentions for responsive design across screen sizes and interactive states. They’re also both wizards with Sketch, which is by FAR my favorite design editor!

In the other direction, I think I was an appealing addition to the Simpatico team because of my attention to detail. When I receive designs, I always work with the designers to make sure I’m honoring their vision. I’m not afraid to ask for clarification on complex features, and I love digging into the specs of the design to make my code as pixel-perfect as possible.

What kinds of projects or features do you prefer to code?

I. Love. JavaScript! There are some developers who look down their noses at JavaScript, but I’d like them to show me another regularly updated client-side language that’s supported by every modern browser (Amber: “Um HTML and CSS???”) .

Did you find one?

Does it compile to JavaScript?

That’s what I thought.

The puzzle-solving nature of code is what first drew me into the industry. I love getting into the weeds on unusual features, and integrating beautiful CSS animations into JS-based interactions. There’s a magic moment when you finally iron out that last corner case on a feature, and see it all run…perfectly. 🙂

What new coding technique, language, or fancy code thing do you want to learn this year?

While JavaScript is my first love, I do want to learn more about the backend! At the moment I’m a little torn on what language to focus on: Node.js is still pretty hot, which lets me bring a lot of my JS knowledge to bear, but having worked on WordPress sites for a while now I might want to delve further into PHP.

What has been the hardest thing for you about being a web developer in general?

Knowing when to take a step back from a problem. When you’re really deep in the weeds on a bug, you can start to lose sight of the project’s big picture. Sometimes when you’re lost in the code, what you really need is a break to reset your brain. Identifying that you’ve gone down the rabbit hole is difficult though, so I’m always trying to improve my self awareness.