A front-end UX engineer at Media Temple since 2012, Ara was most recently instrumental to helping redesign the company’s website and Account Center in 2014. One of the resident UX team pool sharks and comic book lovers, he builds new pages and improves existing ones on a daily basis. We sat down down with Ara to talk about his most favorite projects.
1: What do you enjoy the most in what you do at Media Temple?
The freedom. Freedom to explore, try new ideas and approaches, fail, and improve. Things are always changing in my field, whether it’s new programming languages, frameworks, or methodologies. There is always room to grow and improve and, if you find the right place that encourages you and allows you to learn, what’s not to like?
2: Which project have you worked on or contributed to you are the proudest?
Definitely the website redesign. I had complete freedom, time, and control to research, prototype, and discover the most intuitive ways to approach front-end development. I actually wrote about my approach and process in CSS-Tricks.
3: Can you talk a little bit about the Easter Egg game you built for our managed WordPress hosting solution’s loading page?
The UX team was brainstorming ways to make the unavoidable loading screen an engaging experience. I remembered seeing a loading screen somewhere that allowed you to play the Snake game or something similar. From there, I just dove into building it and had a blast learning and adding different features to it. Turned out pretty cool.
4: Before working here, what was the weirdest / most interesting job you had?
Prior to Media Temple, I was a Senior Web Developer at a digital agency called Huge, where I got to work on highly interesting projects for major brands such as FX, Disney, Nintendo, Royal Caribbean, and American University.
5: Outside of Media Temple, what do you do in your free time? How has Media Temple helped you pursue your hobbies?
These days, I pretty much spend most of my free time going on walks and playing with my dog Dexter, or watching one of the *many* television shows I’m currently following. Other than that, you’ll probably find me at one of the local comic-book shops or gasping for air while hiking Runyon Canyon.
One of the main reasons I joined Media Temple was the work-life balance. The fact that I have time to spend with my friends, family, and my dog is huge. I don’t do a lot of freelance work at the moment, but it’s nice to know that if I do decide to take on a personal/side project, I have the time to do so.
6: If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?
Grabbing some tacos and chimichangas with Deadpool would be awesome. I also wouldn’t mind having dinner with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character in Avengers.
7: Which one of the five company values resonates the most with you? Why?
“JOIN FORCES”. It’s so nice to work on a team where everyone gets along. I really like that the people I work with are ego-free and willing to help whenever you’re in need.