I recently concluded my time at Boston University. My tenure began on Nov 15, 2011 and it lasted 11 years and 1 month. I had incredible career growth and control over my professional destiny. After so long, I decided it was time for my next major chapter. The text below describes my time and growth at BU:
The path to my department at Boston University is:
~BU/Marketing & Communications/Creative Services/Interactive Design/
That’s right, I lead a team of 4 other back-end developers within a department called “Interactive Design.” We work among a team of about 12 designers who write front-end code– as well as project managers, content strategists, and all of the others that help bring a website to life. We do all things between:
- Managing a university-wide WordPress parent theme/framework.
- Develop all manner of customizations using child themes build on that parent theme/framework.
- Create and maintain university-wide WordPress plugins
- Manage the department’s build process, continuous integration, and deployments
- Mentor and train designers & producers
My Growth & Responsibilities:
Web Developer I:
Web Developer II:
Web Developer III:
In July of 2015, I took on the role of Web Developer III. Shortly after I was promoted, the Web Developer II and Lead Developer quit. I assumed those responsibilities immediately: interviewed and hired two new developers, code reviews, mentoring, knowledge sharing, career pathing, etc. During this time, I and the rest of our department led the creation (and ownership) of and a responsive WP parent theme/theme framework (instead of IS&T owning it). We were getting pretty deep into using WordPress metaboxes. I pushed to use a WordPress metabox framework (CMB2) to ensure our cross-theme code base was significantly more standardized and buttoned-up.
Senior Web Developer:
In May of 2016, I was promoted to Senior Web Developer. I had taken to constantly improving the collaboration between Interactive Design and IS&T, especially with cross-discipline complex projects and organize knowledge-sharing meetings. We’ve been doing much more plugin maintenance and creation. Along with our Web Developer III, we’ve been pushing code quality and standards through pull requests, code reviews, and automated continuous integration testing as well as integrated code linting. I also have a passion for maintaining morale and team building/collaboration: meetups and conferences, team outings, pumpkin carving during the fall, Yankee swaps during the winter, and the occasional Friday-afternoon game/downtime when our workload allows.
Director of Web Development, Assistant:
In May of 2018, I was promoted to the newly created position of Assistant Director of Web Development. I wrote the job description myself, with input from my manager. The department expansion was in full force, so in order to ensure a stable reporting and support structure, one of the main goals of this move was to solidify the developers, not simply as a support role in the department, but as its own unit with unique priorities, roadmaps, and projects.
In this role, I was responsible for interfacing with, guiding, and reviewing code from outside vendors and agencies providing us staff augmentation. I also got to have more influence in department-wide roadmaps and planning/decisions.
Assistant Director of Web Development:
In January 2021, we hired a Director of Development. That position and mine split job responsibilities, truly rendering me an “Assistant” Director, as the responsibilities became balanced. There is no “line in the sand” since we trade tasks & responsibilities nearly weekly– according to expertise and project & personnel demands. We hired to round out the department.
Interactive Timeline of My Career Growth:
This is specifically to show my growth from an individual developer to the Director of Web Development, along with some of the key relevant reporting structure, like who I reported to, and who reported to me– as well as the overall growth in size and seniority/skillset of the development team. Note: names have been changed for anonymity.
Hover over/click/tap on the glowing dots for more information about each event.
My Direct Reports
|Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Jan & beyond|
|VP, MarCom||VP, MarCom||VP, MarCom|
|Creative Director||Executive Creative Director||Executive Creative Director||Executive Creative Director||Executive Creative Director||Creative Director||Creative Director|
|Director of Development|
|(Assistant) Director of Development||Assistant Director of Development|
|Lead Developer||Senior Developer|
|Dev 2: Alvin||Dev 3||Dev 3: Brendan|
|Web Developer 2||Dev 2: Jane||Dev 2: Jane|
|Web Developer 1||Dev 1: Patricia||Dev 2: Patricia||Dev 2: Louisa||Dev 3: Louisa|
|Dev 1: Libby||Dev 1: Libby||Dev 2: Libby||Dev 1: Nolan|
|Dev 3: Jeremy||Lead Dev 3: Jeremy|
|Dev 3: Fabien||Dev 3: Joe|