About Me

There's more than one meditation app on my phone. Sublime Text is my favorite editor. Huge fan of quite a few podcasts. Savory tastes better than sweet. Keynes over Hayek. Always scared of writing unmaintainable code. And I haven't been to space (yet).

My Work

User-Friendly, Standards Compliant and Ready to Meet Deadlines

If it wasn't obvious by now - yes, I'm a web designer/developer with three years professional experience, most notably with projects using Wordpress. Since I started full-time freelance work, it's been my mission to create websites that stick to the principles of mobile-first design, progressive enhancement and inclusive design. And I'm all for learning new tools to do what I do better, no matter how many tutorials, books or docs it takes.

My development workflow starts with making or analyzing wireframes and mock-ups in Photoshop and Illustrator, followed by the creation of a local environment using XAMPP, Node.js, Gulp and Bower. Then, depending on the client's needs, I employ open-source tools like Wordpress, Bootstrap, Foundation and e-commerce platforms to build modern, responsive sites that are clean, simple and easy-to-use.

My Story

Picture of Joey Heflich

I coded my first website in computer camp during the summer after middle school. Four years later, in 2002, I went to NJIT to study Human-Computer Interaction, hoping that it would help me distance myself from the Geocities sites of my table-obsessed teens. But three semesters before graduation, years of untreated depression got the best of me, and I took some time off from school to get better. And because that meant I had a lot of extra time, I spent weeks in the library and discovered that I loved economics and law.

The following semester, I transfered to Montclair State University, where I earned my degree in economics. That experience of working towards something new and difficult gave me the courage to try it again, and after graduation, I made good on a childhood goal to become a writer. I did reviews, features, list articles, editorials, and thanks to the help of my friends, I even wrote a short book. But there came a point when it seemed like my words were helping fewer people than my code.

My guiding principle has always been to use my skills to do the greatest good, so I switched from occasionally fixing websites to putting in the full-time effort to study and work as a web developer. That began three years ago, and I've completed 25 projects since then. I still have a few things in common with the self-taught kid making goofy Flash animations in computer club, but I'm thankful that dial-up and table-based layouts are stuck in the distant past.

My Everything Else

I do spend a lot of time working, but when I'm not in front of my laptop, I'm either reading, biking or playing video games with friends.

My favorite podcast is either Planet Money, No Such Thing as a Fish or 99% Invisible. I'm not very good at picking favorites, except when it comes to burritos versus tacos. (I prefer burritos, but that might be because I'm from New Jersey.)

I try to read a new comic book series every month, and whenever I can, I pop into New York City to see live music. The best days of my life have almost always concluded with me stepping out of concert and locating the nearest styrofoam tray of halal food.

And if you were wondering, what made a huge difference with my depression was cognitive behavioral therapy. It isn't for everyone, but for me, that help was invaluable. Now, I can break my problems down into manageable chunks, use positive self-talk to overcome the irrational crud that collects inside my head, and most importantly, I get to live my life moment-to-moment, being mindful and present.

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