About Me

Sr. Software Engineer with over 12 years experience

Hello, my name is Steven Weathers as you should already know by now

First foray into computer programming

During my teenage years I got my start in computer progrmaming thanks to video games. It began with small modifications to gain advantage or access to features in ways not originally intended. From there the desire to create websites for our gaming teams helped drive my hunger to learn, with technologies like HTML, CSS and Javascript I was able to develop small websites with static pages that linked with a forum engine like PHPBB helped the teams thrive in the gaming community. As a way to formally enhance my skillset I enrolled in an adult tradeschool’s classes; these included Computer Hardware, Networking, Graphic Design, Animation, and Web Technologies.

Community College and Freelancing

After graduating from high school I started to take on some freelance projects by finding small businesses that could benefit from a new website or enhancing their current website. This would help me not only continue to sharpen my skills but also help me earn some money while I started community college at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. I took courses in Web Design, Web Programming, Graphics Design, Computer Networking, SQL Database. During this time I also joined a video game project team as a Web Developer and Administrator. Working with the Graphics Designer I completely re-wrote the website in PHP, integrating with PHPBB Forum to display latest post titles and other useful information throughout the other pages of the website. I also joined a PHP open source project called QCubed as a Frontend Developer for the marketing and documentation website.

First programming job

After a couple semesters in community college I got offered a job at Miller Davis Agency, a local marketing and print firm in Salisbury North Carolina. My title was Frontend Developer, with my responsibilities ranging from transforming photoshop designs into HTML, CSS and Javascript code, to building dynamic web applications within a Content Management System called Kentico. In my tenure at the agency I developed over 300 websites, ranging from small marketing content to ecommerce sites. As I reached what I felt was the peak of my career with the agency I accepted an offer from Lowe’s Home Improvement to be a Frontend Developer on the Lowes.com team.

Lowes.com

I started out on a team responsible for the Cart & Checkout pages of the Lowes.com, fixing bugs and making small enhancements. The first big feature I worked was refactoring these pages to replace the Javascript library Dojo bundled with IBM’s WebSphere Commerce for which Lowes.com was built on; with jQuery. From there I was able to redo the UI of these pages to meet the new design to help bring a cohesive experience across the website.

Eventually I would join a new project team that consisted of developers and designers with the intention of building a full prototype website for use with User Experience Testing. This was in preperation for a complete redesign of the website, to which would go on for a few months until we had gathered all the necessary research data.

The next team I joined within Lowes.com was responsible for the mobile web version of Lowes.com, which had at the time had recently had its development brought in house. While on the mobile web team I got to help transition parts of the site to a newly purchased Content Management System from Adobe, named Adobe CQ (later renamed Adobe Experience Manager or AEM for short). After launching this new version of the site we quickly learned that CQ was not going to scale well for the eCommerce features of Lowes.com. This led to the need for a different solution, something I took as an opportunity to propose Node.js an open source Javascript server framework powered by the same Javascript virtual machine as Google Chrome browser. To help demonstrate Node’s capabilities I built a small proof of concept (POC), the Product Detail page of our new website design using our existing backend APIs to render the page dynamically. I then presented this POC to our departments leadership team, explaining the pros and cons of this new technology over our existing Java technology stack. After further research and discussions we got approval to use Node.js to rebuild the Product Listing and Product Detail pages of the website. For more info on this journey read my blog post “How we changed the course of eCommerce at a Fortune 40 company”.

After the monumental achievement of rebuilding the product browsing pages of Lowes.com we were moved to a new project to do the same for the LowesForPros.com website. Unfortunately our leadership felt this could be achieved in 8 months with the help of a vendor against our best efforts to convince them more time was needed. This would prove to be a highly stressful project, to which would start driving our best developers to leave for new opportunities. Alas, I had reached what I felt was my potential at Lowes, so after a few interviews with various companies I accepted an offer from Bank of America to join a team reponsible for setting the frontend code standards that all teams within the Bankofamerica.com department would follow.

Bank of America [Current Position]

Just a few months into my career at Bank of America some organization changes led to me joining a team that was responsible for a set of tools used to build the web pages for BankofAmerica.com. These tools included a static site generator platform, build & deployment tool, and content management system. This involved building services with Node.js, MySQL, Redis, and web UI’s with the React Javascript framework.

Photo of yours truly