Shane Stebner "HTMLGuy"

Meet HTMLGuy: Shane Stebner

What can you do?

HTMLGuy is a bit misleading. HTML is the most basic building block, yet I'm actually a full-stack LEMP developer with a wide array of experience with technologies such as:

  • Bootstrap/Foundation
  • CSS/SASS/Responsive Design
  • ES6/VueJS/ReactJS/jQuery
  • Webpack/Gulp/Babel
  • Git/Composer/Yarn/NPM
  • NodeJS/Express
  • PHP/MYSQL/SQLite
  • Symfony/Laravel
  • Docker/Vagrant
  • Ubuntu/Nginx/Apache
  • DigitalOcean/AWS
  • Facebook/Twilio/REST APIs
  • Stripe/Paypal/Authorize.net
  • Headless Chrome/Web Scraping
What have you achieved?

Nothing that gained mainstream notoriety, but that's primarily due to my preferences. I tend to gravitate towards startups and growing businesses where I can make the largest positive impact and interact directly with both C-level staff and end-users.

I can proudly say that I have:

  • Steadily improved as a programmer for almost a decade
  • Been a leader and source of knowledge to my peers
  • Converted many clients into friends & business partners
  • Open-sourced several plugins and projects
  • Contributed to open-source software
  • Volunteered on a recurring basis to help kids learn to code
  • Been involved with local tech communities
  • Consistently upheld my high standards of honesty and responsibility
Why HTMLGuy? What about Versatility Werks?

I chose HTMLGuy for two main reasons:

  • HTML will likely outlive many of the languages and frameworks that exist today.
  • It's a well-recognized acronym associated with building websites.

Versatility Werks was my first company and because I was unsure of what industry or market I would end up primarily serving, I went with a generic name.

After years of seeing people struggle to remember the name, domain (verswerks.com), and spelling, I realized I needed to rebrand.

Shane Stebner "HTMLGuy"
Where did you learn to code?

I was homeless at 18, and worked my way up to management at a healthcare facility by 21. Realizing how easily I could be replaced and end up sleeping in my truck again, I determined I needed something more than a typical 9-5 position offered. My hometown was small with minimal opportunities so I began writing business plans in my spare-time. The problem was they all ended with one major blocker...I didn't have the startup capital, or the means of acquiring a business loan. On top of that, I feared they might drive me back into poverty instead of lifting me further away.

That's when it hit me. Web development requires nearly zero monetary investment, allows you to serve a virtually unlimited global market, is in great demand, and satisfies my techie side. So I registered my first company "Versatility Werks" and started picking up gigs on Craigslist. Each project I accepted was slightly more difficult than the last. This steady progression allowed me to grow without getting in over my head.

I began with HTML and CSS, however it didn't take long until my clients required features I couldn't achieve by simply pasting Woofoo form embed codes. I pushed myself to learn PHP and MYSQL to send emails, authenticate users, and store data. At this point I was fully capable of building large web applications (and I did), but it still wasn't enough. The next logical progression was improving the user experience by sprinkling Javascript (jQuery) onto my sites. This was also around the time responsive design was taking off, so I started using media queries for mobile devices (even using Phonegap to create mobile apps).

Then in 2014, with my first son on the way, I decided to hang up my solo-entrepreneur hat and join a startup. There was some culture shock as I absorbed their formatting requirements, got comfortable with Agile/Sprints/Kanban, adapted to programming in a team environment, and focused more on the maintainability of my code through the use of frameworks, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Unit Tests, and Git. I grew exponentially and by the time I left, I had managed projects with up to 20 developers following my lead.

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