We love to see the incredible sites built by web designers and developers on Convergence. One company that's doing some amazing work is Hole in the Roof from Waco, Texas. Recently, we got the chance to interview Nate Cornelius, their rockstar web developer. Check out the interview below.
Howdy Nate! First off, take a second to describe how you got into web design.
After I got married I was working long hours at a dead-end job and my wife encouraged me to go back to school and find something I really enjoyed. Of course I had no idea what that might be. I basically looked through a list of course offerings at a local technical college, covered my eyes and pointed to a random spot on the list. My finger landed on web design. No joke.
It was something I had wanted to learn and I was into computer science in high school so it actually made sense. After a few years of working full time and going to school, I landed a job at Hole in the Roof. Now, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
What initially drew you to Convergence?
I first heard about it when I was interning at Hole in the Roof. I really liked the idea of it so I put it to use with a few school projects, including building a new site for a local non-profit. The client loved it (and still do) and my classmates enjoyed building with it. It was a win-win and way better than Wordpress or any other CMS I had ever used. Now we use it exclusively at Hole in the Roof.
What have you learned using Convergence?
When I started using Convergence I wasn’t very knowledgeable with jQuery. Using Convergence really inspired me to add that to my toolbox so I could have more control and flexibility when designing sites and apps. The fact that much of Convergence’s core systems are built in jQuery rather than server-side languages is a huge plus. As a developer I can tweak just about anything with jQuery in order to customize the system for whatever project we are working on. Try doing that with Wordpress and still make a deadline!
How has Convergence helped you build sites? How many sites have you built on it?
In 2012 alone, I built 33 sites with Convergence. I’m no Speedy Gonzales when it comes to coding so being able to push out that many sites by myself in a year is a testament to Convergence - not me. There’s absolutely no way I could have hand-coded anywhere near that number of sites without it. On top of that, we spend more time coding new sites and less time updating live sites because our clients have that power in their hands now.
Talk to us about your favorite project you’ve done – what features does it have?
Check out http://teamsewell.com. This was such a fun site to build. Not only did they want a state-of-the-art website, they also wanted a company “intranet” site that only employees could use. The intranet site has awesome features that allow employees and managers to collaborate more efficiently and keep track of each other with ease. We used Convergence’s user accounts and Item Lists like crazy with this part of the site. Despite how robust the site is, the user interface is so simple that our client can manage the entire thing without any help from us! I’d like to mention that building something of this scale in MySQL and PHP would have taken ten times longer at ten times the cost. In other words, we would have lost the bid to begin with.
On a side note, we have a "super-secret" redesign of our own website to be launched very soon. We are incorporating much of what we learned from Team Sewell into our redesign. It’s going to be amazing!
Last one: what’s your favorite kind of coffee? From where?
I’ve heard a company called Bistro makes a killer cup, but I’ve never tried it myself. I generally enjoy a simple, dry cappuccino from Starbucks when the mood strikes.
Big thanks again to Nate for taking the time to sit down with us. You can check out Hole in the Roof at their website: http://www.holeintheroof.com/