Zachary Johnson


I believe that if we never re-invented the wheel, then we'd all still be bumping around on stone tires. I use my creativity to build new solutions that provide a strategic advantage to my employer and improve the human experience of the user. My ability to adapt to limitations fuels my innovation. I stay practical by making the components of my solutions reusable. If I was creating a better rubber tire tread, I probably wouldn't forge my own steel rim (though I wouldn't be afraid to try if I thought it would make a difference).


Web Design / Web Applications:

JavaScript, AJAX, DOM
Backbone.js, Angular
jQuery, Zepto, Underscore, YUI
Node.js, Express,
PHP, Apache


MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite
Mongo, Redis
Architecture & Administration

Mobile Apps / Mobile Web:

Responsive Design
PhoneGap, Ejecta, Titanium
jQuery Mobile

Software Development:

Win32 APIs, MS Windows
TCP and UDP sockets

Operating Systems:

Mac OS X (Apple)
iOS, Android
Debian/Ubuntu Linux, FreeBSD

Production Tools:

Sublime Text 2, TextMate, Vim
Photoshop, Illustrator
Microsoft Visual Studio


B.S. Computer Science - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, May 2004

Professional Experience:

Creative Web and Mobile Developer

Working as a development resource and consultant for clients or as a partner in new business ventures. Roles include: software engineer, front-end web developer, mobile developer, interactive developer, game developer, creative consultant, and product user experience developer.

Created many rich, highly interactive responsive web sites and UI components with JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. Developed single-page Backbone.js application using Google Maps API v3 for major US retail brand. Programmed the Beemo Adventure Time iOS app for Cartoon Network which reached #1 in free charts using PhoneGap, JavaScript, and Objective-C. Created custom WordPress driven CMS solutions. Produced UX designs and did development for mobile web apps and hybrid iOS/Android apps using SQLite and jQuery Mobile. Built a realtime mouse/click user analytics web service with Node.js, Express, and Built massively multiplayer HTML5 arcade games with Node.js and Created several other desktop and mobile HTML5 games.

Senior User Experience Developer

Leader of User Experience (UX) development on a wide variety of products for global Fortune 500 clients in the consumer electronics and medical technology sectors. Projects included mobile apps, desktop software, web services, and personal medical devices. Developed interactive user interface prototypes using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript on a variety of platforms including Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Conducted user testing and ethnographic research in the field internationally.

Web Manager

Leader of web application engineering and front-end development for small team. Developed and maintained PHP/MySQL web applications using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern on a Linux/Apache platform. Produced rich web user interfaces and interactive content using JavaScript. Set code, design, form, and user experience guidelines and standards for my unit while steering the University towards adoption of such documents. Facilitated and analyzed usability testing. Managed one full-time developer, two student employees, and several large UMN.EDU websites.

Produced and distributed accessible, semantic XHTML and CSS web templates directly resulting in their wider adoption University-wide. Presented at and co-organized the annual MinneWebCon web conference. Developed custom touch screen building directory kiosks with HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript. Launched two E-Commerce retail solutions with overall conversion rate at 10% (and 87% for shoppers with items in their cart). Redeveloped the content and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of our concert venue website leading to a 65% increase in traffic in the first year (66% more from Google). Executed redesign of all SUA websites, including major rebranding. Produced award winning web-based video games and accessible alternative activities. Wrote, directed, and edited an award winning video advertisement.

Web Documentary & Research Intern

Worked with lead web documentary developer in adapting radio documentaries for the web. Work included standard web HTML/CSS and design work, as well as photographic and informational research and gaining legal clearances.

Optimized markup of old web documentaries through the application of new CSS techniques and the use of server side includes to separate design from content.

Student Web Developer

Worked in a small team to develop and maintain websites and web applications for the University's Student Unions and Student Activities Office using PHP and MySQL on a Linux/Apache platform. Wrote libraries and automation tools, and then trained other individuals how to use these items. Assumed minor managerial duties in absence of lead web designer.

Developed web applications to automate student group registration and administration, to automate employment listings and online applications, and to track and view marketing statistics for facilities reservations. Assisted in developing a template based Content Management System deployed during a complete redesign of the Student Union's websites.


Developed a Win32/C++ peer-to-peer MS Windows application. Developed related server software using C and the MySQL API on a FreeBSD platform. Implemented both TCP and UDP socket communication using a proprietary protocol secured with the Blowfish encryption algorithm and MD5 hash algorithm. Produced the website and also license agreements, privacy policies, and other legal documents for product launch.

Student Web Programmer

Worked independently on PHP / MySQL driven web applications for clients while working with a group on a large-scale web mail application. Tested and debugged legacy code and software written by senior developers. Designed new application User Interfaces and improved upon existing interfaces.

Student New Media Developer

Created an interactive portfolio and online game using DHTML and JavaScript for the company website. Converted an offline newsletter into a web presentable format for a large insurance agency. Designed website layouts for new clients and then transferred the designs into useable templates. Digitized, edited, and compressed video for streaming on an NFL football team's website. Developed a build-on-the-fly text navigation system. Rewrote a Perl / PostgreSQL E-card application using PHP and MySQL.

Additional Experience:

MinneWebCon Committee Member

Member of the all-volunteer committee that plans and executes the annual Minnesota-based web conference.

DJ and Music Review / Marketing Department Volunteer

Volunteered in the Music and Marketing Departments reviewing music, updating the telephone concert information hotline, and promoting sponsored events. DJ'ed weekly on FM from a studio playing off vinyl, compact disc, MiniDisc, and from MegaSeg.

Other Interests:

Video games, music, cooking, beer, travel, art, film, and snorkeling