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About

About

I’m a full stack web developer with all the skills necessary to build a successful product from the ground up. I enjoy working on small teams or solo projects where I get a chance to contribute ideas and make significant contributions to the success of the project. I am highly skilled in my areas of expertise, but also love a task that requires me to learn a new concept, framework, language, or skill set. I take pride in building user-friendly products that make life easier for their users. I love finding problems to be solved and coming up with novel solutions for them.
Work Experience

Work Experience

  • Software EngineerIndependent Software Developer

    Jul, 2019 - Present

    In July of 2019 I decided to take advantage of my significant savings to give self-employment a try, and pursue some product ideas of my own. I had (and still have) a list of ideas that is far too long to complete. I first set out to create and teach a Javascript course for kids, for which I created both the curriculum and the learning platform. Most recently I have been working on two projects, Wasatch Lasercraft and Wunderfold. The details of the projects have been listed below. Each project has been built with low cost and scalability in mind – I have used a serverless JAMStack architecture to minimize costs while allowing for a rapid development and deployment cycle.

    • Developed a highly productive workflow for building sites using Gitlab, Netlify, and Firebase

    • Launched multiple sucessful side projects with paying customers

    • Created several games and other for-fun projects

  • Software Engineer/Full Stack DeveloperAncestry.com/Fold3

    Jan, 2012 - Jul, 20197 years 6 months

    Fold3 is a website owned by Ancestry.com which hosts historical and military content such as military images, documents, and stories. My work on the Fold3 was mainly on the frontend and middle layers. During my time I helped to simplify and modernize the Fold3 stack while building clean and innovative interfaces for Fold3's key features of searching, browsing, and viewing documents, and creating user content such as memorials.

    • Architected a Node.js based stack, and migrated the majority of Fold3 content away from a PHP stack

    • Won a $1500 Ancestry award for creating mobile-friendly image viewer and search page

    • Mentored a junior developer into a strong contributor

    • Researched and led adoption of productivity-increasing technologies such as Git, React and Typescript

    • Actively contributed ideas for product direction

    • Rebuilt a highly complex search page (fold3.com/search)

    • Helped make several significant architectural decisions

    • Implemented new login methods via Facebook and Ancestry

    • Major contributor to Ancestry Academy, a project built for Ancestry by the Fold3 team

Projects Experience

Projects Experience

  • Wunderfold

    Jan, 2022 - Present

    Side business and personal project – Wunderfold is software for a craft known as book folding. I went from an idea to paying customers in eight weeks, and have a loyal following of happy customers. Read more at mortensoncreative.com/#wunderfold

    • Single-handedly designed, built, and launched a product from the ground up in only six weeks

    • Built a product which has quickly surpassed its competitors in reputation as the easiest to use and best of its kind

    • Rapidly growing following – Facebook group currently has over 700 members

    • Created several innovative features which are unique to Wunderfold

    • Established a reputation for listening to customer input and continually improving the product

  • Wasatch Lasercraft

    Mar, 2021 - Present

    Side business and personal project - Provides resources and tools for laser-based small businesses, including downloadable software tools that generate customized SVG designs for laser cutters without requiring design skills or software.

    • Created several popular downloadable SVG design generators, which have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from customers

    • Built a tool to help prospective laser owners search and compare various laser models head-to-head

  • Let's Code!

    Jul, 2019 - May, 20209 months

    In 2019 I create a programming class for kids, that I developed both the curriculum and the learning platform for. The first version was taught in person, and the second version was going to be fully online and self-paced, but has been placed on the backburner for other projects. You can check out the original course at https://code.mortensoncreative.com, though currently you need a registration code from me to use it.

    • Created a sandboxed code editor and runner for drawing and animating on a canvas using Javascript

    • Created enough curriculum to teach a two semesters' worth of weekly lessons

    • Allowed students to publicly share projects they created using the platform

    • Created simple drawing, animation, and music synthesis libraries for students to use in their projects

    • Built several fun demonstration programs - see mortensoncreative.com/#lets-code

  • Ancestry Academy

    Jan, 2014 - Dec, 20152 years

    A video learning platform built by the Fold3 team for Ancestry.com. I was responsible for nearly all development of the frontend and Node.JS middle layer, as well as helping shape the product direction

    • Developed a custom video player with built-in support for education content such as in-course quizzes

    • Created a content administration application for creating course content and structure

    • Responsibly for nearly all client and middle layer architectural decisions and development

    • Created an extremely fast, custom make-based build system for rapid development and deployment

Skills

Skills

  • Typescript

    Node

    React

    Javascript

    Firebase

    Netlify

    Git

    Gitlab

    bash

    CSS

    SCSS

    SVG

    Parcel

    Webpack

    Docker

    PWA

    SVG

    HTML Canvas

    Stripe

Education

Education

  • Linguistics, Bachelor, Brigham Young University

    Jan, 2008 - Apr, 2011

  • Computer Science, Minor, Brigham Young University

    Jan, 2008 - Apr, 2011

Awards

Awards

  • Ancestry Impact Player , Ancestry.com

    Awarded on: Apr 25, 2013

    Cash award given to Ancestry for employees who are making a difference. Here's the award, as described in the Ancestry newsletter:

    Brian Mortenson - For his work on creating a new javascript based image viewer for mobile and tablet devices to more effectively present documents and images to customers on Fold3.

    Brian stepped forward, learned the necessary javascript and platform technologies to make a very capable viewer. He collaborated with the developers and designers on his team.

    It was truly remarkable how much work Brian Mortenson did in a very short period of time, taking it upon himself to drive definition, coordination with product and design counterparts and code to completion what is now a very smooth and solid mobile experience for Fold3. It was the type of project that felt like it should have taken three times as long and required at least twice as many resources as it did; and the difference was all due to Brian’s quiet passion and dedication to excellence.

References

References

  • Brian Hansen, Former SVP Emerging Business at Ancestry

    Brian Mortenson is a very talented hard-working engineer who works extremely well with others and produces high-quality code. I highly recommend him and know he will be a top contributor on any team he joins.

  • Robert Wille, Fold3 Team Lead

    Brian is one of the smartest and most productive developers I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He is dependable, self-starting and always has good ideas for improving product, development environment and processes, and build systems. He's not only a great developer, but also a great friend.

  • Justin Christensen, Fold3 Teammate

    I owe much of what I am as a developer to Brian. With patience, he helped me learn design principles, debugging techniques, nuance of the language, and so much more. His ability to approach a complex problem, evaluate it, and then to come up with a powerful and elegant solution has always impressed me. There seems to be no language, framework, concept, or problem which Brian is not fully capable of diving into and understanding. He has always been, and continues to be a great mentor, developer, and friend.