Ben Holmes self portrait (hand sketch)

A student developer with a passion for the web.

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In brief...

I’m a junior Georgia Tech student born and raised in Charleston, SC, making my way to the big city of Atlanta to pursue my love of CS. I dove hard into the hacking culture the second I arrived, entering hackathons and soaking up tech podcasts + blogs to learn every aspect of web development I could. The more I learned, the more my focus landed on the frontend; there's always been something so awesome and rewarding to me about pushing around graphics on a screen. It started with game development in Java Swing back in high school, expanding past OOP fundamentals to building remakes of my favorite titles. Soon, through internships and self teaching, I adapted this GUI passion to a new medium: building websites. Now, I use blog posts, Twitter, and clubs as outlets to shout my web dev obsession from the rooftops!

Industry XP

Snag logo sketch with downtown Charleston in the background

Snag

My summer spent with the Snag team brought an interesting blend of old codebases, Mario Kart, modern backend practices with C#, and countless dodged Nerf bullets. Fellow intern Michael Edenzon and I were given a single task: rewrite the company’s employee assessment portal in a DotNet Core + SQL application. This added a level of creative independence most software internships miss, allowing us to write a new application from the ground up.

Good Done Great

GDG gave me an opportunity few high school sophomores get: working on a real world codebase as a project team member. My novice coding knowledge was stretched to the limit, abandoning the object oriented principles of Java for markup languages and callback functions with AngularJS. By the third summer, I completed the company’s nonprofit image gallery, a guided website tour, fixed countless analytics tables, and even built a cross platform app in Ionic from the ground up.

GDG logo sketch with the Charleston Ravenel Bridge in the background

Activities

Bits of Good

Current role: Executive Director of Engineering

The Bits of Good org (yes, our website is getting reimagined these next few months 😆) was my first exposure to a team genuinely as excited about web dev as I am. I was tossed into a team lead role my first semester, tasked with getting a long-in-the-making admin web portal for the nonprofit DrawChange to the finish line. It was an amazing first experience working with a client directly, transforming feedback from progress calls into bite-sized GitHub issues for my teammates and myself. Encouraged by helping a nonprofit succeed and seeing the enthusiasm of the club directors, I decided to jump onto the exec board. Currently, I am building a bootcamp curriculum for new members to get fired up working with the MERN stack 🔥

Golden Swarm Games

Current role: Designer, website maintainer

Getting involved with GSG was my chance to go solo flexing my frontend skills and design sensibilities on an official site (beyond my own pet projects of course). The club is only 12 members strong but full of fire, working to ideate, design, produce, and eventually market it's first ever board game: Escape to Ellysium. The concept is still in its early play test stages, so to get more members to push the project harder/better/faster, the team needed a kicka** website to advertise their passion. I took it as a chance to go crazy, exploring the exotic JS framework Svelte in the process.

Cool Projects

BuildGT Hack - Roombowling

I've definitely attended my fair share of hackathons as a GA Tech student, but BuildGT2 was easily my favorite win. Our team's goal was simple from the start: reserve the Roomba ASAP, wing it from there. Inspired by a childhood classic, Wii Bowling, we decided to create an over-engineered frame of bowling with a Roomba as the ball. Some serious tech was involved:
A Kinect motion camera using Processing lang to detect fallen pins
A webapp running on Svelte and web sockets for gameplay instructions and classic bowling alley animations
A Raspberry Pi to host a Python server so everything could communicate with each other

32 Bit Rackets for Game Boy

Though I've found my niche in frontend dev and design, my interest in programming all started making simple games in Java. I spent my first few years of high school using and abusing Java.Swing to recreate my favorite titles. I had yet to rekindle this passion in just recently, when our system fundamentals class tasked us with creating a game in C using a Game Boy emulator.
The end result: a tennis simulator against a CPU skilled enough to send shivers down Serena William's spine. I pushed the emulator to its limits calculating arc velocities, jumpshots, angle characteristics, and match-based scoring. 40+ hours later, I couldn't be happier with the result!

An animated GIF of tennis gameplay