Hey, world. I’m

I’m a Ruby on Rails software developer in Chicago, IL , one of the greatest cities in the world, and I’ve built websites for some of the greatest companies in the world like Sears, Leapfrog Online, Meadoworks, and LexisNexis.

I’ve worked with everything from startups to Fortune 100 companies, using my software development skills to create online experiences that let businesses connect with people in innovative and memorable ways.

Most of my work is done in Ruby, Rails, Haml, Sass, and CoffeeScript. I’m a huge fan of Ruby on Rails; it’s unbeatable when it comes to rapid web application development. Much of the code in Ruby reads like regular English so it’s intuitive and brings a certain ease of use – pretty ironic since Ruby originated in Japan. Ruby on Rails has a great flow, delivers fast, clean results, and lets me write beautiful code easily. It works exceptionally well with an Agile approach to software development.

While I’m an advanced Rubyist, I’m also a polyglot programmer with expertise in multiple languages and web frameworks. I’m always experimenting and creating with the newest and latest technologies.

Over the past decade and a half, I’ve built up some serious skills. Along with the web programming, I’ve acquired a solid understanding of business strategy, customer relations, brand awareness and loyalty, interactive elements, budgets, and deadlines, and I know what it takes to deliver outstanding client service. Bottom line is, my work transcends expectations and delivers pure awesomeness on every level. Every time.

Great software. BYENNEN.

Powerful Ruby on Rails development. Well-crafted code.

Approach

My work approach draws on my background in design, my love of Ruby on Rails, and the art of software craftsmanship.

Agile

I follow Agile principles, making customers happy through the early and continuous delivery of software. I anticipate and welcome changing requirements. I meet with clients weekly and, when working with a team, have daily stand-ups and code reviews. I help my team reflect on how to be more effective. Using TDD and BDD for optimal architecture is essential.

Lance-ennen-software-craftsman-chicago
Lance-ennen-software-craftsman-chicago

Coding

I'm a full stack developer my focus is on Ruby on Rails applications. On the front end I’m working with CoffeeScript, jQuery, Haml, Sass, and Twitter Bootstrap. I prefer using a grid. I drive out user stories using Behavior Driven Development and Test Driven Development and tools like Rspec, Cucumber, and Capybara to write features that describe application behavior, which helps documentation and removes tedious QA.

Design

Websites are about information. My goal as designer is to navigate the user around that information with the right precedence by thinking about what a user will do on every page with clarity and consistency. Consistency means bringing a graphical continuity to every page through fonts, color palettes, headers and layout. I do this using Photoshop, Illustrator, CSS, HTML, and Javascript.

Lance-ennen-software-craftsman-chicago

About My Work

I design, engineer, and deploy awesome web applications with rich interactive features. These days, I do most of my software development work in Ruby on Rails. I enjoy working with compiled languages like CoffeeScript, a language that allows you to write JavaScript in Ruby. Similar concept to Haml and Sass which compiles at run time to HTML and CSS. I mainly use jQuery for a Javascript Library. Althought I'm always playing with other Javascript Libraries, and MVC Javascript Frameworks like Backbone and Ember.js. My experience with large systems and large data at Obtiva and LexisNexis taught me how important testing code with behavior-driven development (BDD) and test-driven development (TDD) tools like Rspec Cucumber, and Capybara can be. I embrace Agile software development methodology that emphasizes teamwork, pair programming, communication, anticipating and embracing change, and the frequent and fast delivery of working software. I use source code repositories like Git or Subversion.

For hosting smaller projects I usually start out with Heroku and scale my client up to Amazon Web Services EC2 which allows the clients to scale with its technology, saving time and money.

I work quickly and have an undying respect for deadlines and budgets. I can build an application from scratch or revamp an existing site. I can work on location alongside your team or remotely from my office in Chicago. Either way, every web application I build is technically sound, in sync with your business goals, brings a vision to life, and amazingly effective in attracting and engaging your customers or end users.

Github Projects
More Github Projects

About Me

I’m a tech evangelist, new media enthusiast, and longtime Apple fanboy. I’m enthusiastic, resourceful, driven, love a good challenge, and excel at new opportunities. I like to live on the edge, push the envelope and experience it all!

When I was a six-year-old kid growing up in Chicago, I’d play around with DOS and picture programs, and quickly became transfixed by the Apple II and gaming. I started dabbling in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in sixth grade, and I was the first kid with a digital art display at the school art fair. I remember teaching my junior high school art teacher how to use Photoshop.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia and Game Design from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, one of just two schools in the country at the time to offer this course of study. In college, I worked with game engines, 3D animation, and C++ programming on different mods.

My first job out of school was with Midway Games in San Diego, where I did QA work for the team creating the hugely popular game Mortal Kombat. Getting into the video game business you had to be good at showcasing your portfolio online. That's when I realized I was pretty good at web programming… okay, I loved it… and I started to shift my focus from the game development side to the web programming.

I moved back to Chicago and in 2006, having just learned the brand-new Ruby language, got a job as a Ruby on Rails Software Developer. My work just took off from there. I loved working with Ruby and the Rails framework. I established my own software company in 2007 BYENNEN LLC, and my skills grew exponentially when I started doing consulting work for Chicago software firm Obtiva. Obtiva had a couple dozen super brilliant Ruby on Rails developers working there, which gave me the opportunity to pair program with and learn from some of the most talented software craftsmen and great minds in Agile software development in the country. I worked on site with Obtiva clients including Sears Holdings and Leapfrog Online, as well as at the Obtiva studio, where I built out the Obtiva.com website. Groupon acquired Obtiva in 2011.

Check out my resume for the full rundown on my work history.
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