Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shifting gears and expanding my professional blog

Vampkitty started out as a consulting company called Dragons Lore Publications back in the early 90s, long before the web/internet, specializing in graphic design, presentations, and QA.  I had made myself a little name being one of the first early adopters of Aldus Pagemaker and could create amazing manuals, documents and newsletters, quickly and actually started doing things with it that were pushing the boundaries of the software.  

I also had the privilege at the time of knowing several folks at Microsoft University which gave me the ability to get my hands into testing products in a more formal method.  

I started doing contracting work through Volt Technical and fell in love with the ability to test new products, expand my technical knowledge because everything was hopping, changing and just amazingly way cool.  However the downside of contracting is - getting stability of contracts.  It was great if you wanted long term, but a lot of the stuff I wanted to do wasn't very stable and a bit unheard of at the time.

However, I did manage to do testing on a digital blueprint scanner system, Excel, ICE (an embedded emulator), ESL training, Bulletin board system, and a few front office applications for fax and dictation.  I finally moved from Seattle to Silicon valley and became one of the front runners in web development as the web unfolded.  I learned to code in notepad.  I was working for Macromedia at the time, as a QA engineer on Authorware (another product I used in my consulting), and embraced the wide wild web.

Macromedia bought FutureSplash - this interesting design tool several of us were using at the time to develop content for the web.  Most of my web designs at the time were graphic intensive, beautiful, elaborate, artistic.  I followed that group.  We had a very strong webring, sharing tips, tricks and tools with each other.  Some were Photoshop camp, some were Paintshop Pro camp.  But all of us loved to build artistic beautiful websites that showed off how one can easily have digital albums on line.  I even had one of the first music sites.

But I couldn't keep up given that my day job was SQA and trying to get training for the latest and greatest technologies was not easy for me.  Slowly I fell behind the pack, especially when JavaScript took over a lot of our css work.

After 2001, with one of the last websites I created (a wonderful corporate site), I pretty much dropped out of the web space and just continued the apps SQA/Testing space.

17 months ago I found myself unemployed.  The last year+ I spent trying to build the artistic side of Vampkitty into a business.  There is some success but not enough.  So I decided to resurrect my consulting business and dig out my old tool box since there seems to be a need for artistic web sites for jewelry designers who don't want to sell on Etsy or some of the other overrun locations (of massmade items).

Hence why the name went from VampKitty Designs of this blog to VampKitty.  I am definitely going to keep designing and selling supplies, but I am also going to introduce VampKitty Bytes to the blogging space - as another creative outlet focusing on Technology, the craft of web design, improving quality in product, process and professional life.

Here's to the next chapter of my professional life.