Four+ years at Hypenotic

I joined the Hypenotic team in 2015 right after graduating from Juno College's (prev HackerYou) Full-Time Front-End Web Development Immersive. Hypenotic is a founding Canadian B Corp made up of strategic, creative, and technical problem-solvers based in Toronto, Canada. They focus on working with folks (visionary entrepreneurs, innovative non-profits, and intrepid ‘intrapreneurs’) focused on systems change.

Rather than individual case studies, here's the condensed journey of being a part of – and growing with – the team.

A graphic of cartoon-looking people 'building' interfaces.
via unDraw


I started with pure WordPress theming. Got really friendly with the codex and PHP. Making custom fields and custom post types was my jam. I led development for sites early on with the help of the team, which brought huge lessons in failure (ex. What do you mean a plugin update will crash a whole site even if it works okay locally and on the development server?) and recovery (ie. Take a breath and create action items. Eventually you will become quite adept at figuring out which places to look first. Psst. Check your .htaccess and wp-config.php).

WordPress REST API + Headless CMS

In 2015 WordPress made the REST API available as a plugin, and I started experimenting. Now how do we work all this cool functionality into a project in a helpful way? We always wanted to test the headless CMS route, so...

React + Vue.js + Vuex + Mentorship

React was the hot framework, so I decided to see what all the hype was about. The team had never tried delving into Javascript-focused applications, and Lionel (Lead Dev) was talking about Vue.js' rising popularity, so I jumped into what folks were saying was the harder one to grasp: React. I completed Wes Bos' React for Beginners course and was bent on learning more. Because of our team's interest in Vue, I also took Maximilian Schwarzmüller's course on Udemy. In the end, we decided to invest in learning Vue because we liked the framework's syntax and architecture, and thought folks would grasp Vue's ecosystem quicker during onboarding – and we weren't giving up anything functionality-wise.

It was around this time that we were also welcoming and mentoring new folks (interns and hires) on the dev team (it was just Lionel and I thus far). This required creating the space for people to play and experiment, while also developing a curriculum of sorts that would both educate and move projects along.

Nuxt + WordPress REST API + PM2 + NGINX + Delegation

The downside to creating a purely Vue app is the lack of server-side rendering. So, I wanted to really push the use of Nuxt, which gave us the framework to create universal applications. Yes, search engines may be getting better at crawling static SPAs, but I wasn't convinced that'd be good enough. Our clients needed their sites to be crawled. So crawled they would be.

We also started really going in on creating customized WordPress REST API endpoints, so that we could efficiently get all the info we needed in a clean format. This meant digging into SQL queries, which was a new and challenging shenanigan.

Site launches were another hurdle to clear with our new stack. We had to revamp the software we used on our servers (Linode). NGINX sets up proxies and PM2 handles the processes to run the apps. Huge thank you to Hubert for helping me work through the transition, and Lionel for finessing and elevating everything.

In my final year on the team, our newer devs stepped up to lead projects (hugs to Luca and Hubert). It was heartening to see how everyone grew.

Thanks for the four+ years folks! ❤️

Selection of Projects

I had a hand in at least a large chunk of the code/thinking in these projects, but I'm happy to clarify which parts exactly (