This month, get to know Colton Kayser, one of our Associate UI Developers. Based in our home office in Red Bank, New Jersey, Colton has been with us since Fēnom Digital’s beginning in 2019. He’s passionate about layout, design, user experience, and the visual aspects of the sites we build. Colton’s unique creative background in music blended with his front-end development experience is truly an asset to our organization. Let’s learn a little more about Colton!
Where did you earn your chops?
My undergrad is music business and my graduate degree is an MBA. After graduation, I toured the country as an independent recording artist and taught music for 8 years. Once I decided I needed a little more stability, I went to General Assembly (a web development boot camp) where I learned the fundamentals of web development, and have been learning on the job since.
How do you see the value in your work as a User Interface Developer?
I get to work on and build the visual elements of a site that users are going to use all the time. Right now, I’m building the header for PacSun, so it’s cool to watch it develop from an empty template in SFRA to an actual site that people are going to buy things from. It’s awesome that I could transition so quickly into a career – my contributions are actually being used every day.
What are other roles in life?
Boyfriend, lover of old video games (especially Game Boy and Super Nintendo), musician and recording artist.
I’ve been a musician for about 20 years or so, which was the career path I was on before I transitioned to becoming web developer. I have released 3 records and toured the country multiple times.
Music is a huge part of my life – I am a board member of a nonprofit called The Project Matters, an organization that gives underprivileged kids an opportunity to record or get an instrument. I’ve been a part of their educational element by teaching classes, such as group guitar and ukulele, and have taught after-school programs for them.
What do you find to be most unique about Fēnom Digital?
The community and culture that we’ve built is unique in the sense that there’s many times when it doesn’t feel like this is a job. We like to have fun, day-to-day – we’re not so strait-laced. I like the size of the company, the people we work with, and the entire vibe.
We’re a pretty tight knit group of people and in a lot of ways it feels like we’re like we’ve built a band. It’s more than a company to me. Dylan actually cares about his employees, which is unique. I’m so used to working for people who don’t care at all.
What are a few goals you’d like to accomplish while with Fēnom?
I want to become a Senior UI developer and really master it. I’d also like to refine my knowledge of the back-end side of development and do some full stack work, which would make me more versatile as a developer.
Since I just went through the learning curve, I would like to help any of our newbies get their feet wet and understand the Salesforce platform. It can be daunting without the great mentors Fēnom has.
Do you have any advice for young developers like yourself?
The only way you’re going to get 10,000 hours is to start with the basics and build it up from there. Web development is something that needs to be learned, so spend the time to learn your craft. Really sit with it. If you want to become a developer, make it your main focus, even if that means that you have to take a day job in addition to spending three or four nights a week coding. The quicker you learn, the easier it gets, and the quicker you will reach your goal.