Hi, hello

Hello from the west end of sunny Toronto, Canada, where craft brewers are starting to outnumber convenience stores. I’m Derek.

I’m a front-end developer. I also have a little experience in back-end, some training in UX, and a ton of graphic design experience from a past life, but the front end is where my heart lies. I love building projects that people find useful, beautiful, and of course, accessible.

I’m also a mentor and part-time instructor, teaching intro to web development, which is amazing: if you ever want to learn something really well, teach it to someone else. And if you ever want to relive the excitement and enthusiasm that first drew you to something? Again, teach it to someone else.

If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see a few projects I’ve worked on recently that I’m proud of and excited to share, and also some things I’ve written. And below that, you can see how to get in touch – if you’d like to work together or just want to chat, I’d love to hear from you. Potential topics of conversation include: site accessibility, how awesome CSS is, how much fun it is developing with Gatsby, long-distance running, or my favourite breakfast foods (spoiler: it’s, uh, all of them).

What am I working with these days? What am I interested in and excited to learn more about at the moment? I’m glad you asked:

  • Gatsby
  • React / Redux
  • GraphQL
  • SCSS modules
  • A11y
  • Open Data
  • New Instant Pot recipes
  • Design systems

Recent projects

Here are a few projects I’ve worked on lately (or that I’m currently working on) that I’m excited to show off! You can also see additional work on the All Projects page.

Personal Record

Personal Record is a simple web app to log your running workouts. This side-project of mine is my first full-stack application: I’m responsible for the whole thing, end-to-end: API design, back-end code (Node, Express, Mongoose) and front-end (React, SCSS modules).


Juno College site

Working as part of a small team on a tight schedule, we built a modern JAMstack site to launch the new brand of Juno College of Technology. Developed with Gatsby, Contentful and Netlify, the new junocollege.com is beautiful, fast, and an essential part of the school’s identity.


Running Rats site

Site design and implementation for the Running Rats, a Toronto-based running club. Built to be lightweight, easy to update, stylish and friendly: semantic HTML, SCSS, and minimal JavaScript.


Recent writing

I haven’t written very often of late, but that's something I’m trying to remedy! These are the most recent posts, and there’s more to see on the All Writing page.

27 March, 2020

Building in public

On the anxiety of making things in front of other people.

9 June, 2019

As little as possible

Thoughts about building less, but better.

8 May, 2019

Speaking, for developers

Many of us become developers because we want to type quietly into a computer by ourselves. Turns out learning how to speak effectively is a big part of the job! But it doesn't have to be scary.