About Alan Hogan

I hail from Pennsylvania (hi Dad) and have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since December 2011.

I (try to) make usable and maintainable software for a living. Currently, I do that under the very fine umbrella of Zendesk. I also maintain a handful of other websites as personal side projects.

I love crafting intuitive and empowering user interfaces. I have practiced web development and other software engineering beginning just before the turn of the millennium. I started with HTML, added some Apache-powered “server-side includes” magic, had my mind blown by CSS, taught myself PHP and MySQL, got my mind blown again by realizing I had opened myself up to injection attacks, took a website hacking course, dabbled in Rails, built a fully functioning content management system, learned some JavaScript, sprinkled in some AJAX, taught myself C++ in order to compete in programming competitions, and then graduated high school. Before heading off to Arizona State, I had the wonderful privilege of a software internship with Fidelity, where I learned way too much about SQL, how to describe grammars in BNF, and the basics of .Net with C#. I worked with some start-ups and a web development shop (Synapse Studios) during my time in university. I also wrote an online MIPS assembler and simulator for a course; amusingly the assembler seems to be the most popular page here on alanhogan.com and has even made its way into an open-source CS course. Although I had always taken my markup and styling seriously, by the time I graduated in 2010, I had grown to focus primarily on front-end web development, writing a lot more JavaScript (beyond jQuery) and developing less on the back-end. Still, I had to learn and use more Python and Ruby in my post-academic career, which of course I didn’t mind at all. I seem to be most passionate about everything happening inside the browser thanks to its close proximity to users.

My biggest hobby is photography. I’m also learning some French.

I’ve been a Mac user ever since I got my first computer, and love the attention to detail and user experience that Apple has long embodied (bugs that make me want to defenestrate my laptop notwithstanding).

I don’t have perfect health. I plan to live quite a while longer, but nevertheless I can’t help but consider what kind of legacy I will leave when I eventually pass. At such times, it brings me comfort to know that the tips, tricks, and tools I have shared online — here and elsewhere — have been able to help tens or hundreds of thousands of strangers. Site visitors’ occasional, unprompted notes of thanks and appreciation mean the world to me.

I don’t get the sense that my good friends spend much on this website, but if any of you are reading: Your friendship means the world to me. Thank you. And to my family, I love you all.

Past Work

I have worked with many web tech startups, particularly in San Francisco. In particular, I like to evolve processes, tools, and standards in order to set up long-lasting, maintainable software systems.

I am proud to have introduced CSS methodologies and accessibility concerns to the start-ups I have had the privilege of working for, such as Guidebook, NoRedInk, and IFTTT.

At IFTTT I applied responsive web design to make the entire ifttt.com domain mobile-friendly. I also developed the intra-app API and web technology for our award-winning hybrid iOS app.

Previously, I spent some time contracting with Simperium, makers of the excellent Simplenote.

In 2011, I co-founded Blogic, where I did lots of product design & development; it was acquired by Jobing.com.

About My Website

I created this website years ago to share tips, tricks, opinions, code, programs, and more. I continue to self-publish written works because only I can guarantee the continual availability of my own content. So many of the platforms on which many of us previously published have completely shut down (GeoCities, Posterous), been bought out (Tumblr, MySpace, LiveJournal), and/or change or arbitrarily enforce content polices (Blogger, Angelfire, Lycos…), meaning content disappears. With alanhogan.com, I can attempt to ensure my own work will be continuously available at unchanged URLs. It also means I can keep third-party scripts, ad networks, and various privacy-eroding agents at bay. It’s a fast, minimal, performant site — as it should be.

This website is running my own CMS, which you don’t want to use (trust me). (There are some benefits, though: complete control over URLs, content types, caching, dynamic content, and extensibility.)

Get in Touch

If you want to write me, please use my contact form. I’d love to hear from you.