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JUST ME - ALEX

Alexander Gräf

I am a so called full-stack developer. My expertise include:

  1. Server, Network and Hosting Environments
  2. Data Modeling / Import / Export
  3. Business Logic
  4. API Layer / Action layer / MVC
  5. User Interfaces
  6. User Experience
  7. Understand what the customer and the business needs

I love programming,  design and know my way around server architecture as well.  I would never feel complete, with one of these missing.

I have a broad range of interests, that’s why I constantly dive into new technologies and expand my knowledge where ever required. Technologies are evolving fast and I enjoy using the latest.

Apart from that, I am a peace loving guy who tries to have people around him that think the same.  I truly believe in the principle: “If you help someone, someone will help you, when you need it.”

 

Skills

A small list of clients & projects I have worked with over the years, can be found on our portfolio page. I have also done a lot of subcontract work, especially for jQuery Plugins, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, eCommerce modules (Magento), custom programming and design jobs.

I have also taken over a lot of projects that have been abandoned or not finished by other developers. Since 2008 I also provide video production for websites and online presentations.

I am doing heavy SmartTV development since 2010 and know my way around most of the current solutions.

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Programming Languages & APIs

As I said before, I love new technologies and learn new things fast. Here a couple of current technologies / languages I use.


Languages

  • PHP
  • Javascript
  • Node.JS
  • SASS / SCSS / CSS3 / CSS / XSLT / LESS
  • HTML5 / HTML / XML
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Perl
  • Java
  • C++
  • Flash / Actionscript
  • Visual Basic
  • Realbasic – cross platform programming (windows / linux / mac)
  • REST, SOAP, xmlRPC, JSON, JSONP and other APIs
  • MySQL/ PostgreSQL / SQLite / MS SQL / Access
  • IMAP / POP Email
  • HBBTV / SmartTV
  • +++

 Libraries

  • Backbone
  • AngularJS
  • Sencha Desktop / Mobile
  • jQuery / Mobile / UI
  • Google & Youtube APIs, Vimeo API, Facebook API, Twitter API, flickr, Instagram API …
  • Google App Engine
  • +++

 Build Tools

  • Gulp
  • Grunt
  • Composer
  • Bower
  • +++

Frameworks

  • WordPress Standalone / Headless
  • Laravel
  • Zend
  • Silverstripe
  • +++

WordPress

  • Visual Composer API / WordPress
  • WPLMS API (Leaning Management System for WordPress)
  • WooCommerce API (ecommerce solution for WordPress)
  • WPML.org (Multi-language websites for WordPress)
  • +++


Tools I use

Not really a complete list, but some of my core tools.

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Bryce
  • Poser
  • Blender
  • Indesign
  • Dreamweaver
  • Final Cut Pro (HD Promos, Internet TV, Podcasting, Videocasting, Live interviews, conferences …)
  • Motion
  • Audio production
  • Linux Desktop / Server / LAMP
  • OSX Desktop / Server
  • Windows Desktop / Server
  • Mobile Plattforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)


Open Source

I have been working on many smaller & medium projects related to the open source platforms below. Mostly dealing with setup, upgrades, design and custom scripting & programming , modules and integration.

2001 - 2002Developer PHPNuke
2002 - 2002Developer XOOPS
2002 - 2005Lead Developer / Design / Management PostNuke
2002 - 2006Developer osCommerce / worked on CastleCart with a friend (forked osCommerce) and extended it with Smarty as its template system
2002 - 2004XMB
2004 - 2010phpBB
2004 - 2010Developer Menalto Gallery / Gallery 2
2006 - nowDeveloper Wordpress
2006 - 2011Developer Mambo / Joomla
2006 - nowDeveloper jQuery / Plugin Development
2007 - nowDeveloper Magento eCommerce

History

For those that scrolled so far down 🙂

I grew up in a small town called Lahnau, about 60 km from Frankfurt – Germany, spend my primary and secondary school days there. Moved to Nigeria – Africa at the age of 15 with my parents and went to school there for 3 years.

We moved back to Germany after the 3 years, where I finished school and started studying law, concentrating on international law.

Along my studies I worked in the two companies of my father, a flour mill and an invention company, dealing with new technologies and solutions for the grain business every day. I designed panels for plc controls, worked on local network and distant network solutions. I build the complete QM system for the flour mill and handled all the design and advertisement tasks.

Beside my studies I build up / repaired PC´s, helped in network construction and did web design. I had only simple coding knowledge than, only HTML, which I tweaked to the limit. Learned some Java, JavaScript and worked with CGI and Perl for a long time.

Stopped my law studies as I didn’t really see myself as a lawyer for the rest of my life. I started studying commerce and engineering, allowing me to work on my own business as well.

I am self-employed and left the companies of my father, deciding to follow my own vision. portalZINE® reflects part of the work I do each day and represents my current working life.

I was an early adopter of PHP, when it was introduced. I finally found a technology that allowed me to combine my design and programming skills. I took a book and thought myself the foundations, learned by reading code and browsing references.

Over the years I have grown up with PHP and JavaScript, allowing me to provide powerful solutions for my customers and for my own projects. I have moved into other technologies like ASP, Flash / ActionScript and RealBasic as well, providing me with the means to build services that not only span across the web, but also allow full control of web based software right from the desktop.

Apart from my web design & programming work, I have been actively working on logo design / redesign, magazine ads, product / quality management manuals and print pre-layouts. Before 2008 most of my project work happened outside of Germany (USA, Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, France …) That was mostly related to my open source involvement and a startup company in Mexico a friend and myself were working on for 3 years.

ABOUT MY CMS EXPERIENCE

Short summary of my CMS experiences, which goes back quiet far 😉

Geymatter (CGI-based) was my first news publishing tool I played with, it had an admin interface and allowed to template every aspect of the script. It allowed multiple users and had many little gadgets. My first community ran Greymatter. But Greymatter wasn’t modular enough for me, as I had to add each additional script by hand.

Well that was the time when PHP got popular (2000-2001) and I looked what else I could use to make my administrator life a bit easier. Tried myPHPNuke, played and left. It was my first contact with a PHP Blog / CM system.

Tried some other blogs on the way, but none really caught my attention, bad documentation, weak installation, weak functionality, small amount of extensions…….

That’s when I learned about PhpNuke, which really pushed my interest for PHP. Admin interface, blocks, modules, just what I was searching for. I ran my first community site with PHPNuke (http://www.i-trends.de), which was about windows shell replacements like Litestep or DesktopX.

I converted my hand coded html site to PhpNuke and started reading the code and extending it. Learned a bit by hacking, but that was not enough for me. Bought my first PHP Book and started learning. Liked the block feature from the start and started extending existing sideblocks. What I though was missing from the start, were sideblocks designed for usability not just for display. Started coding my own blocks and extending the first modules.

When the PostNuke fork was announced I was fast in jumping onto the new train, because the PhpNuke development somehow slowed me down. I had too many ideas and PhpNuke didn’t seem the right CMS to go with. I converted my site to Postnuke and worked with Patrick Kellum as a Beta Tester (I think he was a Postnuke dev at that time) on the first phpBB module integration and his advanced block system for Postnuke. I tested the forum and hacked it to fit my community needs at that time. That’s when my first i-blocks where born. i-blocks, because my site was called i-trends 😉

Moved with Postnuke until Jan 2002, when I had the feeling that development had ceased a bit. XOOPS was announced and I decided to test it and liked it from the start. A fresh development, with good ideas, easy administration, but there development didn’t follow my pace. I had to move on with developments and ideas so I rejoined Postnuke and developed for 0.7x now.

Joined the Postnuke Management & Development in April 2002 and worked as a core developer until the beginning of 2003. It was sad leaving such a great development team behind, but different management visions and the lack of time made me concentrate on my own work and developments here at portalZINE® again.

If you have read so far, its really nice to meet you 😉

Cheers
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