This is me
I'm Brett and I'm an Australian born Web Designer and Developer. I worked government contracts in Australia for about 5 years before taking the plunge and moving to San Francisco to work on an ecommerce start up. Unfortunately, like many start ups, despite raising $10 million, they ran out of money, and I had to scarper back to Australia.
In 2017 I made my way back to the US and scored a gig with fantasy sports start up, DRAFT, where I worked for a couple of years, before jumping ship to work at The Infatuation. While at The Infatuation, a few former DRAFT colleagues as well as myself, decided to start Underdog Sports, and that's where I currently am today.
I graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Arts and three majors - Graphic Design, Digital Media, and Media Arts and Production. I love good design and have a bit of an entrepreneurial streak; I've had both successful and unsuccessful ventures in media, crowdfunding, cosmetic sales, subscription boxes and probably a number of other domains.
If you want to know about my professional experience and background, check out my resume page, otherwise for a bit of story, stick around here.
The longer version
When I was in high school my dad told me I should do something with computers as a career - but I'll get back to this point later.
I grew up in a regional town in Australia, and after taking a year off before college (I worked in a video store) I went to the Nation's capital, Canberra, to study a double degree in Law and Sports Journalism.
It took me a year of studying (and not so much studying) to work out that this wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and that my ambition reached beyond a newspaper desk or a courtroom.
Now I faced the paradox of choice, do I study business, or science, or engineering - in the end I did the smart thing and based my decision on what my friends were doing :/ I had a mate who threw in studying Economics for Graphic Design, and I thought I'd join him. So a Bachelor of Graphic Design it was - at least for a couple of years anyway. As a young guy, I was still working on finding that balance of what interested me and what I felt I could do for the rest of my life. I found that I preferred a few of my design subjects over others, things like 3D animation and film making, so when I found out that these subjects and other constituted their own degree, I changed again.
Now I had been at university for 3 years, and thanks to the changes, still had 3 years to go. By year 5, I was growing tired of study and school, I was also working full-time at the university organising student events (I had been the president of a few clubs and societies, and had now found a way to get paid for the work), so I embarked on my final change. I sat down and looked at my transcript, thinking that surely after 5 years of study I had completed enough subjects to just graduate with something and get on with my life. Turns out I was right.
Five years of study had supplied me with enough knowledge to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Graphic Design, Digital Media, and Media Arts and Production. So I packed up my school bag and my full time job and got out of there.
It was after graduating I picked up my first job, a coolish government gig working on building web applications for state and federal police agencies. I began as a graphic and web designer and this role eventually evolved into a web UI designer and developer.
Government work is okay, and it turns out that it supplies you with quite a lot of free time outside of work hours, and it was then that I started my first entrepreneurial venture, an entry into the crowdfunding market. Things didn't work out and after months and months of work and enough money to put down a home deposit, I threw in the towel - it's important to know when to do this! I learnt a lot of valuable lessons in this time, and have since pursued a number of other ventures, some more successful than others.
This time when I got back at the end of 2015, I decided I wanted to try and get a job in the US - a real kind of job. So I picked up another contract in the Australian government, this time as a UI/UX developer, and started looking at job boards in the States. Then in early January of 2016 I packed up my bags, visa and job offer in hand, and flew over San Francisco.
I spent most of the year working for an amazing ecommerce start up and made plenty of awesome friends and I was loving working for great startup. Unfortunately my taste of the startup life came full circle when, about 8 months into my role, the company ran out of runway and I was left without a job, without a visa, and with a one-way ticket back to Australia. I had an amazing 8 months living and working in California, but it had come to an end, and my visa meant a hasty return to Australia.
Thankfully Australian Government contracts aren’t hard to find and I had a new job before I’d even touched back down in Sydney.
Then in June 2016, I received a call and was offered a full-time position at DRAFT, a fantasy sports company based in NYC. I started as employee 16ish along with a couple of others, and worked as a front-end web developer. In my time at DRAFT I worked on the Ember.js app, before another developer and myself did a complete app rewrite in React.js. In 10 months in 2018 we completely rewrote the app from the ground up using the latest in es and react technology.
Unfortunately in late 2018 we were forced to merge with another company, and with the writing on the wall for DRAFT, I made the decision in mind-2019 to leave for another front-end engineering role at The Infatuation.
While at The Infatuation I worked on their ZAGAT web offering and was promoted to Senior Front-end Engineer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Infatuation, but at the beginning of 2020 the old DRAFT app was killed off and a few of my former colleagues approached me about starting a new fantasy sports company Underdog Fantasy.
The offer and opportunity was too good to pass up, and that's where things currently stand for me today. I'm back working with some of my great friends as well as the best engineers that I know. Fingers-crossed I can settle into this for a while now and we'll be around for many years into the future.
In any case, feel free to drop me a line if there is anything web or UX related you want to chat about.
Oh and that bit about dad telling me to do something with computers for a career, well I guess the moral of that story is that no matter how right your dad is, sometimes you spend 10yrs trying to work out what he told you from the beginning - he likes to remind me of this fact!