Richard Smith Mitchell
Web Developer

Introduction
Web Projects
Videos
Metadata

Hello. Thank you for coming to my portfolio.

I’ve been developing Web applications since the late 1990s, using PHP, MySQL, Postgres, and Ruby on Rails. The applications have included large-scale social sites, Facebook games, Flash and data integration (via JSON and AJAX), custom content-management systems, and accounting applications, to mention a few. I am particularly keen on working with good graphic and UI/UX designers to build useful and exciting Web sites.

Web technologies I use include

  • Ruby on Rails with Erector, Bootstrap, Sass, RSpec, Thor, Yard, NetSSH
  • SQL on both small and large (2G+ rows) databases, MySQL and Postgres
  • Ruby, jQuery, Node.js, Backbone
  • JSON and AJAX
  • the CodeIgniter PHP framework
  • version control with Git and SVN
  • issue management and bug reporting with YouTrack, Redmine, Mantis, Jira, and Bugzilla
  • Pivotal, Google Apps, and Basecamp for project management and document sharing

Most of my current Web work is in Rails. Client-side is in HTML5 and CSS 3 (but I can still do XHTML). I'm a big fan of UML, ERDs, MySQL Workbench, functionality specs, OOP, etc. I also have experience setting up Web sites, migrating domains and data*, and performing general site administration.

* Last summer our team at Couchsurfing consolidated 2G+ rows of data in at least 100 tables spread over dozens of databases into a single RDS database. In the process the data was sanitized (HTML removed). In addition, much of the text was corrupted UTF-8, of which around 90% I was able to decode and re-encode into valid UTF-8.

If you think I could be useful to you, send me an email. I’m currently available for short and long-term contract or employment positions.

Also included in this portfolio are my digital videos, in which programming has played a significant part.

Selected Recent Projects

Screenshot

Couchsurfing

Title

Couchsurfing

URL

https://www.couchsurfing.com/

Agency / Client

Couchsurfing International

Year(s)

2013-2015

Description

Social site to help people around the world (some 10 million users and growing rapidly) connect with each other to find a place to stay while traveling.

Details

Mainly worked on large-scale (2G+ rows) data migration and analysis using SQL, Ruby, and Node.js. Also worked on full-stack Rails development, including Erector and HTML5, CSS3 and Sass, jQuery, and Backbone, JSON, Bootstrap, RSpec, and some PHP.

Screenshot

Rich Pageant

Title

Rich Pageant

URL

http://www.richpageant.com/

Agency / Client

Rich Pageant for itself

Year(s)

2011-2013

Description

Multi-media production company Web site.

Details

I built both the front and back end of this custom CMS: PHP / CodeIgnitor / MySQL server-side and utilizing XHTML/HTML5, AJAX, MooTools, CSS3 client-side.

Screenshot

Pushy Cat Facebook game

Title

Pushy Cat Facebook game

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

n/a

Year(s)

2010

Description

Pushy cat is a Facebook-hosted, sokoban-style game developed by four friends and me.

Details

Sadly, no longer active. I built the the back end using PHP (including the Facebook PHP SDK) and MySQL. I also did the front end, i.e. the part that displays in the Facebook canvas, using XHTML.

Screenshot

Custom Artworks

Title

Custom Artworks

URL

www.customartworksf.com

Agency / Client

small business

Year(s)

2011

Description

Custom content management system for artist’s site.

Details

Another page using the PHP CodeIgnitor framework, using MySQL, and XHTML

Screenshot

Web zine: Otherzine

Title

Web zine: Otherzine

URL

www.othercinema.com/otherzine/

Agency / Client

Non-profit organization

Year(s)

2004-2008

Description

Custom content management system for the on-line magazine published by Other Cinema in San Francisco.

Details

Design, XHTML, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL. I was also the editor for several years.

Screenshot

DKNY Original “Kiss in a Cab”

Title

DKNY Original “Kiss in a Cab”

URL

apps.facebook.com/dknyoriginalkiss/

Agency / Client

Mekanism for DKNY

Year(s)

2010

Description

Internationalized Flash-based application allowing users to register and upload an image which is then incorporated into the DKNY Kiss-in-a-Cab commercial. Languages: de en es pl ru.

Details

I built the server and Web components using the PHP CodeIgniter framework. Flash communication with the database was accomplished with AMF and HTTP post. I used both the Javascript and PHP Facebook APIs to incorporate the application into Facebook.

Screenshot

DKNY Original moderation tool

Title

DKNY Original moderation tool

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Mekanism for DKNY

Year(s)

2010

Description

Internationalized moderation tool for reviewing uploads from the “Kiss in a Cab” campaign. The user is notified by email whether their image was accepted. In case of rejection, the reason was included in the email. Languages: de en es pl ru. We built similar tools for Brisk and Brisk Canada.

Details

I built the server side of the site with the PHP CodeIgniter framework and MySQL.

Screenshot

CNN ARTool

Title

CNN ARTool

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Orange Design for CNN

Year(s)

2010

Description

A multi-media, web-based internal management application for data analysis.

Details

Back end: PHP CodeIgnitor framework, MySQL. Front end: XHTML implementation.

Screenshot

CNN Election Pulse interactive map

Title

CNN Election Pulse interactive map

URL

www.cnn.com/interactive/2010/11/election/interactive.tea.party.map.pulse/index.html

Agency / Client

Orange Design for CNN

Year(s)

2008

Description

Interactive map showing data-mining results from Twitter feeds.

Details

I built the page using SVG / VML and Javascript to display the data from JSON files.

Screenshot

CNN Data Dashboard

Title

CNN Data Dashboard

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Orange Design for CNN

Year(s)

2008

Description

A multi-media, web-based internal management application

Details

PHP CodeIgnitor framework, MySQL, XHTML, AJAX, Flash integration

Screenshot

TAGDIS

Title

TAGDIS

URL

tagdis.com/

Agency / Client

Orange Design for TAGDIS

Year(s)

2009

Description

Web site for the eponyomous augmented-reality iPhone app. Users create tags with their iPhones. These tags are displayed in Google maps and street view.

Details

I built the site with Ruby on Rails, MySQL, XHTML, and the Google Maps API.

Screenshot

Diabetes Act Now

Title

Diabetes Act Now

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Anderson DDB for the Diabetes Care Coalition

Year(s)

2007-2009

Description

Flash-based patient education site offering advice and programs to improve health via self monitoring and email reminders. The user control panel showed a progress chart and allowed account management. Languages: en es.

Details

I built the site in XHTML using PHP and MySQL; I integrated the Flash and set up its link to the database via AJAX.

Screenshot

LifeScan OneTouch ad campaign

Title

LifeScan OneTouch ad campaign

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Anderson DDB for LifeScan

Year(s)

2007-2009

Description

Flash-based ad site for the OneTouch UltraMini blood-sugar meter. Plays videos, has a simple share via email, lots of downloads.

Details

Flash is integrated into XHTML.

Screenshot

Metro Nashville Art Commission Grant Application

Title

Metro Nashville Art Commission Grant Application

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Government agency

Year(s)

1999-2009

Description

Each year the Nashville government awards around two million dollars to arts organizations. This site was a fully automated grants process taking the user from application to invoicing and final grant reporting and close out. Check out a demo version here.'

Details

I built the site using PHP and MySQL.

Screenshot

Metro Nashville Art Commission Artist Registry

Title

Metro Nashville Art Commission Artist Registry

URL

Not available

Agency / Client

Government agency

Year(s)

1998-2009

Description

Any artist in Nashville may show three images and publish a statement and resume on this government-hosted site. Incidentally, this was the first artist registry (pre 1997) sponsored by an arts commission or council in the US.

Details

I proposed, designed, and built this application for for the MNAC in 1995-6. At first we used database-generated Javascript arrays for data delivery (my own early version of JSON) and eventually moved to PHP when web hosts started offering it.

Digital Videos

Screenshot

Burnt

Title

Burnt

URL

vimeo.com/43090709

Agency / Client

n/a

Year(s)

2011

Description

This video is a response to and interpretation of T.S. Eliot reading his poem “Burnt Norton”. The video’s structure was directly determined by the poem and my responses to it. Illustration was not the goal—the choice of material and imagery is idiosyncratic and not necessarily rational. My intention was to intensify my own understanding of the poem. (trt 3:38)

Details

The filming and animation are entirely my own. I used Adobe ExtendScript with Photoshop 1) to recapture the final scanned prints and save them as video frames and 2) to apply various displacement maps to the scanned graph paper to generate the frames of the speaking mouth. This video was edited in Final Cut Pro.

Screenshot

100 Mark

Title

100 Mark

URL

vimeo.com/44587311

Agency / Client

n/a

Year(s)

2010

Description

This video developed from a found object: a 1920 100 Mark bank note. The subject is a visual examination of the note as well as a free association of ideas triggered by it and its history. There are two filmic precursors—Berlin: die Symphonie der Großstadt by Walther Ruttman, which lent structure and some of its abstract footage; and Lehrer im Wandel by Alexander Kluge, which contributed audio and some direction to the moral stance of the piece. (trt 3:43)

Details

I used Adobe ExtendScript with Photoshop to recapture processed images; to apply motion and perspective effects to image sequences; to apply a displacement map based on footage of rippling water frame by frame to another image sequence. I produced the music, an excerpt from the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, in GarageBand. This video was edited in Final Cut Pro. (NTSC, TRT 3:43)

Screenshot

Zing

Title

Zing

URL

vimeo.com/46936937

Agency / Client

n/a

Year(s)

2010

Description

Both the visuals and the audio of this video consist of found objects / materials. It was inspired, broadly, by a poem my sister wrote in high school. It is a continuation of my experiments with digital direct filmmaking started in my two in-series videos. (trt 3:53)

Details

I used Adobe ExtendScript with Photoshop to generate the video from scanned objects. This video was edited in Final Cut Pro. (NTSC, TRT 3:53)

Screenshot

J.S. Bach—Fuge XXVI h-moll

Title

J.S. Bach—Fuge XXVI h-moll

URL

vimeo.com/50741991

Agency / Client

n/a

Year(s)

2009

Description

I got the idea for this video while playing Rock Band (Bach Band?). It uses a piano roll to show the structure of the fugue while a playhead indicates the position in the score. Of course, you’d have to be a very accomplished keyboardist in order to play along!

Details

All the artwork was drawn in Illustrator and imported into Photoshop, where I used ExtendScript to generate the video frames, adding motion and perspective. I did the audio, i.e. the performance of the fugue, in GarageBand. I exported the midi from GB to MaxMSP (with the midiO component) to generate JS arrays of note objects which I then used in ExtendScript to animate the keyboard. The piece was assembled and edited in Final Cut Pro. (NTSC, TRT 7:26)

Screenshot

LIFE

Title

LIFE

URL

vimeo.com/50491493

Agency / Client

n/a

Year(s)

2007

Description

This video is a combination of found 8 and 16mm film composited with pages from an old Life magazine. The sound is both found and recorded—all of it with some relation to the imagery, however tenuous.

Details

The material was scanned into Photoshop where I used Adobe ExtendScript to generate the video frames. The pieces/parts were assembled and edited in Final Cut Pro. (NTSC, TRT 5:17)