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Meet Vanessa Sickles, Junior Web Developer

This will help us learn more about Vanessa, our Junior Web Developer. So Meet Vanessa Sickles.

Describe yourself in three words.

Honest answer? I’ll go with ‘friendly, laid-back, forgetful.’

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where your entertainment options are ‘movie at a built-in-the-70s theater,’ ‘shopping at a built-in-the-70s shopping mall,’ or ‘bowling at the built-in-the-70s bowling alley.’ It’s an older, river industrial town that people just seemed to forget about after the 70s.

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What are you doing during your internship at Matchbox Design Group?

Staring at PHP until it makes sense. It’s like putting a book under your pillow to learn from it, but better. Learned PHP ? is working: or maybe it’s not. Otherwise, learning more than I’ve ever needed to know about CSS, and having a lot of fun doing it.

What do you like most about interning here?

I love getting to work with other developers. Things are a lot more fun when you’re in a team, especially when you have someone who can introduce completely new ways of problem-solving to you. I also love it because your team shows you the easy way to do something you’ve been pulling teeth over for years, and then your life is just better.

What did you do before interning at Matchbox Design Group?

I was at Checkmate Design doing branding and other collateral for Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels. I was a Graphic Design major when I transferred here to Maryville in January 2017. I’ve always had some coding knowledge from hobby stuff, like changing the HTML and CSS of various forum profiles in online communities that I was on, but a required web course let me actually learn how to apply it to actual websites. I was hooked. I swapped to Interactive Design. I wanted to dedicate myself more to development, where I can still use my design eyes and skills in a field where my responsibilities and creations are a little more objective.

Spare Time?

What do you do in your spare time?

I love video games. Mostly more chill ones – Pokemon, Stardew Valley, Starbound, The Sims, things like that. I really love the plot-heavy stuff, though, or video games with gorgeous art styles. Some of my favorite games of all time are Okami, The Last of Us, Transistor, and Horizon Zero Dawn. I have like, 350 hours on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on the 3DS. Oops. I also love art, writing, and Studio Ghibli movies.

Favorite St. Louis activity, restaurant or spot?

I live by the Loop, so usually going there. There’s always something delicious to eat or something fun to do. When I’m feeling up to it, I’ll play a bit of Magic: The Gathering at the Wizard Wagon.”

What Is Exciting About New Trends?

Digital/design/dev trend you are most excited about these days?

Mine’s pretty simple–it’s the fact that browsers are at least starting to catch up on CSS features. Internet Explorer’s still in the corner eating glue in some places, but at least the rest are making it to the modern age on CSS features. I remember having to use float for everything before flex came to full support. CSS Grid looks really powerful. It’ll be great to see what it changes in the web world once it’s reached full support.

Special Talents and Personal Questions

Special talent you have?

I’m incredibly skilled at whatever the opposite of multitasking is. Where instead of juggling multiple tasks at once, I juggle forgetting multiple tasks at once. The speed at which I can do that one is impressive.”

Famous person, you’ve met?

I met some Arkansas… senators? Representatives? Maybe the governor? on a trip to D.C. when I was like 13. Honestly don’t remember who or what they were, oops. Got to stand on the back lawn of the White House and was a few yards away from Obama as he walked to his helicopter on that same trip, though. That’s the best I’ve got on that front.”

What’s something awesome about you that no one else knows?

“I can actually lick my elbow.”