Dan Crenshaw

The Web Developer. Not the Congressman.







I am a Fullstack Web Developer from Orlando, FL. I am not related to the congressman from TX in any way (that I know of).

I am a career changer who recently left the Hospitality Management field (more on that below) to attend the Web Development Program at the University of Central Florida. I completed the full-time in-person immersive program and am currently seeking my first role in the industry.

I have been continuing my education as a developer through online courses, webinars, workshops, local dev meetups, and my first developers conference.

I have been taking a "buffet" style approach to sampling and learning bits and pieces about a whole array of dev and dev adjacent technologies and tools. Rather than focus on one piece of tech I have been trying to learn 'what I don't know that I don't know' and which areas excite me (almost all of them unfortunately).

I have been a part of a group of classmates that continued to meet for weekly coffee (pre lockdown of course) and standups about what we were working on, job search tips and suggestions, helping each other with coding challenges, and book and course reviews. I have also attended group coding sessions with the Code 42 group meeting at Neoware Studios.

I have developed an interest in testing and QA through weekend workshops on Cypress with FloSports QA Engineer John Sickels, and JS testing using Jest with Phil Palmieri from Oddball.io.

Through local meetups with groups including ODevs, Project Codex, Tech and Beer, Orlando React Developers, Orlando JS devs, and Google Developers Group I have been exposed to many aspects of Web Development not covered in boot camp such as JAMstack, Normal Forms of db structure, SEO basics, edge scripting, managing and monetizing side projects, the role of DevRel, CI/CD pipelines, serverless apps, and progressive web apps among other things.

Individual course, workshop, conference, and/or book reports will be posted on my blog. My Linked In also contains many of my thoughts and quick takes on articles/videos/courses.

HypochondriacMD -Because self-diagnosing on the internet can’t be a bad idea.

Equal parts The Onion and WebMD were in my head way back in 2013 when I created the first version of Hypochondriac on the Yahoo Sites genrator tool. It began as just a list of funny symptoms and directions to "see disease X". Other than my teaching blog (also a Yahoo site) it was the first thing I made on the web. Version 2.0 was a Wordpress site. Back then I was curious about how to make a 'real' website and always wanted to learn to make it the way it was in my head.

This current versin 3.0 was my first solo MERN stack app completed as my demo-day project to finalize my bootcamp experience. I have already learned so much since deploying this version that version 4 is being planned with a different tech stack and some UI tweaks.

  • View the repo
  • Tools used include Mongoose NPM, React-Bootstrap, React-Router
  • I firmy stand behind my Valuation of this project's commercial worth as laid out in the repo's ReadMe

Snob Talk -Obviously your opinion is more equal. Review popular movies and other media without the bother of trying to be civil.

For my second group project I was elected by the team to do be project manager. Utilizing my team leadership experience I managed the project board (kanban) ensuring everyone was communicating effectively and utilizing the ticket system properly. I got my my first experience with handling merge conflicts. I also did documentaiton and prepared and led the classroom presentation.

I also worked on data-side coding with login validations, database model creation, and SQL search functionality.

  • View the repo
  • Tools used include MySQL, Sequalize, Passport-Local NPM, Express-Handlebars

Event Zip - Check out things happening and places to go near you based on zipcode.

A one stop web app for finding events, local eateries, and bars based on zip code. You can plan an entire evening in one place.

For this first group project I worked on the data-side fo the project. I took a deep dive into Yelp Fusion API. Not just writing the AJAX call, but also goining into their terms of use and style guideliines for what the company requires you to agree to do when using their API.

  • View the repo
  • Tools used include JQuery, AJAX, API's: Ticketmaster Discovery, Yelp Fusion, Open Weather Map

    ...first become interested in Web Development?

I've always been a life-long techie and was in love with the internet since being a 90's teen. In 2012 I was doing some teaching as a side job and wanted to do a web page to advertise my classes, host an FAQ, and a blog. I asked around every tech person I knew and most seemed to think it was some kind of voodoo to make scratch custom pages. So I taught myself to use a simple static site generator (yahoo small business) back then. I also made my firsst "just for LOL's" site in 2013 using the same tools (see HympochondriacMD).

    ...go to college?

I graduated the Le Cordon Bleu program at Orlando Culinary College 2005 with an AS in Culinary Management.

    ...attend the University of Central Florida Web Development Program?

I was a full-time student August through November 2019.

Check out my code here:

My GitHub My CodePen

Through the magic of the internet of course...

Email me My Linked In

I am currently working to reformat a Gatsby site that was intended as a portfolio project to instead be a Blog for all my Developer related ramblings. The Link will go here as soon as I launch it.

My Linked In is the only social media platform I keep active. I can also often be found in the Slack channels for Odevs and Project Codex.

On Myers-Briggs testing I am either INFP-A or INTP depending on the particular test.

Back when the Clifton Strengths Finder 2.0 program was popular in corp world my top 5 in no specific order were: Input, Responsibility, Context, Relator, and Intellection.

Recently while working on a non-tech Coursera course I completed a VIA charachteristics test and the top results in order... Humor, Honesty, Leadership, Kindness, Spirituaity, Love of Learning.

This is inarguably the top question I get when meeting new devs. Everyone thinks being a Chef sounds so cool; and in a lot of ways it was. However, the restaurant business is horrible way to earn a living. Things like 14 hour days on your feet, 4 hours of sleep between shifts, horrendous work-life balance (I was basically a part-time dad who was only home when everyone else was asleep for 5 or 6 days of the week), and the physical tolls on your body all add up. Chefs are all, by necessity, workaholic masochists driven only by the passion for our craft and those times getting to do cool stuff offsets the day to day drudgery. For making things, learning new things, and sharing our craft and bringing joy. Once upon a time when I would meet ex-chefs I would think there was no such thing. You either were or you weren’t.

However, it all takes its toll, especially in your family life. Sometimes the fire just doesn’t burn that bright anymore and you start to think about what else you would rather do instead of going in for one more day of the grind. But really the straw that broke the camel’s back was the food allergies. I was making potentially life and death decisions 20+ times per day advising guests what they could or couldn’t have and regularly hand making special dishes to each special need. If you do anything often enough it is inevitable that mistakes will happen. After a 6+ year perfect record of no accidents I messed up twice in a period of six months. THANK GOD NO ONE WAS HURT EITHER TIME, but we usually didn’t know each time we went through the process which ones were “I can just take a benadryl and will be fine” vs “I’m going to inject myself with the epi-pen now. Please call an ambulance”. Reading stories of people dying of food allergies just made me pray it wouldn’t be me that made a mistake that went that way.

Why wouldn’t a creatively inclined life-long techie driven to build things and posessing an analytical mind want to build web apps?! If you’re reading this you probably either are one yourself or work for a company full of them.

I always joked with coworkers that “If I was smart, I’d work with computers and have a lot less stress and better lifestyle” during those times when we were in our 15th hour of our 7th long shift in a row. In addition to “family tech support” I also worked part time in IT support for Professional Computer Associates building machines, installing network cabling and components, installing and configuring Windows, and various industry specific software for clients.

Back when I had a small side business teaching and kept a blog I got interested in learning what it actually takes to make a real web page. I knew that using a site generator was not really ‘building a site’ any more than microwaving something in a bag was ‘cooking’. The first time I read an article about someone self-teaching themselves coding and career changing it resonated with me. I always wanted to know how computer code worked. Then when I first read and heard about the bootcamp model I decided that was the way for me to follow my dream. Tales of hard work, high intensity, long hours, and the high-pressure environment of a full-time bootcamp program just sounded like a normal day to me. So, by the time it became time to walk away from the stove I already knew where I wanted to pivot my life to.

This portfolio site was built using strictly HTML5 and CSS3. As a deliberate design choice, no other languages (JS), libraries, or frameworks were used (bootstrap, etc.). This decision was reached for a few reasons. This site replaces a former portfolio site built on React.

Visit site repo

  • I am a firm believer in the KISS principle and adding libraries and frameworks slows things down unless they are there to serve a specific purpose. Since this is just a static site with no dynamic content or database there was no need beyond saying “I can build React projects” which are already in my GitHub for anyone to look at as well as one of my highlighted projects above. I have also elected to hand code everything using no templates or generators just for the reinforcement.
  • I have been reading up on the ‘Pure CSS’ movement after being inspired by some classmates who introduced me to it, plus talks I attended during the Flashback Conference in Orlando. The idea to do the project like this has expanded my knowledge of what grids and flexbox can do together that make a lot of things routinely tacked onto sites kind of redundant. Along the way I found out I had some misconceptions (i.e. floats, realtive/fixed) from my bootcamp time and know now why I was not always getting things to line up properly in those early assignments.

I also worked on a JAMstack portfolio using Gatsby, but since taking on this portfolio rebuild project have elected to instead make the Gatsby build be just a pure blog. Coming soon.