Way Spurr-Chen

Front-end developer, instructor, and codie, and writer, and artist, and musician, and...

I've been making things on the web since I had a dial-up connection. I'm a self-taught front-end web developer with a love of performant, beautiful, and usable web applications.

You can email me with questions, feedback, or work inquiries at wayspurrchen@gmail.com.

Latest Blog Posts


Glitchet - a free weekly future technology and art newsletter

Get hand-picked cutting edge technology articles delivered to your inbox for free, every Friday. No spam, no BS, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Over 200 subscribers could be wrong - but they're not.

/r/frontend - a community for front-end developers

Started in November 2014, /r/frontend is a subreddit I created for front end web developers who want to move the web forward or want to learn how. If you're looking to find or share the latest and greatest tips, links, thoughts, and discussions on the world of front web development, this is the place to do it. /r/frontend now has over 8,000 readers and covers everything from UI/UX design to deep, single-page applications.

Top 5 posts from /r/frontend this week:

@pixelsorter - an image-processing Twitter bot

@pixelsorter is a Twitter bot written in Ruby heavily utilizing EVA-01/pxlsrt and mispy/twitter_ebooks. It sorts the rows (or optionally columns) of an image according to a specific method like hue, red, brightness, luma, etc. Simply attach an image to your tweet (links to images currently not supported) and mention @pixelsorter. @pixelsorter will respond with an image that has been processed using one of a numer of random presets. Read detailed information on how to use it here.

Automata - cellular automata simulation

Modeled after Conway's Game of Life, Automata is a small simulation, near-zero-player game where simulated broods of cellular automata fight each other for control of a grid. Players can influence the outcome of the game by clicking on the grid to place new cells. Source available on GitHub.

@secresea - anonymous secret-sharing Twitter bot

@secresea is a Twitter bot that allows user to follow it and send it a direct message containing a secret. Tweeting once per hour, it tweets these messages publicly but anonymously. Source available on GitHub.

NovelFramer - natural language processing script that replicates the rhythm of existing texts

Built for NaNoGenMo 2014, NovelFramer is a Python script that takes in the body of a text, constructs a "frame" of the syllables in the text and matches the sentences from another corpus into the frame, generating a new text that has similar rhythm to the original. Source available on GitHub.

Markov Writing - Markov chain text generator using the most popular prose and poetry on Tumblr

Markov Writing is an automated Tumblr bot that mines the Tumblr API and adds featured posts in the prose and poetry tags from Tumblr to a corpus. It generates a new blog post from that corpus once a day.



UI Engineer II

(December 2014 - Current)

Working on core RetailMeNot web platform properties. Fixing technical debt, building new interactions, and implementing performance optimizations.

Lead Instructor

(May 2014 - November 2014)

Managed, coordinated, and oversaw events, instruction, and curriculum for a 12-week intensive web-development program. Assisted and led strategic product and company decisions, instructed and developed curriculum on front-end topics and represented MakerSquare brand in business contexts.

Volunteer Mentor

(October 2013 - May 2014)

Mentored front-end focused students at MakerSquare on various frameworks, core JavaScript/programming concepts, basic RBDMS concepts, and career advice.

Lead Front-End Developer
White Lion Interactive

(February 2014 - May 2014)

Assumed more responsibilities in addition to development work including training and mentoring junior developers, oversight and consultation on multiple projects, organizing changes in internal processes, and recruiting/hiring outreach.

Front-End Developer
White Lion Interactive

(May 2013 - February 2014)

Worked in an agency environment on the front end in a wide array of custom small-to- large size projects using Laravel 4, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. JavaScript work extended into operations work utilizing Node, Grunt, RequireJS, and Bower as build/dependency management tools, as well as frameworks like Backbone, AngularJS, Modernizr, and more.

Freelance Web Design and Development

(May 2012 - May 2013)

Worked and working with various clients through Freelancer.com, Elance, and word of mouth to perform anything from minor alterations to entire site redesigns.

A/V Help Desk Workstudy
Maryland Institute College of Art

(September 2009 - May 2012)

Responsible for instructing customers on the usage of equipment, administering fines, checking out equipment, as well as delivery, setup, and collection of equipment around campus.


Maryland Institute College of Art

(September 2009 - May 2012)

Video and Film Arts


  • HTML5 - Semantic, performant, cross-browser compatible websites, modern HTML5 APIs, progressive enhancement/graceful degradation, experience building WAI-ARIA / 508-compliant applications
  • CSS and UX - Sass, modular CSS paradigms (SMACSS/OOCSS/BEM), grid-systems (Foundation and Bootstrap), responsive design, mobile optimization
  • JavaScript - Deep familiarity with front-end JavaScript, comfortable with Node.js, experience building modular code for JavaScript applications, SPAs, and a wide array of libraries and frameworks, event-driven/asynchronous programming
  • Libraries - jQuery, Underscore / lodash, and a vast number of others
  • Frameworks - Backbone.js, Angular.js 1.3, Raphael.js, Ext.js + Sencha Touch
  • Modern front-end tooling - Require.js, Modernizr + polyfills, NPM, Bower, Grunt and Gulp, Yeoman generators, Raphael.js (SVG) and Kinetic.js (Canvas), A+/Promises (q and native Chrome promises), Phantom.js, D3, Socket.io
  • Backend Languages and experience - Comfortable with PHP + Laravel, Ruby + Ruby on Rails / Sinatra, and have worked briefly with Java and Python, familiar with RDBMS technologies MySQL, Postgres, and NoSQL platform MongoDB
  • Excellent written and oral skills - Skilled at conveying complex topics to team members, writing technical documentation, or drafting friendly emails.
  • Client-facing communication - Able to communicate with clients comfortably and explain technical concepts in a nontechnical way.
  • Management and team leadership - Experience managing product direction, projects, and conducting 1-on-1s with multiple team members. Focused on workplace happiness, creative spaces and collaborative environments.
  • General technical skills:
    • Project management / bug tracking: JIRA, Basecamp, Asana
    • Version Control: SVN & Git
    • Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, some Illustrator
    • Familiar with Agile/Scrum methodologies
    • A/V skills (I can set up your projector)