About Brian

Just who is this Hamburg character, anyway?

Father of twins.
Strummer of strings.
Wrangler of the Web.
Implementer of interfaces.
Purveyor of pixels.
Never bored.

Hamburg FamilyThe Hamburgs in Walt Disney World

I’m a software engineer, designer, and musician. Most of my days are spent working and playing in Philadelphia where I live with my wife, Andrea, and twin daughters, Elizabeth and Louise. We have a young Australian Cattle Dog mix named Ludwig, and an old rabbit named Java. But this is just the tip of the Brian Hamburg iceberg. Within these pages you can learn more about what's going on in my life professionally and recreationally.

Ultimately I'm just trying to balance being a father, husband, son, web professional, musician, nerd, colleague, friend, and decent human being in the crazy world we currently live in.

Résumé

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Summary

With over a decade of experience building user interfaces for the Web and providing technical support, my focus has always been to remove friction from the user experience, with a strong appreciation for both accessibility and aesthetics.

Professional Experience

American Red Cross

Full-stack Developer

February 2021 – Present
Maintaining and creating editable components for the enterprise content management system and associated APIs for redcross.orgopen in new window and redcrossblood.orgopen in new window as a member of a fully-remote software development team.

Key technologies include Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), HTL (Sightly) templates using vanilla JS, Angular, jQuery, and Bootstrap on the front end, with Java/Sling/OSGi on the back end, automated testing with Cypress, JUnit, and Jasmine, and CI/CD via Bitbucket and Jenkins.

Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

Web Developer

July 2015 – February 2021
As a member of Jefferson’s IS&T department, created and maintained editable web templates and components for public-facing websitesopen in new window built within AEM with HTL (Sightly), server-side JavaScript, and Java. Often contributed to the development of other front-end web applications as needed, utilizing vanilla JS and React, Sass/CSS, and HTML.

Front-end Web Developer

September 2012 – July 2015
As a member of Jefferson's marketing team, created landing pages, microsites, WordPress themes, banner ads, and email campaigns for clinical and university clients. Updated existing Sitecore templates for the main hospital website. Redesigned the hospital "JEFF NOW" appointment request form with a responsive layout, enhancing usability and decreasing the abandonment rate. Administered and trained users in WordPress, SurveyGizmo, and MailChimp.

Law School Admission Council

Web Services Specialist

September 2008 – September 2012
Created new and updated existing web pages for LSAC.orgopen in new window to adhere to accessibility guidelines and strict W3C standards. Converted the intranet portal from a static web site to a Microsoft SharePoint site with custom ASP.NET master pages, page layouts, and style sheets. Administered WebTrends and Google Analytics on LSAC.org and the intranet portal. Created and maintained online surveys in SurveyGizmo with Salesforce integration.

Information Systems Specialist

September 2006 – September 2008
Provided technical support to internal employees and external customers, diagnosing and documenting technical issues pertaining to the company’s web site, in-house software, and licensed software. Trained and assisted co-workers to support Macintosh users. Provided quality assurance testing for online law school applications and contributed to documentation for law school application creation and QA processes.

Education

Master’s Certificate in Application Development

La Salle University
Obtained in 2013 while pursuing Master of Science degree in Computer Science

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

La Salle University
Graduated 2011, Magna Cum Laude

Associate of Arts in Busines Administration

Bucks County Community College
Graduated 2010

Associate of Arts in Graphic Design

CHI Institute
Graduated 2006

Certifications

AWS Cloud Practitioner

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Issued June 2021open in new window

Music

Oh, the places you’ll go... with a banjo!

When I'm not behind my laptop, you can often find me behind my four-string, plectrum banjo, plunking out traditional jazz favorites written circa a century ago. The style I play is less Country Bear Jamboree and more Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, if that makes any sense.

Some of the great artists who have inspired my playing and interest in the instrument include but are certainly not limited to Eddie Peabodyopen in new window, Harry Reseropen in new window, and Buddy Wachteropen in new window.

I've been fortunate enough to play with great musicians in the Philadelphia area while gigging with Drew Nugent and the Midnight Societyopen in new window and the Red Hot Ramblersopen in new window.

Other Hobbies

Besides keeping this site up-to-date using the latest tech, I also helped build the String Band Databaseopen in new window, which is a searchable listing of string band themes from the Mummers Parade with videos and parade data. It was a good exercise in using a Google Sheet as a RESTful backend.

I'm always trying to read more. Mostly sci-fi, pop-sci, philosophy, and self-help books, but I'm open to anything. It's hard to find the time, but I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my reading list. Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene are two of my more recent favorite authors.

Taking a proactive approach with my health and running when I can has become a priority, with a target goal of running a half marathon (13.1 miles) before my 40th birthday.

Playing video games has been one of my favorite pastimes since I first made Mario take a shortcut through a green pipe in the late 80s. I like to think it's what drove my interest in technology, and specifically interactive digital experiences. My tastes gravitate towards games from and inspired by that 8- and 16-bit age of pixel art. Also, the heavily-syncopated, early-jazz-inspired soundtracks of the games from the NES/SNES era definitely affected my musical taste in a positive way. I love cathode-ray tube scan lines in 240p RGB, and keeping up with the latest advances in FPGA-based systems with near-perfect accuracy and zero-to-low input latency, particularly the MiSTer FPGAopen in new window project. I've also more recently become a huge fan of the Soulsborneopen in new window lineage of games by FromSoftware, mostly playing them on PlayStation 5.

Zelda on PVM via MiSTer FPGAThe Legend of Zelda on my PVM via MiSTer FPGA