Senior User Experience Designer
I was hired by KBR as a Senior User Experience Designer to work for a DoD software factory known as Space CAMP. This role has sharpened my UI skills and allowed me to delve deeper into UX Research. I have already worked on several products within Space CAMP. The environment has allowed me to work with different sized teams, budgets, processes, stakeholders and end-users, each with their own set of UX/UI challenges.
Senior Product Designer
Senior Web Application Developer
CTA has helped me gain valuable experience across the whole software spectrum, and has allowed me to hone my craft in areas of personal interest.
The first step in my career was accepting a job at Computer Technology Associates as a Tester. This position taught me about the inner workings of the software development process, client satisfaction, and the balance between quality and time-to-market. After a couple years I was offered the opportunity to switch roles and become an ASP.NET developer for enterprise web applications. Several years later I transitioned to a UX/UI design role as processes evolved and there was a gap in that area. I left the company as a Senior Product Designer in November 2021, and am grateful for being able to explore multiple aspects of software development during my nearly 10 year employment with CTA.
Co-Founder / CEO
Lead Game Developer
In college, we had Innovation/Entrepreneurship courses as part of our core cirriculum. One of the assignments was to come up with a product to compete for an NSF grant on green technologies. Being game development majors, our small group decided to apply with a novel educational game about personal carbon footprint and ways to be more sustainable at-home. We unfortunately did not win the grant, but the process of designing/developing games and the camaraderie we shared pushed us to continue the company for the next 5 years.
For the first time, I was able to be my own boss and run a team of highly talented individuals. We built three mobile games for Windows Mobile and Android as our primary coding language in school was C#. We released one of the games on iOS as well. Grayscale was a gravity bubble popping game with a slew of time-based and dexterity challenges. G-Day: Tower Defense was a pun-filled tower defense game with dozens of levels, fantastic art, and clever AI gnome enemies. With these two games we were able to be a featured vendor booth at the Winter X Games in Aspen.
Our last game RAD was a maze game utilizing the accelerometer of the phone as the primary input, where the user had to physically spin their phone to control a ball orbiting user-set centerpoints to navigate the mazes. It was a really cool concept, but sadly personal lives and new jobs interefered with its release, causing tensions in the team and ultimately I chose to shift my focus into another personal passion and current career: web development.
Co-Founder / CTO
After GnomeSpray Games disbanded, my friend brought a proposition to me to build websites and web applications for local businesses. This is something that I had been working towards over the past few years and still have a genuine interest in. He had a client waiting at our doorstep ready to contract with us, so we took care of formalities and formed Fluxlogic Studios, LLC.
As I had experience through GnomeSpray, I ran the day-to-day business operations, and co-led an outsourced coding team to bring our first project to fruition. This is where I really started to learn about UX and how client wants and end-user needs don't always align. At both CTA and Fluxlogic during this time period I dove headfirst into the world of human-centerd empathy-driven design.
I also honed my HTML/CSS/JS skills as I built the company website and various internal tools to support the needs of the business. Eventually we shut the doors at Fluxlogic as well due to lack of free time, as both my partner and I were treating this as a side-gig.
3D Gaming R&D Internship
During my senior year at UCCS, I was offered an opportunity to intern for one of the biggest names in cinema, RealD 3D. They were spinning up an R&D division for gaming in the wake of 3D TVs and computer monitors started to grab market share.
My internship was focused on proof-of-concept and feasibility work with proprietary algorithms and hardware to see if the company could branch into that sector. It was an extremely rewarding experience. I learned a ton about behind-the-scenes development factories, maintaining a competitive edge in business, and drastically improved my coding capabilities.
These projects were focused on leading game engines (at the time) Windows XNA and Unreal Engine.
Bachelor of Innovation
The Game Design and Development program was my entry into the world of software development. This unique (and brand-new) program was created as a cross-discipline between tech and entrepeneurship so students could learn how to start a business, or at the very least have a firm understanding of all the roles and stakeholder perspectives at play in a tech organization.
Classes were split equally between coding and business. The brainchild of this program Terry Boult, also created custom courses focusing on innovation and how to differentiate yourself in a crowded market. In one of these Innovation classes we even founded a company, GnomeSpray Games. The computer science classes were heavily geared towards game development (mainly C#), as a practical and fun way to teach software engineering. The instructions made perfect sense to my visual-heavy learning style, and it unveiled doors I never new existed to the world of front-end software design.
Some concepts came naturally to me, and some were harder to learn, but I've carried the lessons with me through my career thus far and will serve me for many more years to come.
© Nathan Marrs 2021. All rights reserved