Many people spend their work day surrounded by 300 bottles of booze, but most of them are bartenders. I’m not, but I got to work with the best of them at The Hooch Life. The Hooch Life is a lifestyle brand created to promote the burgeoning craft spirits movement by engaging young professionals eager to graduate from their college drinking charades into the more experimental and tasteful realm of craft cocktails.
Though booze abounded at The Hooch Life, we had a serious team and vision. “Hooch” was created by Glenn Morey, a 40-year advertising industry veteran, and his team of UX, visual, content and product designers at Shift 1 Design in Denver. Though it was my first startup and role as a full-time web developer, the team pushed me to learn quickly and deliver professional work. To be honest, it was a role I was under-qualified for but, according to our CEO, performed spectacularly.
As Web Manager at The Hooch Life I was the sole developer in charge of the entire codebase. During the year and a half I worked at Hooch, I saw the site through two redesigns and more than 40 editorial cycles. I worked closely with the design team to determine user needs and priorities, but took full initiative to handle all technology feasibility research and coding.
In addition to my role as developer, I worked with our Art Director to create photography and define the visual direction for the brand. I photographed and edited hundreds of photos of bars, bartenders and products.
The product team at The Hooch Life was small, collaborative and interdisciplinary. Though we worked collectively to create solutions that considered business and user needs, we each contributed from and took responsibility for our individual areas of expertise.
Though Hooch was my first startup experience, my background in political and community organizing prepared me for the collaborative team process and fast-paced editorial cycle. I was embedded within the design team, which enabled us to quickly ideate and iterate. And though our editorial and bartender teams were spread across the country, we had a meticulously organized and updated editorial calendar that prepared us to deliver code, content and photography needs for upcoming issues on time.
- Editorial, product and portrait photography
- Photo retouching
- Adobe Lightroom
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Fireworks
- Google Doubleclick for Publishers API
- Google Maps API
- Nikon bodies and lenses
- Delivered all projects on time
- Built site to be able to withstand high-traffic
- Adhered to web standards
- Implemented Google Page Speed best practices and caching methods to deliver a reliable and fast user experience
- A third-party development shop hired to audit site gave it high remarks. Their report conlcued that:
- The site passes W3C Validator with flying colors, meaning the code uses modern standards.
- The code is clean and readable, and free from blatant logic errors.
- We were not able to identify any significant security vulnerabilities.
- In general, the code is clean and maintainable, even though a few things could be improved.
View recommendations from Glenn Morey, Kelly Sandoval and Julie Morey on LinkedIn.