About Matt McCarthy and McCarthy Code

Hello, there!

My name is Matt McCarthy and I am a full-stack Web and mobile app developer. I completed coursework at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and graduated from the Coding Dojo, a 14-week bootcamp. My hobbies include scoring rollercoaster credits, singing karaoke (mostly alt-rock and classic rock), and tinkering with Linux systems (currently Arch). Ever since the days of MySpace and the transition from dial-up to broadband Internet, I have been constantly intrigued by how computers and the Web have worked, and have always made an effort to understand new technologies as best I could. As a middle school student, I would analyze HTML code copy-and-pasted to my MySpace page, and would use Web resources to build my first, rudimentary Web page.

During my time at UIC (2011–2014), I majored in computer science and upheld an A average in my major coursework. While there, I was a member of the robotics team in the school's IEEE chapter. At the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), I competed in both the Jerry Sanders Design Competition (JSDC), a robotics competition, and HackIllinois (also at UIUC), a software and hardware hackathon. At HackIllinois, I was a top-10 finalist in the hardware category, with roughly 200 contestants total at the time. Along with one other UIC student and IEEE robotics member, I designed and built a robotic arm using empty RedBull cans, a few servos, and an Electric Imp (IoT-connected processor). I chose not to finish my degree due to financial constraints in conjunction with a years-long period of struggle with medical issues, which I eventually overcame.

From 2017 to 2018, I ended my educational hiatus by attending coursework at the Coding Dojo, where I reviewed Web fundamentals (HTML, CSS, JavaScript/jQuery) and learned three new software stacks: Django, .NET, and MEAN. Of the three, I strongly favored Django due to Python's syntactic ease and Django's core framework. It was upon graduating from the bootcamp that I decided to program in Python under Django full-time as a freelance developer, and thus McCarthy Code (MC), known then as McCarthy Web Design, was born.

It took months of constant preparations and fruitless interviews, but before the end of the year, I was able to land my first client, Coolwater Creations (CWC), under the name MWD. This was not my first-ever client—I had been hired in 2014 for Susan Kill Kegan & Associates (SKK&A) with a PHP back-end—but it was my first paid project using a more organized, streamlined MVC framework. Later, I would design, develop, and host five more sites, including a redesign of SKK&A and the site you are viewing right now. All of these sites are available to view on the portfolio page.

In my business, and in my general computing practices, I adhere to the KISS principle ("Keep it simple, stupid."). For all of my sites, this may mean more whitespace, vibrant, yet subdued color palettes, and basic functionality tied together in a way that is still appealing and functional to administrators and end users alike. I am constantly learning how to keep my software DRY ("Don't repeat yourself"), and have improved on this concept quite a bit over the years, allowing myself to become a faster and more efficient developer.

To learn more about me, McCarthy Code, or how to obtain a site for yourself, check out the contact page. Thank you for taking the time to read about me and my business!