My name is Antti Koskenrouta, I’m a Finnish-born WordPress developer in Washington DC. I made my first website in 1997 with MS FrontPage. I still remember it using frames and a hideous rollover effect in navigation done with Java applets. Hrrrr. I’ve worked with the web ever since, and luckily, the tools and the end products have become much more elegant. In my 16 years of working with the web, probably my biggest professional milestone happened in 2003 when I started to make websites for a living.
While in college, I did a semester abroad at Towson University in Maryland. That really made me want to get a whole degree abroad, and after I graduated with my BBA, I immediately continued to pursue my Master’s degree in the States. I went to Towson in January of 2005 thinking I’d be back in Finland in about a year and a half.
That was nine years ago.
After my graduation, I got a job at at InPhonic, Inc. through one of my professors. At the time, InPhonic was the company behind www.wirefly.com. This turned out to be a great experience. I worked with great people getting my feet wet with eCommerce. I absorbed a tremendous amount of knowledge about large-scale systems, which became the foundation of my web knowledge today. Most importantly, the time working on the Storefront team was my “CSS Boot Camp”. Every day I learned something new about the quirks [sic] of IE and how to work in a complex development environment. Looking back, my biggest accomplishments were to do the front-end work for BestBuy’s cellular phone online store development project and ensuring the IE7 compatibility of the spaghetti-code (a combo of bad classic ASP and newer .NET code) storefront.
When InPhonic went private and relocated its offices to Reston, VA, I decided to move on. In January of 2008, I went to work for Computech, Inc. as an on-site consultant at the FCC. Contrary to common belief, working for the government can be hectic! In my three years at the FCC, I worked on DTV.gov and re-coded and maintained the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau’s website.
I also worked on Reboot.FCC.gov, which was the FCC’s attempt to modernize its web presence in 2009 before the current redesigned website went live. I worked on Reboot from concept to completion wearing multiple hats. I participated in conceptualizing, prototyping and mainly worked on coding the font-end. I also participated in Information Architecture and implementing and customizing UserVoice.com, a 3rd party discussion platform. Reboot.FCC.gov was also the first site where the FCC used Liferay, a Java-based CMS, for a major project. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of that.
In March of 2011 I decided to try my entrepreneurial wings again and became an independent web developer. It’s been a wonderful experience; I’ve worked with clients both in DC area as well as Finland.
Outside work I enjoy ice-hockey (Let’s go, Caps!), working out, and riding around DC on my Vespa LX 150. I live in Brightwood neighborhood of DC with my lovely wife Jenn and our beagle-basset mix Logan, who stars on our project of a website We the Beagle.
I wake up happy every day knowing I love what I do and live in the coolest city in the world – and then go cruise it on my Vespa.