Capstone Project – How did I get here?

It’s been almost a decade since I left school to work full time at WhippleHill. Back then if you’d asked me if I’d ever go back to school and finish my degree I would have said “Why bother, I’m getting paid and I love my work.” Now it’s 2019 and I find myself in a position to finish my degree and I’m really happy I’m doing it.

Let me take a step back and review how I got here. I graduated from NHTI in concord NH in 2003, I was working two jobs and going to school full time at UNH Manchester. I didn’t have to take out a student loan so the two jobs. I did this for a full year until one day opportunity came knocking.

In the fall of 2004 I was taking a business ethics class at UNH Manchester. One of the students in that class was a former NHTI classmate of mine and he was working at WhippleHill at the time. We started talking one night and he said “Hey my company is hiring you should totally apply.” That night I submitted my resume and I woke up to a phone call from the hiring manager to come in for an interview. I left the interview and went to class the next night, and just before class started I received an offer that would begin my career.

I began working for WhippleHill in October 25th, 2004. It’s been almost 15 years and one acquisition but I’m still here. I’m not doing the same job I started with but I love my work. At the end of the day developing software is all about problem solving and I love every minute of it (except time tracking, nobody loves that).

Cut to 2009 and I’m nearing the end of the line at UNH Manchester. The only thing I have left is an internship at a company and I’ll have my degree. Should be easy right, I already work for a great company! Well here is where the fun begins.

The head of the program at the time said to me “You can’t do your internship with a company you already work for.”

That’s right, I had to do an internship to graduate, but to do the internship I would have to take every Friday off for several months and do unpaid work for someone else. Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

So I decided to leave school and began working full time. Ten years have passed and I’ve grown in my career, bought a condo, and built a good life for myself. Eventually things left unfinished tend to naw at me though, and in 2018 I started looking into going back to finish my degree, and here we are.

Now for the Capstone Project. Both UNH Manchester and Blackbaud are working with me to do my project for Blackbaud so I can finish my degree and still keep working. I am building what we call a support portal, or Supportal, for our legacy education management software. I plan to add a blog post once a week or so to give an update on my progress and talk about my experiences with the Capstone Project.

That’s all I’ve got for now. My next post will hopefully go into the project and how I actually got started.

Save the Open Internet

I submitted this comment to the FCC today in support of strong net neutrality rules.  It’s a bit long for a tweet so I’m writing a blog post so I can share it.  If you love the internet PLEASE go to and learn what you can do!

Finally here is my comment to the FCC:

I am a web developer, content creator, and business owner. With the help of the internet I was able to build a life doing what I love. We need strong net neutrality rules to protect our right to the free exchange of ideas online. I want everyone to be able to innovate, create, and express themselves on the internet just as I have my entire adult life. If we don’t have strong net neutrality rules we run the risk of large corporations withholding access to the largest communications platform ever created, and that is unacceptable.

Home Improvement Project One: The Half Bath

Five years ago I bought my first home, and I started thinking about what I wanted to do with each room.  I started watching a lot of home improvement shows on TV looking for design ideas and I learned a few things.  I painted my living room first, including an accent wall which was a new concept for me.  That project was small time though.  After a lot of thinking, planning, and more thinking and planning it was finally time to step up my game.  My condo has a half bath on the first floor, and it was time to remodel.

I started looking at different design ideas for inspiration.  I had an idea of what I wanted , but I’m very indecisive.  It took me a few months to settle on what I wanted.  Once I figured it out I ordered the materials and took some vacation time.  Before we get started with changes, lets take a look at where we started.



At some point I just stopped cleaning, so it looks a little worse than it should have.  The diamond floor is my least favorite part.  It was falling apart and needed to GO.




The sink and cabinet from 1986, when they were installed I was five years old.  I couldn’t wait to tear them out.



White walls, they need some color…



Worst… cabinet… ever…


First I have to come clean.  I am the least handy person on the planet.  I can handle the little things like a hammer and a screwdriver, but if you want something measured and cut to fit into a space I am not your man.  The good news is, I have the BEST parents in the world.  My Dad knows more about home improvement than I will ever be able to master.  He can do electrical, plumbing, and woodworking like a seasoned pro.   My Mom has the one talent that nobody else has, she can keep me on task and working.  They offered to help me with the remodel.

Most of the work in the bathroom was done by my Dad while my Mom and I did the painting and generally trying to stay out of my Dad’s way.   We worked on other projects around the condo, including painting my office and giving my couch new life by filling the cushions with new stuffing.

So with that taken care of here’s what we did.

Day One: Demo Day



Wait, What? O_o

Under the horrible floor was a layer of plywood and ANOTHER floor!  If you look carefully at the molding in the top left corner of the photo, you’ll see it’s shorter than the rest of it.  If you guessed that they laid the plywood and tile on top of the first one you get a prize.  We removed both floors and the molding before putting down new stuff.

Day Two: Tile


It’s happening!!!

We painted the walls before my Dad put down the tile.  I was a little worried I didn’t order enough tile, but my Dad is awesome and got the floor done with two or three left over.  As soon as I saw these tiles in the store I was in love with them.

Day Three: Grout


I still get chills looking at this picture, my Dad delivered what I wanted exactly.

Not much else to say about this picture except DAMN that tile looks good.

Day Four: Finishing Touches

This was it.  After several days of waking up early and working hard every day on multiple projects today was the day.  So without further ado, here’s the finished product.


Everything in its place.


No more ugly brown cabinet, no more awful sink, lots of color and plenty of light!

My Mom and Dad worked very hard and I can’t thank them enough for their help.  I love the new updated look, but I still need to get some art for the walls.  So far I’ve only found this:

I think this will fit in nicely

My next project is going to be my kitchen. I’ll spare my parents the hard work and just hire professionals when I take that job on.

Meet Kingston.

In this picture he is really cute, he is now a drooling monster with a head the size of a watermelon.


Wish I Was Here

I just finished watching Wish I Was Here, the latest file directed by Zach Braff.  As a Kickstarter backer I got the chance to screen the movie before it gets into theaters on July 18th, and I’ve never been more proud to have help fund a project.

I was moved to laughter, then moved to ears, and then more laughter, followed by more tears, and after all that I can’t wait to watch it again.

Best movie of the year, if you have time go check it out.  If you don’t have time make time and go see it!