About Othermachines

Othermachines is a full stack web development company based in Alberta, Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Partners: Dwayne Holmberg and Lara Devitt
  • Offering: Full stack development, websites and web apps
  • Founded in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2009
  • Combined 30 years of web expertise
  • International client base
  • Two-thirds of the clients we worked with 5 years ago are still our clients
  • Every Friday is “PD day” - dedicated to improving our skills and learning new tools

Recent Projects/Clients

What We Are Passionate About...

Open source

We have been passionate supporters and users of open source technologies since discovering Linux and Redhat in the late 90s. For us as young developers, open source and the free software movement helped level the playing field, providing access to tools that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive. Open source broadened our view, allowing us “inside access” to major development projects and putting us in touch with a lot of smart and dedicated people.

Today, open source is, in the words of Mitchell Kapor, “the back end of the web”. Open source languages (PHP, Python, Javascript) are run on open source servers (Apache, nginx, Node.js) installed on open source operating systems (Linux, BSD). Websites and apps built with projects like Bootstrap, AngularJS and Meteor - all open source - are abundant. Developers involved in all of these projects use open source tools such as Atom, Vim, Git, and Grunt to write and manage their code and be more productive.

What open source has taught us:
  • Developers don’t have to exist behind a locked door. Our process is transparent and everyone is involved.

  • To embrace diversity and even disagreement. Cross-pollination can take you to more interesting places than you expected.

  • We are limited only by our choices and effort. In the words of Linus Torvalds, “In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny.”

  • Standards, standards, standards.

  • Humility! There is always somebody smarter. Learn from them.

Mobile

Nothing has caused such a shake-up in the digital landscape in recent years as the surging popularity of smartphones and tablets. As early adopters of mobile tools and techniques, we experienced the rapid shift (as in two tectonic plates colliding!) from "nice to have" to "must build this into everything we do". For us, it's been an exciting and gratifying time. Granted, we do love the shiny and new, but there's a reemergence happening, too. Not since Jakob Nielsen's "Designing Web Usability" has user experience been so talked about. New design trends are emerging that emphasize simplicity and ease-of-use, characteristics that we have been championing for years.

As there becomes less distinction between devices, and as people increasingly use their mobile devices at home and work rather than on-the-go, it isn’t enough to adapt. It is our passion and our aim to build tools that offer the optimum user experience on all popular devices.

Our Tools...

We have used the following tools in projects recently launched or in progress:

Languages: PHP, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS 3, Sass, Less

Libraries / frameworks: jQuery, AngularJS, Meteor, Polymer, Bootrap 3, Foundation 5

Development tools: Node.js, Yeoman, Grunt, Bower, Browserify

Server OS: CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu

Web Servers: Apache, nginx

Databases: MySQL, MongoDB

Content management: Drupal, WordPress, Jekyll, prismic.io (via REST API)

Revision control: Git

(This is a frequently updated list, as our toolset is constantly evolving!)

Ourselves...

Dwayne Holmberg

Dwayne is lead developer and project manager at Othermachines. His main role is converting client goals into integrated solutions, and shepherding those projects to completion.

Fifteen years in the industry has given him the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects. This has included online travel booking software, programs to translate government legislation into a searchable database, developing online e-learning courses, and leading web projects for international NGOs and social investment companies.

Beyond development with the LAMP stack, Meteor, and NodeJS, his roles include project, management, application design and architecture, and Linux system administration and security.

Outside of work, when Dwayne isn’t making homemade paneer or working on the perfect julienne, you might catch him reading Neal Stephenson or watching Doctor Who. 

Lara Devitt

Lara is a full stack developer at Othermachines. She specializes in the Drupal framework and is an Acquia Certified Drupal Developer. 

Lara began her professional career as a consultant to the United Nations in the mid-nineties when the web was just beginning to take hold. Since then she has led or contributed on dozens of web-based projects. 

In addition to her work with Drupal, Lara keeps up with the latest front-end tools and techniques, knowledge she uses to follow her passion for building exceptional user experiences. She is also an active contributor to the Drupal developer community.

Lara loves old movies, vegetarian cooking, and the prairies. 

 

We would love to hear from you! Contact us to discuss your upcoming project.