Portfolio of Joseph Szakara

Product Design Art Direction \ Front-end Development

Me and a friend, 1995

Designer by Design

For most of my childhood I was convinced that I was either going to be in the NFL or flying F-16s, but my trajectory shifted when my pop brought home our first computer in October of 1995. It ran Windows 95 and was powered by an original 66Mhz Pentium chip. In addition to playing too many DOS games, I became obsessed with MS Paint where I’d painstakingly draw graphics pixel-by-pixel (I thought that’s how all graphics were made at the time).

A couple short years later, a fellow Quake player introduced me to Jasc’s PaintShop Pro, Macromedia Flash, and Bryce 3D. My mind was blown and from that point on I have been designing, rendering, animating, and coding all the things.

Computers, Toys, and Reno

Fast forward to today, and I live in Reno, NV where I work at a small tech company leading the design and front-end development of an enterprise web application.

Outside of work, I enjoy working on my Mustang, goofin’ around on my motorcycle, toying with new tech like drones and AI libraries, and flexing in the mirror after a good workout. Other than that, I feel like most of my interests are pretty typical: photography, travelling, documentaries about the universe, video games, Cardi B, etc.

Contrary to outsider opinion, Reno, with its rivers, lakes, fringe terrain, and burgeoning population, is actually a pretty nice spot. Housing is still affordable and we have the highest AYCE sushi per capita in America.

The 'ol American Dream
A new day


I believe our beliefs define us. What we believe determines what we think is good, bad, rewarding, interesting, funny; it sets our goals, diet, and clothing style - everything. A belief system is an operating system for the mind.

So, what do I believe? The oft quoted “Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.” by Philip Stanhope captures my ethos well.

I realize that everything I work on will be both used by and worked on by other people. With this in mind, I not only thoroughly consider the experience of those who will use a product, watch a video, or read a document, but also those that may work on it. Is this code easy to understand, or am I being needlessly clever? Have I organized this project in a way where a newcomer won’t find it overwhelming?

I strive to be exemplary in all forms.