Team Spotlight – Engineering

The coding wizards responsible for actually building our wireframing and prototyping tool

This week we cover just a couple of our very talented software engineers. Alex and Ben are the chief programmers who think outside the box on how to accomplish a new feature or workflow. Alex is a Zipcar junkie and Ben is our resident extreme sports athlete. Here’s more information on Alex and Ben.


Alex Johnson
Senior Software Author

What is it you do at Site9?
The engineers are responsible for realizing the company’s vision (with respect to our software).

How long have you been with Site9?
I started working for Site9 (actually, Azure Inc. dba Site9 at the time) in October of 2001.

What do you like most about your job?
My favorite part of my job is creating little features in the app that our users won’t expect, but will be delighted to find.

Favorite restaurant
My favorite restaurant is Habibi, which is near Morrisson and 10th. This restaurant has really good food and the friendliest owner I’ve ever met.

Favorite book
The Time Traveler’s Wife. Time travel is always a tricky subject, and more often than not, stories based on it don’t make any sense. This book really nails it. Also, it’s set in Chicago, where I lived for several years before moving to Portland, which makes it a lot of fun to read.

Favorite movie
Jurassic Park (really). Amazing special effects, great scenery, unforgettable music and semi-plausible science — what more could you ask for?

Other hobbies
My main hobby is kung fu, but when the weather permits, I like to play sports, ride my bike and hike.

What do you like most about ProtoShare?
I love that ProtoShare is a web-app, so I don’t have to worry about which computer it’s installed on, where the files are, etc.

Best ProtoShare tip
You can “lock” the contents of a container, which makes the container and its contents act like a single component.


Benjamin Scarola
Software Engineer /
Agile Evangelist

How would you describe your role?
I am primarily an “engineer”, however being that we are a small company this means that I spend a good portion of my time on other tasks. While the bulk of my time is spent developing new and exciting ProtoShare features, I also help with our requirements definition, architectural decisions, and interaction design. As of late I have also taken on the role of acting as the “scrum master” in our Agile software process.

How long have you been with Site9?
~5 years

What do you like most about your job?
Conceiving of and building innovative solutions to our customers’ problems. Pushing web technologies to their limits.

Tell us something most people wouldn’t guess upon first meeting you.
That I am a “computer nerd”.

Favorite restaurant
Mekong Vietnamese restaurant in Sellwood. It’s quick, relatively cheap, and they have awesome Pho, which gets me through all the rainy days.

Favorite book
Behind The Glass

Favorite movie

Words to live by
“The past is history, the future is a mystery, and right now is a gift…that’s why it is called the present.”

When I’m not working, I’m likely…Playing guitar, drums, or bike riding.

Best accomplishment in life so far
Raising two healthy kittens

Share with us an item on your Bucket List
Heli-skiing, taking a year off to cycle the world

This year, I’m most looking forward to…Recording some new music in my home studio.

What do you like most about ProtoShare?
ProtoShare is a “swiss army knife” type of tool. Our customers are constantly surprising us with new and different ways to use our own tool! The fact that ProtoShare builds wireframes using standard HTML and CSS also opens up a whole world of customization for more advanced users.

Best ProtoShare tip
Holding down the Option/Alt key while dragging one or more components in the wireframe editor will duplicate the selected components. This is extremely quick and useful when building repeating sections of a wireframe or duplicating the look-and-feel of a component already on the canvas.

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  1. Chris Pegg says:

    Hey guys-

    Thanks for putting up the Meet the Crew blog entries. As much as we like to meet the people behind the service, I’ll admit that I’m specifically loving the ‘Best Protoshare Tip’ segment of each profile. I’ve already picked up four new techniques through reading them, which I’m sure I’ll be using all the time now. I’d love to see more tips coming from the people who build this great service.

  2. Andrea Fidel says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad you’re finding the ProtoShare Tips helpful. There are definitely more to come and we’re working on ways to expose more tips throughout our site and in the application.

    If you have specific questions on how to accomplish tasks – or are curious if there are other ways to do something – feel free to let us know.

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