One of the things that I love most about working as a developer is the prospect of a project that becomes more than just a simple commission. This is exactly the case of how I came to be involved with the Stearman Restorers Association. In early 2010, I was approached by a friend to manage publishing duties for the Stearman Flying Wire, a magazine dedicated to the history and restoration of the Stearman aircraft. Due to workload restrictions, my colleague was unable to continue managing the project and eventually I took over.
Initially, I was hired to provide typographic and prepress services for the magazine, but this came with some interesting challenges since the original template files that were used for the layout were in a legacy Microsoft Publisher format. Without the ability to open these files, I decided to create a new print layout using InDesign which allowed for a more streamlined and flexible template. This in turn sped up the process in preparing the magazine before being sent to the publishing house and minimized proofing time from a total of 3 days to under 5 minutes. As time went on, I took on additional responsibilities including editorial assistance as well as creating and editing print advertising for the magazine.
This eventually led to my involvement as web administrator for the organization. At the time, the SRA had a minimal web presence, largely due to their unmanaged and deprecated website. I took over administration and development duties as lead media director including cms and database updates, social media updates, membership processing, classifieds management, forum administration, as well as web support to increase customer retention and member interaction.