Oh. Well hey there.
My name is Cameron Hermens. I’m a Portland-based Web Developer. There’s a good chance you knew that already, but if not… there you go. And now, a brief history of… me.
I started building websites when I was 12 years old. My stepdad would regularly bring me to work at his fledgling startup (I think it was still called a startup back then), and I took unabashed joy in overwriting his Photoshop clipart. From there, I started studying HTML, built myself a website for my comic book company, and—lo and behold—nearly two decades later I’m now doing this for a living. Who would have thought?
In 2013, I got my start as an intern at BLVR (formerly Collaboration Reverberation), utilizing my love of statistics and analytical skills to provide reporting on both websites and digital marketing initiatives. Shortly thereafter, I became a full time Digital Analyst. However, my transition to full time, real, adult employment coincided with the web team being absolutely swamped; so I told them I could pitch in on finishing the Armed Services YMCA website (since redesigned) and they were like, “Sure, why not?”
Turns out, I was pretty good at it. I didn’t know much about WordPress or PHP, but I learned on the fly and somehow managed to complete the surprisingly complex WordPress multisite in charge of powering 13 unique ASYMCA branches. From there, my primary role consisted of leveraging data to power decision making, but I regularly contributed to web development in the form of entire web builds and custom landing pages alike.
In 2016, I took some time to reflect. One thing I knew was that I loved building websites, yet I had limited opportunities to do this at BLVR. I decided to work as a freelance consultant. I worked with a friend as a consultant for his leather company, and also managed to get an amazing referral out of it. Some friends of his had just crowd-funded the second iteration of a unique iPhone case with a second screen integrated into the back. People must have liked it or something, because they completed a $1mm Indiegogo campaign and were scheduled to appear on Shark Tank.
Oh, and their Shark Tank episode was scheduled to air in 30 days.
Despite the very unique challenge this represented, I somehow managed to complete planning, design and development of their website in a mere 21 days. I also ensured their website was ready to withstand the onslaught of traffic from Shark Tank. While they didn’t secure an investment from the sharks, they did have an amazing website ready to support their product.
While working as a consultant was fun, eventually I started longing for the creativity and collaboration of working within a team again. My next stop was Organik SEO, an agency primarily focused on SEO and social, with a single person web department that I’d be taking over.
This represented yet another unique challenge. My former agency, BLVR, got its start as a branding and design agency, then gradually expanded into web development and marketing. Eventually, web design and development represented the majority of BLVR’s business, while marketing was a rather small piece of the pie.
Conversely, Organik began as a marketing agency and their web department was small. Recognizing the potential of web garnered from my previous agency, I was like, “Dude, I got this!” and got right to work.
At Organik, I had the opportunity to shape the department as I saw fit. I defined our processes, service offerings, and brought on a handful of new tools to help us work more effectively. In my first year leading the web department, I nearly doubled sales over the previous year and led to three additional hires to support the growing web department. I also personally rebranded Organik SEO, providing a modern logo mark to more effectively communicate our versatility and brand story. I’ve worked with amazing people and clients alike, and built a portfolio of projects I am truly proud of showcasing.
It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m truly looking forward to what comes next. I’m at the point where I’m considering whether my next stop will be another agency or… something different. Ultimately,
- I want to build things
- I want to know that the work I’m doing is making a difference
- I want to be in an environment where I can continue to learn and grow
- I want to work with new web technologies
Frankly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. And hey, if this sounds like something you need, or someone you know needs, I would love to hear from you.
— Cam 🙂