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Meet David Bisset of Dimension Media in Ft. Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Bisset.

David, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My journey to becoming a senior developer at a remote company required me to start from scratch. Back in the late 1990s, there were almost no schools, hackathons, online courses, or books devoted to developing for the web. Most people weren’t aware of what HTML, CSS, or JavaScript really were.

I was working at a local printing company that catered to real estate companies and agents – printing flyers and postcards to sell houses. I had an idea that “we should put these listings on the web after we do the printing” (there were no official real estate sites on the web so this was a fairly original idea). Sadly a printing company didn’t think the web was worth the effort (in retrospect, this isn’t surprising). I made the decision to leave on my own (which was tough because I had family working with me) and learn HTML (from an insert of PC Magazine) on my own.

Once I made the decision to walk away from a “safe” family-supported job and head into web development I walked into some fairly crappy jobs. At one point, I was making 4-page websites (several a day even) for clients and being paid very little for it. It was a sweatshop. I was part of “web site shops” (I wouldn’t even call them agencies) like this for years, but slowly gaining the experience to get into a better “corporate” development job. Which I did – eventually I got to work at an office in downtown Ft. Lauderdale for a few years, until they downsized after 9/11.

After I was laid off, I was forced to work at a technical “temp agency” so I could gain more experience. Eventually, after learning more and seeing my freelancing side-business get bigger, I went full time into working for myself from home. At the same time, I was doing websites in PHP and something called WordPress. Knowing that I couldn’t be an island, I forced myself (an introvert) to become a part of the local tech community in South Florida. Back at that time, there wasn’t many reliable meetups. I first attended Refresh Miami, and then eventually found local programming and WordPress meetups (a meetup that I still help organize to this day). I started to network and attend various conferences while supporting my three kids and my wife. Today, I still work remotely and although I freelance and consult, I am currently and primarily a developer for a remote WordPress plugin company.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The journey wasn’t easy, as I took a risk on the web and the Internet (laughable today) and had to develop self-discipline and the skills needed to teach myself how to learn in an industry that moves VERY quickly, even today. Even with the help and support of family and the community, I hit numerous roadblocks and suffered big failures in my freelance business. Thankfully, in South Florida, there is a diverse culture that isn’t so competitive that education and sharing in the tech community is non-existent.

I truly learned that if you are genuine and not trying to be a jerk or constantly selling something (including selling yourself), you will earn respect. There is value from that – and sometimes it might not show itself until years later. Giving back to the community has been something that has been a part of my story for a long time, and it’s my privilege to be able to set an example for others to be able to see that as well and act on it if their circumstances allow. This goes especially for the young, upcoming generation – don’t assume they have it automatically easier when it comes to learning technical things and job training. Thankfully, I think with the help of the community, the opportunity is there for all.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Dimension Media – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I run Dimension Media, which is my personal branding I’ve had for almost two decades. I specialize in coding and development – currently JavaScript and WordPress related projects. I’m most proud of how my company and myself has adapted to the constantly changing developer and technical environment in my industry – and I would like to think what sets me and my company apart from others is how much we give this knowledge back to the community in various forms.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m not out to create the next big startup. I would like to see my technical experience grow, and see my three daughters (if they desire) to be included in future plans for my work and the company. I want to be involved in more WordPress and coding projects and share that knowledge with more and more people (including youth).

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