HI, I'M JOEL

Electrical Engineer turned Web Developer

Below is a showcase of web apps, sites, and projects I've built. I hope you enjoy!

A portrait of Joel Wigton, a Web Developer

FULL-STACK SKILLZ

Some of the technologies I'm comfortable with..

Python logo
Django logo
PostgreSQL logo
JavaScript logo
Heroku logo
Bootstrap and Tailwinds CSS logos
Stripe logo
Twilio logo
Git logo
SendGrid and MailJet logos
Google APIs logo
OpenCV logo
Cloudflare Workers logo
Selenium logo
Flask logo

Spaywall.comAn icon for an external link

A website and browser extension to help make online news more freely accessible for all.

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Built to Scale

Runs on JavaScript in the cloud via Cloudflare Workers. Browser extension is client-side JavaScript.

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Loved by Users

The most popular paywall extension in the Chrome store. Over 15K users and 140K pageviews monthly, and growing.

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Always Improving

You know you've made something good when the copycats come crawling..

A screenshot of the popular browser extension and paywall bypass tool Spaywall and site Spaywall.com

Retired Sites

Various projects or bootstrapped startup ideas that didn't make it, for one reason or another.

A collection of bugout bag kits

Haven Bugouts An icon for a YouTube video

Custom storefront related to the survival gear niche. The site allowed you to create bespoke survival kits in a custom-built shopping cart and then passed you to checkout on Amazon. Two person project. Python/Django, Heroku, background workers, Amazon Product Advertising API, HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

A screenshot of a web app for tracking work progress

Checkmate An icon for a YouTube video

Developed an internal web app for a previous job that tracks the progress of IPs through various checklist milestones. Database-backed CRUD app allowed users to add and remove blocks, assign block owners, and mark progress on each checklist item across multiple blocks. Python/Django, AJAX, HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

A screenshot of a web app for subscribing to multiple digital newspaper subscriptions

KnewsStand An icon for a YouTube video

One digital news subscription that would get you access to all partner sites. I developed a proof of concept that let you log into the partner sites (similar to Single Sign-On). The difficulty of partnering with giant conglomerates and differences in co-founder expectations pretty much doomed this one from the start.

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Market Validation Sites

Many bootstrapped companies employ a technique of building a simple landing page to test if there is market interest in an idea before building the entire product. Here are some validation landing pages of my own.

An image of a hardware product enclosure and PCB

Hardware

My first loveAn icon for a heart

I made an EV

C-Rex

The conversion of my Honda CRX to battery-powered EV. Over 300 hours put into engineering, custom metal fabrication, circuit design, and high-voltage electrical work.

C-Rex was faster than stock, cost less to operate, had fewer moving parts, and was more fun to drive! Sadly, I sold him when I became a dad since he had no backseats. 😭

A man lifting an engine out of a car on an engine hoist

Gutting the internal combustion parts

The easy part.. if it leaks or squeaks, it's gone!

An electric motor mounted to a transmission for an EV project

Installing the electric motor

DC motor mounted to the original transmission

A shipment of blue EV batteries

Batteries arrived (to my great relief)

Still have that fresh-from-Shenzen smell!

A man strapping together EV batteries

Strapping the battery packs

A good chunk of time went into designing the battery packs, the heart of any EV

EV batteries in a welded metal rack

Rear battery pack

I cut a hole in the floor behind the front seats. GR8 Stuff is my friend.

A battery rack being installed into an EV

Installing front battery racks

Painted maize, of course

A man proudly displaying his EV drivetrain. EV grin prominent.

Electric drivetrain finished

Six months of planning, setbacks, and late nights

An electrified Honda CRX

Full body, wheel, & glass restoration

Lots of body work and a brand new paint job later

I made a wrist-worn motion-activated stungun

Stunly

After my sister had a scary encounter in the park, I set out to make a stungun that could be operated hands-free, so there was no excuse to leave it at home.

An onboard accelerometer detects an intentional double-shake of the device to set it off. I designed the circuit and PCB, drew the enclosure in CAD, and wrote the firmware.

The final product worked, but my wife was too scared to have such high-voltage so near her wrist. And that's the tale of how I learned the hard lesson of not talking to my users first.

A PCB with small components

Teeny tiny parts

The biggest challenge of this project was making the damn thing small enough

A PCB being baked in a reflow toaster oven

Baking an early prototype

I didn't have a reflow oven, so I made one with a toaster oven and a kit

Sensor readings graphed on a computer screen

Measuring and plotting accelerometer response

Plotting the accelerometer readings in Python to dial in the best settings

Equations on a whiteboard

The profile of a double-shake

We want it to trigger during an intentional shake, but not from normal running

A man who is doing embarrassing things in the name of technological progress

Running in the lab like an idiot

Strapping a wired-in early prototype to my arm and jogging in place to get live readings

Dozens of small lithium polymer batteries on a workbench

Soooo maaany batteries..

Tested batteries on the bench across dozens of manufacturers (pro tip: manufacturers lie)

A CAD rendering of a custom electronics enclosure

An enclosure rendering

Things always look so much bigger on your screen than when 3D printed

A 3D rendering of a wrist-worn stungun

You want renderings? I've got plenty

But who cares, no big deal, I want morrrre!

I made an internet-connected car alarm

BMMPR

As a consultant, I turned my client's idea for an internet-connected impact-sensing car alarm into a shipping product. He's sold millions in revenue.. wish I'd asked for equity 😂

BMMPR plugs into the OBD-II port, and has cellular and bluetooth connectivity, GPS, and an accelerometer. I designed all the hardware and wrote the firmware to connect to the mobile app and an AWS backend.

A breadboard electronics prototype

Breadboarding the prototype

The journey of 1000 miles begins with one giant breadboard covered in evaluation boards

A thermal image of a short-circuit hotspot

Debugging GPS lock

Using a development board to figure out why I wasn't getting GPS lock

An internet-connected smart car alarm

BMMPR mainboard

The mainboard contains the OBD connector, buck converter, accelerometer, and cellular radio

An internet-connected smart car alarm

BMMPR daughterboard

The daughterboard plugs on top of the mainboard and has the microcontroller, bluetooth radio, and GPS module

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After 13 years designing high-tech computer chips, I switched careers to web development. I love that the internet has the ability to reach people anywhere.

I have strong problem solving and debug skills, and I'm passionate about doing interesting work.

A profile photo of Joel Wigton, a web developer

Online Courses

Learning whatever skills I need to solve problems.

A certificate of completion

Harvard's CS50 Web Programming with Python and JavaScriptAn icon for an external link

Design of web apps with Python, JavaScript, Django, SQL, and Bootstrap. Topics include database design, scalability, security, and user experience.

Review site Chat app Shopping cart

A certificate of completion

Udacity's Full-Stack Web Development NanodegreeAn icon for an external link

Learn to build database-backed APIs and web applications with Python, Flask, and JavaScript. Database design, manage user authentication and access control with Docker and Kubernetes.

Music venue app API design Roles-based access control

A certificate of completion

Stanford's Machine LearningAn icon for an external link

Fundamentals of machine learning taught by Andrew Ng. Supervised machine learning algorithms, including linear regression, logistic regression, neural networks, and support vector machines. Python and Matlab.

Handwritten digit recognition Spam classification filter Anomaly detection Movie recommendation engine

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They said it, not me..

“It is without hesitation that I give Joel my highest praise”

“Joel performed well beyond my high expectations. He was self motivated, and was quickly able to set his own goals and timelines for his work. He did excellent independent research ... He incorporated both large and small pieces of innovations to meet the demanding project requirements. Joel maintained a high level of focus in his day to day work. He is not easily distracted from the task at hand. I cannot remember him ever missing a deadline for a deliverable. Joel worked very well with the other engineers in the group. He works well under pressure and is able to bring his ideas in team discussions in a positive, non-confrontational manner. He delivers across all possible considerations: productivity, initiative, responsiveness , and professionalism. His friendly positive personality is a great asset to any team environment.”

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Thomas Grutkowski

Principal Engineer at Intel

“Managers and technical leads knew they could trust him”

“Joel did well working independently, even on difficult problems ... His work was of the highest quality. Throughout his time on my team, Joel showed a knack for learning new subjects quickly, he showed excellent communication/teamwork, and he reliably met his schedules. I'd be happy to have Joel return to my team!”

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Paul Thayer

Director of Engineering at Intel

“Passionate, precise and creative”

“Joel understands complex matters even when outside of his direct area of expertise. He is quickly able to learn new software tools, which enables him to spend less time with the mechanics of the job and more time doing the actual work before him. Joel's work ethic and attitude are an asset to any team.”

A portrait photo of Mike B.

Mike Barber

Principal Engineer at Edge Scientific

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