A little about me...

Boots as a kid in the snow, dressed in an army hat and coat.

My name is John Highland, but most people call me “Boots” - long story. I’m a web developer, musician, husband, and father of two awesome boys, currently living in the Seattle area. I was born in Cincinnati, OH, but my family moved to Dallas, TX, when I was two. In Dallas, I grew up, went to school, played in multiple bands, started a web developer career, found a wife, and birthed a couple sons. In 2023, we finally said goodbye to the brutal Texas Summers, and said hello to the Pacific Northwest. The new chapter begins...

As a web developer...

I specialize in advanced HTML/CSS layouts that are cross-browser, accessible, and responsive to any device size. I’m experienced with vanilla JavaScript, and have become very familiar with React components and Next.js over the last couple years.

In a nutshell, I’m a huge lover of the “pretty side” of front-end dev. I love:

  • CSS as a (programming?) language
  • finding creative ways to layout a difficult design
  • making a layout perfectly respond to everything from a watch to a giant studio display
  • finding subtle ways to wow a user with animation/transitions
  • marking up a site in a way that works, even without the CSS
  • semantic markup (I’m a hopeless rule-follower)
  • basically, anything involving the Front-of-the-Front-End (including JS)

That said, I can also get me hands dirty. Most of my career (2004-2018) has been in the design agency trenches, building client sites start to finish. The first ~7 years building advanced, immersive Flash experiences, then mostly LAMP stack CMS jobs (ExpressionEngine back in the day, then CraftCMS) and some straight PHP sites. Recently, I ran a large Shopify store — tons of Liquid templating initially — but we eventually (finally!) moved to a React/Next.js/headless CMS setup. Now that I‘ve had a couple years of building React components (♥ CSS modules ♥), I’ve come to really love it — especially with Next.js and Vercel. That’s my go-to now.

I’ve also had significant real-world experience running a large eCommerce site (Shopify), as the Sr Manager of Web Development for the performance menswear company, Mizzen+Main. In my 4.5 years with Mizzen, we ran into all kinds of ups and downs, and I was always able to get us across the finish line. It’s been a rocky relationship at times, but I definitely know Shopify.

So essentially, my key skill is problem solving. In the 25 years I’ve been building and managing websites, I’ve just about seen it all, so as the great American poet, Robert Matthew Van Winkle, once put it, If there was a problem, YO! I’ll solve it.

As a musician...

I’ve been primarily a bass guitarist for 40 years, and I toured professionally with various rock bands for nearly 15 years of that. In addition to bass guitar, I also play acoustic bass, guitar, drums, and cello (my first instrument); and have experience with synth programming and studio mixing and producing - mostly with Logic Pro. Music has taken a back seat for me, since web development took over, but I still try to get back to it from time to time. I actually have an album of my own in the works that will hopefully see the light of day sometime in 2023. I’ll keep you posted.

Boots standing in the front yard of his home, holding his laptop.

I specialize in...


SkillSkill Rating
5 of 5 stars
5 of 5 stars
4 of 5 stars
3.5 of 5 stars
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5 of 5 stars
5 of 5 stars
3 of 5 stars


SkillSkill Rating
Bass Guitar
5 of 5 stars
Acoustic Bass
3.5 of 5 stars
3 of 5 stars
3 of 5 stars
2.5 of 5 stars
Logic Pro
3.5 of 5 stars
Video Production
4 of 5 stars
Kicking Ass
5 of 5 stars