About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Hamstra.

Professional & Education

Back in 2008-2010 a good high school friend and I built websites for small, local, companies under our brand Webbureau SUIT. That work introduced me to MODX 0.9.6 and over time I got more interested in the back-end side of things. In 2009 we both started university, lives started changing, and towards the end of 2010 we officially shut down Webbureau SUIT.

I studied International Hospitality Management (IHM) at Stenden University and founded Mark Hamstra Web Development (or MHWD for short) in 2011. While still studying, the MODX freelance/consultancy work ranging from integrating designs to building custom extensions, proved to be more interesting and after the 2nd year ended I decided to not re-enroll for the third year. Instead I was going to try running my business full time.

In March 2012 MODX LLC hired me full-time to work on the Professional Services team. The work was similar to what I had been doing on my own, but for larger clients and projects. After a year we went in separate directions and I started working on modmore.

modmore is all about helping MODX users and developers around the world do more with MODX, by providing high quality extras, tools, and support, as well as supporting initiatives that help the open source MODX project move forward. modmore launched in July 2013 with 2 extras, and since then has among other things introduced a gallery plugin that actually works, the first page builder for MODX, MODX.today, a powerful e-commerce solution and SiteDash. While I still do some consulting work here and there, modmore has been profitable enough the past few years to pay the bills, so I have the luxury of only taking on projects that I'm particularly excited about or overlap with other priorities.

For the future, I hope modmore will grow to support a team of full time developers to accelerate the execution of all sorts of projects that will benefit MODX.

If I were to update my CV, I'd probably put PHP Developer at the top, but I'm also comfortable with front-end development. MODX, xPDO, ExtJS, CSS3, jQuery, VanillaJS, accessibility, things like that.

Personal

I'm 28, an introvert, have my own house in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands), and outside of work I enjoy gaming, cooking, and binge watching entire shows on a work night followed by wondering what I'll do with my life until the next season. My high school parttime job at a hardware store occasionally fools me into thinking I'm a better DIYer than I actually am. I have two dogs and tweet about stuff.

I came out as bisexual in 2016, which I also wrote about, which has opened my eyes to the importance of diversity and representation. In hindsight, I probably would've accepted my own sexuality a lot sooner had I known more openly LGBT+ folks, so I try to advocate for more diversity in the MODX (and tech) world by being visible and open.

In a way, coming out opened the door (hah) to taking more control of my life. Before I spent a lot of time on autopilot, just churning away and focusing on work, but since then (and after getting myself into a burnout) I've been working on my work/life balance, health, and getting out of my comfort zone a lot more.

I'd like to fit my house with solar panels, drive an electric car, and hope that smart people (and politicians) around the world get together soon to make sure we don't make this planet inhabitable.

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