William Ratke

HI! My name is Will and I love to explore ideas and create new things!

Tonic Tutor

I've always been driven by curiosity, and my interest in art and creativity led me to study printmaking at the University of Alberta where I graduated with a BFA in 2007. After that, I moved to Ottawa and took a one year program at Algonquin College in 2009. While my education might not seem to apply directly to web and app development at first glance, there's actually a lot of parallels between them. While art does have an element of intuition and self-expression, it's also analytical and requires critical thinking. You have to react and respond to previous decisions that you've made, along with things outside of your control, and decide what change you need to apply to improve a composition. It's a process you engage in, and much like programming or design, you need to learn to focus and be open to lateral thinking in order to be successful. I've found my training as an artist invaluable to my work as a developer. To me, it's not about memorizing all of the functions and nuances in a language or a framework, it's more about engaging in a process where you're continually learning and evolving your skills over time. "Thinking outside of the box" is a bit of a platitude, but it's actually true: thinking creatively is really important as a developer. I strongly believe it's crucial to avoid being complacent, falling back on what you know from previous learning. It's important to always be building on the foundation I have and expanding what I know how to do, and I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities for professional growth.

I've had the privilege to work with some really talented designers at Ninesixteen over the past decade which taught me a lot about design and how to collaborate and make my designers and clients happy. When I'm not working on projects with them, I work on a music education project aimed at music teachers. I'm always looking for new things to cut my teeth on: whether it's a new language, a new framework, new software, or just a new way to do things. That's what keeps life interesting — the great thing about the internet and apps is that there's no end to the things you can learn!