Now Hiring Talented PHP (Kohana) Developers

Synapse Studios is now hiring PHP Developers and Senior PHP Developers to join their growing team. We’re especially interested in candidates with strong skills developing under the MVC pattern.

Read the full job listing or:


Posted in: Announcements

Synapse Studios Client “Nestablish” Launches

HTMList primarily focuses on the technical side of the web development work we do here at Synapse Studios. We’re mixing things up a bit with the announcement of the launch of Nestablish.com, a comprehensive loan officer workflow management system, built as a startup for a few loan officers who wanted to make life easier for their fellow loan officers.

Loan officers frequently have to generate and sign pre-qualification forms and other specialty forms (such as Arizona’s Loan Status Update form) for each and every offer a real estate agent makes on a house. This can often come at inconvenient times, such as nights and weekends, when loan officers are typically off-the-clock. Nestablish allows loan officers to configure a maximum value for the pre-qualification documentation. The real estate agent is then granted the ability to generate the forms at the value they require, automatically limited to the maximum allowed by the loan officer.

This project presented a few interesting challenges for us, including working with the Fannie Mae 3.2 file specification to allow for the easy import of loan information into the system, and some complex PDF generation. Since each loan flows through a complex process with a lot of steps and required documents, we built Nestablish to allow the loan officer, real estate agent, and home buyer alike to track the progress on the loan approval and see exactly where they are in the process. This ensures faster closings with fewer back-and-forth during the typically-stressful home buying process.

We’re incredibly proud of our team here at Synapse who helped make Nestablish a reality, including Jeremy Lindblom, Andrew Reida, and Bob Eagan. We’ll be working with the fantastic team at Nestablish to deliver a whole new suite of features to the site very soon, but loan officers can get started today by registering for a free 60-day trial. (Nestablish is free for real estate agents and home buyers, and only $29.95 for loan officers after the free trial.)

Nestablish — Loan Workflow Management & Form Generation

Posted in: Announcements

Senior PHP Developer Position in Tempe, Arizona

synapse_office

Our company Synapse Studios is hiring a senior PHP developer right now. Specifically, we’re looking for someone who can help lead our talented team and establish methodologies that scale and make for a more powerful team. More information on the position is available here, but you’d be working in our offices in downtown Tempe, Arizona, right on Mill Avenue. It’s a great space with fun people and exciting work, so if you’re interested, view the job post on our site and follow our instructions over there.

Senior PHP Developer Job Posting | Synapse Studios

Posted in: Announcements

Nerd License Plates: The Cars of Synapse Studios

Nerd License Plates
Here at The Studios, we tend to keep things a little nerdy. Which is why we reimburse our employees for have a geek-based customized license plate every year.

I think we’re doing pretty well. Here, we happened to park such that it laid out thusly: SUDO RM RF CHILLAX CTRL Z. Naturally, CTRL Z has different ramifications in Linux, so relaxing might just be the last thing you do if you made a mistake, but I digress.

(My plate is CTRL Z, an idea I got when looking down at my shirt and thinking how ironic this will be if I get in an accident.)

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Posted in: Announcements

Meet Ryan Scott: Intern

My name is Ryan Scott, I’m a junior Computer Science major at Arizona State University and Synapse Studio’s newest intern. I’m currently learning everything I thought I knew in the world of coding was wrong, and that a semi-intelligent monkey with thirty minutes of spare time could destroy all the data saved in the MySQL databases of my pet project Nayrpg. I’m doing some basic grunt work at the moment while I work to iron out my first pseudo project that will gauge my ability to learn PHP and MySQL.

I love video games, food and my girlfriend, Jenny. In the virtual world, I lead the Moogle Mafia which is a giant (hundreds of people-strong) guild of video game fanatics whose purpose is to train new players in the games we play in. I enjoy browser-based strategy games as well as online MMOs. (Yes, I play WoW, and lead my guild of 157 players.)

I love leading and I love having to use my brain. Strategy and optimization are my two biggest strengths. Hand-eye coordination and writing intelligibly by hand are my two biggest weaknesses. I despise exercise of any sort, with the possible exception of DDR which I do my best to convince myself is actually just a video game and the exercise part is just an unforeseen bug in the original programming (which they will eventually correct in the next patch).

My past programming experience was rather limited. While fluent in HTML, my PHP is entirely self-taught and all I know of MySQL was learned through a combination of trial and error and Google!

I am widely known for being the tallest, skinniest, public transportation user in Tempe. (Yes, I am car-less, relying on Tempe’s infamous busing system to get me where I need to go.) Weighing in at 150lbs and standing 6’6″ tall, I am easily spotted in any crowd by the bright green mushroom hat I wear everywhere I go. To date, there are actually only a tiny handful of people in the world who have ever seen me without it.

When given the opportunity, I will ramble endlessly about anything, as I seem to be doing at the moment. So… I… should probably… stop.

Posted in: People

Introducing Ask HTMList.com

Sometimes, our developers are a bit too busy to come up with blog topics on their own. They’ve requested we have the masses feed them to them directly, instead.  So in an effort to make their lives easier (and to stop us from having to beat posts out of them each week), we’ve created a new category: Ask HTMList.com.  Here, we hope to open up to our readers and answer any of your questions on anything ranging from UI/UX design concepts, complex development issues, architecture and code concepts and everything in between.  We’d also love for you to seek reviews of websites, services, books or anything else related to technology or that you happen to find interesting in the field.

So start submitting your ideas for topics you’d like us to cover, your questions, and your links for our review now!  We’ve added this handy form that shows up on the sidebar when you are in the Ask HTMList section of the site to make it easier on you.   And of course, you can email your questions to ask [at] htmlist [dot] com. Try to stump us; we’ll let you know if we had to cave to Google in our responses!

Posted in: Announcements, Ask HTMList.com

Adventures of a Summer Intern: Volumes II-VII

As I make my second post in this series, we find ourselves deep into the hot, Arizona summer. The weekly posts suggested by Bob faded quickly into bi-monthly posts. So let’s get caught up, shall we?

Over the past month there has been a lot of action around here. We’re closing up several smaller projects and getting a move on a few new, larger-scaled ones. I’ve been able to contribute to six different websites doing various design and development tasks. I’ve created WordPress and Magento templates, worked on WordPress and Magento administration and installation tasks, written custom PHP for a few websites and worked a lot with CSS and simple designs.

I’ve posted about Magento before and how great of a program it is. Well, I’ve also come to see the hard side of Magento now as well. The side that Brandon is always telling me about. Magento’s learning curve is very high, and it is very difficult to do some things that would seem easy. However, if you stick to default functionality, Magento will do wonderful things. For now, I think I’ll save my Magento talk for a different post.

I’ve been able to learn new things and fine-tune my skills. I’ve also been working on learning mod_rewrite. This Apache module is extremely useful for creating SEO friendly URLs and just making URLs look the way you want them to. You can turn http://www.example.com/index.php?state=arizona&city=mesa&id=12 into http://www.example.com/arizona/mesa/location/12/. Pretty slick! Expect a tutorial on this. However, it is quite confusing and frustrating to use. Just reading the intro from the Apache website gives that away.

I do a lot of CSS work around here. Anyone who works a lot with CSS knows how frustrating it can be when things don’t cascade the way you are expecting, especially when trying to be cross-browser compatible. IE6 has become my personal tormentor. If you haven’t read Chris’s post on phasing out IE6, you should take a look at that. And if you’re still running IE6, do us all a favor and upgrade to IE7 or get Firefox. The Latest versions of Safari and Opera are also very acceptable. There are many options. Let’s change that 25% IE6 user base to 0%.

Well, until the next installment, adieu.

Posted in: People, Rants

Comments working again

So in my zeal to get our new theme launched, I failed to remember to update some code on the comments page that is in place to keep us spam free.  The end result of this was that Yawasp, our anti-spam plugin, was identifying every comment as spam and rejecting them outright. Anyone that tried to post a comment over the last few days, I apologize profusely and encourage you to come back and post it now.

Special thanks to Ivo Jansch for taking the time to contact us and report the problem!

Posted in: Announcements

HTMList.com gets a new look

As you have probably noticed, we recently unveiled the new and independent look for HTMList.com.  We wanted to establish an identity separate from our web development company so I took it upon myself to get the ball rolling last weekend and decided on a layout that I felt would work well for what we are trying to do here.  We found a great free theme over at TopWPThemes and used that as a starting point. Since then, we’ve been enhancing it bit by bit.  We hope you like it and we’re interested in hearing your feedback about likes and dislikes of the new design.  You may notice the site altering slightly over the next week or so as battles continue to rage within the office on some points of contention surrounding a few design aspects. (No more “slashdot green” for instance.)

Additionally, we look forward to releasing a couple new blogs into our blog network over the course of the next month.  We have some really exciting ideas (not to mention domain names as sexy as HTMList to deliver them on).  More on that soon, so keep your eyes to the site (or feed) for further updates.

Posted in: Announcements

HTMList.com: Our New Home or: More Than Just HTML

We’ve decided to get a little serious about this and brand our blog under the awesome HTMList.com domain. I know, you’re jealous, right? We’ll be changing some design elements to reflect the shift in real estate soon but get a head start and subscribe already using the nifty dropdown on the left. You can add us to iGoogle, Google Reader or about two dozen other subscription aggregation services you’ve never heard of.

In the mean time, expect more posts on bleeding edge web development concepts, quick and easy how-tos and the nitty gritty into the languages and tools we use every day. We’re going to be attacking things across the spectrum skill-level wise so there should be something for everyone. And yes, we’ll be covering nearly everything web dev—far more than “just” HTML.

Posted in: Announcements