Brian Carstensen

Chicago, IL

I'm a web developer with a background in design interested in joining a small, fast team to build something that hasn't been built before, preferably something mission-driven. I'm good at breaking big messy problems down into small focused ones. I make a lot of to-do lists. I care a lot about accessibility for users and maintainability for developers.

I'm happiest working with JavaScript (including Node.js, a variety of libraries including React, Redux, Backbone, and jQuery, and transpilers like Babel and CoffeeScript), CSS (including responsive design techniques, BEM organization, and preprocessors like SASS, LESS, and Stylus), HTML (with a good understanding of WAI-ARIA), SVG, and version control with Git and SVN.



San Francisco, CA (remote)

Crowdpac's goal is to increase and diversify political engagement by crowdfunding candidates who are new to politics. The site is built on the Laravel framework for PHP, using the Blade templating language for views and Bootstrap for CSS, with jQuery for some interactive content. I build new features and maintain the site across the full stack.

Zooniverse (University of Oxford)

Oxford, UK

Zooniverse (Adler Planetarium)

Chicago, IL

With the Zooniverse, I built web apps to crowdsource the analysis of scientific data from volunteers. These projects ranged from taking an inventory of marine life off the east coast of the U.S. to mapping predator migration in the Serengeti and from finding anomalies in data from the Large Hadron Collider to charting the structure of the Milky Way galaxy.

Later, I separated the core interactions from those projects to build the front-end of, a platform for scientists to build their own projects without help from a developer. It's built with React and makes extensive use of SVG for rich image annotation. It talks to a Ruby on Rails back end over a JSON API.

I was also responsible for about a dozen of the custom projects listed at The source for these is available at In addition to web front ends, I also built utilities to help with development and data processing in Node and Ruby.


Chicago, IL

At Vodori I was part of the team that developed Pepper, an enterprise content management system used primarily in the pharmaceutical industry. I worked with a lot of JSP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (especially the Dojo Toolkit and TinyMCE rich text editor), developing new features while maintaining support for browsers as old as IE6.

I started there as a designer and transitioned into the first member of the dedicated front-end team. I also became something of the go-to guy for mobile web app development, whether browser-based or bound or for Apple's app store via PhoneGap.

Wagner/Donovan Design

Chicago, IL

As a designer at Wagner/Donovan, I handled design and production of various marketing materials, identities and branding, packaging, books, and sometimes even toys for a wide range of clients. Additionally, I built websites with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL.


Columbia College

Chicago, IL

Graduated with a BFA in graphic design.