I'm Arley McBlain. I'm a designer, developer, & dreamer. A more traditional style one-page resume is available as a PDF here.
I've been extremely fortunate in my career: I've had the opportunity to work on a great SaaS product at Carpages.ca, and in the agency-world with great clients of all sizes, including some highly recognizable national and international brands like BlackBerry, Tim Hortons, Suncor, Petro Canada, Pet Valu, Manulife, and many others. I've had the opportunity to work in many sectors, and on projects of every scale. I've taken sites from concept to launch, collaborating effectively while focussing my attention in particular on problem solving. I've worked solo, as a part of a team, and even worked with multiple agencies at once.
For the last year I have been working in full-time ministry at Crossroads, where in addition to creative work on the web I have been taking part in a wide range of R&D work for teams ranging from video production to the 24/7 Prayer Lines.
I've played many roles in many projects. My favourite role is on the front-end, in UX design; where I combine my background in design with my love of code to create truly creative and detail-oriented pieces.
I am a highly motivated, curious, initiative-taking problem solver, and I want to spend the rest of my career innovating the web to help people.
Overview & Personal
I love creative problem solving.
While my forté is in graphic design and front-end UI design and development, I have taken part in every step of web creation. I have jack-of-all-tradesy experience in strategy, UX, design, development, QA, accessibility.
I've spoken at a number of conferences on topics ranging from WordPress, scalable object oriented Sass frameworks, SEO, accessibility, and taught the basics of CSS for layouts
I am currently the Acting Director of the Growth team at Crossroads where I lead a team developing technical solutions for multiple internal departments.
I was formerly a front-end development lead at Carpages.ca, where I led the team developing websites for hundreds of dealer clients
I am fueled by a passion to learn, experiment, and create unique and polished browser experiences
For fun I speed-listen to books/podcasts, speed-watch videos, customize mechanical keyboards, and optimize automation tooling to make life more efficient
When I'm not online I'm with my amazing wife, and two children in Burlington, Ontario Canada. They're my favourite nouns in the whole world
2018-Present - Senior Technical Manager of the Growth Team at Crossroads
I have spent the last year on the research & development team at Crossroads implementing various technical solutions to support other internal teams, and building websites in Webflow. This role requires a lot of leadership, emotional intelligence, and collaboration. Currently I am the Acting Director of the Growth Team.
2014–2019 - Lead Front-End developer / Team Lead for dealership websites at Carpages.ca
Crafted a new responsive platform for dealerships. Followed industry best-practices with a focus on optimization for scale, modularity, accessibility/search engine optimization, efficiency and process. Trained and led a team, grew the network from zero to hundreds of websites.
2010–2014 - Designer then Lead front-end developer at Thrillworks Inc.
Award-winning work for Fortune 500 companies. Led team in introduction to web standards, documentation, and responsive web design. During this period I also focused on writing for popular web journals like CSS Tricks.
2006–2010 - Contractor/Freelancer and sole proprieter of Debut Creative
Sole proprietor of Debut Creative in Kincardine Ontario. In addition to personal clients I was on contract with two marketing agencies located in North Bay Ontario (Clark Communications, Ben Farella Group)
2005–2006 - New Media Developer at Benjamin James Marketing Communications
Ah the early days of web. Built a lot of Flash and table-based layout websites.
2003–2005 - In House designer at a UPS Store
Print design, and web development, and a lot of knowledge about the complexities of international shipping!
2000–2003 - Student at Canadore College
Honours student, and employed as lab monitor/tutor, began freelancing. GPA 3.99
Over the years I have done a lot of work with various teams and clients: web development, graphic design, written articles and documentation. I would love the opportunity to present this in person. Email me at [email protected].
Don't just take my word for it. Here are some testimonials from people I've learned with, grown with, worked with, and worked for.
Arley has been a wonderful servant of Christ in multiple ways in our church. In addition to leading a life group, Arley for years now has provided countless hours of web services to keep our church website up to date. In 2014 Arley and I served together on a short Term mission trip to Romania where the Lord lit a fire in Arley to reach the ends of the earth with the good news of Jesus Christ. Most recently I invited Arley to participate in a 8 session think tank to advise our church on Global and Local missions. This resulted in 23 recommendations to help our church fine-tune missions strategy to be more effective. All that to say, Arley is a trusted leader in our church and faithful friend and co-labourer in the gospel. He will be a huge benefit and blessing to any team!
Since our first contact – initiated by Arley – I have sincerely enjoyed collaborating together. His technical ability is matched by his personal affability and his commitment to generating the right result for the context of each project he takes on. The only challenge is that he is in so much demand, one feels one is competing with too many other suitors for his time and talent! It is always a positive outcome when work gets done to a good standard, as has been the case with Arley. But it is a truly positive experience when there is also genuine personal connection, which seems to normally be the case with Arley, and to which I can personally testify.
Arley's innovation, cheerful and uncommonly keen ability to solve a problem made him a great Lead for our teams. Kind, insightful, persistent, even after I left my job, I wanted to call Arley for problem-solving.
Arley has been involved in designing the Unreached of the Day mobile app and website. He is exceptionally creative and a very gifted designer. Arley has an eye for layout, colors, functionality and usability. He is a great team player as demonstrated by his effective coordination with the Joshua Project team and a third party web and mobile app developer. Arley also has excellent communication skills. In addition to his talent and skills, Arley has outstanding character. He is generous, gracious and timely in his manner and work. He has a great burden for those that have never heard the good news of what Christ has done for them. His zeal and eagerness to use his skills for the advancement of the Kingdom of God is contagious.
There's a short list of developers who come to mind when thinking of who had a monumental impact on my career. Arley is near the top of that list. I'll forever be in debt to him for the lasting impact he's made. I wouldn't be the developer I am without him.
Matt Rose, Senior Web Developer, Ecosystem at Shopify
Charlie (sic, nickname) is probably the most enthusiastic person I know. Whether it's about mobile app design, Slack-bots, web design, or keyboards, he is always excited and more than willing to brainstorm ideas. He definitely made the office a better place!
Elijah Mirecki, Software Engineer at Amazon (Alexa)
Arley is a front end dev by trade, but a designer at heart. He is always willing to take risks while providing sensible fallbacks. As a designer I appreciate the care he puts into bringing static pixels to life. He picks up on the smallest details and is great to collaborate with.
If you need an IE6 or Blackberry OS 5 bug solved, he's your guy! (You can take that last bit out).
Arley is a highly skilled front end developer who never says no to a challenge. He can take any design and turn it into a masterfully constructed, fully optimized, interactive site that seamlessly moves from your desktop to your mobile phone (and every device in-between). Arley is always one step ahead of the rest of us in knowing what the newest development is in the world of interactive design and is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. Working with Arley at Thrillworks has been a great pleasure and a valuable learning experience. Despite the fact that he always has a thousand things on the go, Arley is always willing to share ideas and work together to sort out development issues on the fly. Arley is professional and hard working and, most importantly, a lot of fun. His energy is contagious and he is definitely the happiest developer I've ever worked with.
Arley is an exceptional creative thinker in the online realm. He's a pleasure to work with and always upbeat. Any concept can be taken further in his eyes. His eye for design only makes him a better developer and his knowledge of code makes him a better designer. I'd highly recommend Arley as an employee and a person!
Arley is one of the most well-rounded, adabtable and progressive dev/designers I've had the pleasure to work with. Whether it's innovating with css, html5 or learning a new skill, Arley continues to push his understanding of the web, and always produces best-in-class web sites.
Arley is like your website’s bodyguard. He’s looking out for its best interests, and for your best interests. So when something threatens a site’s well-being, its ability to be useful, or functional, he’ll let you know. And that’s very, very important. I’ve learned a lot working with Arley. So will you.
It seriously isn't a rumour: Arley is one of the friendliest people you will meet. But a happy nature will only get you so far! This guy has the skills and talent that.. **superlative statements x3**
Arley has a design & technical background. He lives and breathes the web more than anyone else, and actually has WEB HEROES that he follows on Twitter. If they had action figures or trading cards, he would own the whole set. It's a little much! :) Arley is like a mad scientist to the Web - always experimenting with new ideas of his own, testing the waters of emerging techniques, or just plain wasting his personal time with insane ideas that will never be practical so long as Internet Explorer exists!
However, he also practices the practical. I've recently pretended to kind of understand when he goes on about harnessing CSS in amazing new ways using SASS! Arley is all about standards, and has worked to establish them at Thrillworks as the Lead Front End Developer. Personally, I've had Arley help me out on a number of personal web projects and I'm never disappointed in how quickly and easily he solves all my problems. He's always the first person on the team that I'll recommend for a new project that demands advanced Front End work, a CSS master, and an eye for detail that web archeologists will still be uncovering hundreds of years from now.
I am in no way prone to hyperbole as our friend Arley is (seriously, almost every day is THE BEST DAY, and almost every project is THE BEST EVER). I am not exaggerating about him. He's a nut, in all the best ways. A one of a kind web hero.
Amazing designer! Arley has an eye for design and crafts simple clean user interfaces. His work is beautiful! Even with a limited amount of design assets to build off of, he is able to create a wide range of stunning design options. I love working with Arley! He always welcomes feedback and provides great insight in improving the user experience. His work on our client's app is having a tremendous impact for the kingdom. Believers around the world are daily being encouraged to pray more for the least reached, people groups with limited to no access to the Gospel. Looking forward to our next project!”
I have worked with Arley on web related projects through our church for nearly four years. From the first time we met his warm, helpful, kind demenor put me at ease instantly, and his enthusiasm and dedication for what God is doing in our church was contagious. He truly believes that web is a platform usable to reach people with the gospel and his dedication to the task at hand is evidence of that.
He has always made time to help me trouble shoot, build new sites, or just answer questions that I have with unfamiliar plugins or processes - and when he doesn't know the answer Arley takes the time to go through his personal resources or research to figure out the problem.
As a team we've prioritized projects, worked on design, opened and closed new sites, explored alternative options when something isn't working and so much more. I would highly recommend him for any web project and look forward to continue to work together in the future.
With an extreme enthusiasm that borders on insanity, Arley is continually a source of inspiration for the team. Combined with an extreme attention to detail, a passion for all things online, and the biggest smile you've ever seen, Arley is a key asset for any web design and development team.
I have had the privilege to collaborate with Arley on a number of projects that include brand marketing, web design & development, and most recently on a PHP Referral System. His ability to work on creative and technical projects has been a great asset to my business. Arley’s passion for the web industry is what sets him apart from many businesses that provide similar services.
Arley not only keeps up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques, he contributes to the community with informative articles and tutorials. A great guy to work with, he's always happy to lend a hand, and takes the initiative to improve procedures. And he has mad bug-fixing skills.
Arley is the kind of guy everyone wants on their team. He adds energy, isn’t afraid to tackle any task, and is always willing to help those around him. He has an appetite for learning and is able to teach or explain things in a way that people easily understand. Working with Arley at Carpages was a true pleasure.
McBlain. Tough to sum up. Words like intelligent, creative, industrious, ambitious, detail-oriented are all ones that come to mind. But more than this, he can be relied upon to get the job done and done well. He has tremendous interpersonal communication skills. He rapidly grasps the Big Idea in complex projects. He helped make my business – a business!
Ken Ferron, Former Owner
Mail Boxes Etc.
Since hiring Arley, it has been a pleasure watching his growth in this industry and his constant dedication to each client and project that is worked on with the Clark Communications team.
I was the Creative Director at an agency where Arley McBlain worked as our Web Specialist. Every challenge I could threw at Arley he met head on, with great success! Beyond being a lot of fun to work with, Arley brings fresh ideas and energy to every project. His work ethic is very strong and I would recommend him to anyone needing web development.
"I have known Arley for over 5 years. He is one of the most enthusiastic and innovative people I’ve had the pleasure of working with in any capacity. A natural born leader and problem solver. I cannot count the number of times he’s come up with just the right outside-of-the-box solution at just the right time, when all conceivable options for a project seem like dead ends. He is also compassionate, kind and never misses the opportunity to be there for others – I blame him for one of the most pleasant working environments I’ve ever experienced! Arley is the type of person you can count on to “just figure it out.” No matter what ask or demand comes his way, whether it be within his job description or not, he just finds the perfect solution. And because of this I truthfully would recommend him for any endeavor he chooses to pursue."
Arley was a pleasure to work with. He not only had great attention to detail, he also provided guidance in ways to improve workflow, as well as teach the Development and Project Management teams new techniques, strategies and processes within the industry. Arley would be a great asset to any company and I am confident that he will excel in any role he takes on.
As Project Manager; my job entails ensuring all my client’s requests are met and we deliver an excellent end-product. Working with Arley has made this an easy venture for me; thus I have very satisfied clients.
Arley absorbs all details of the projects we work on together; and conscientiously thinks about how to best achieve what the client needs; in the time-frame set out. Arley often goes above and beyond his commitment to the project and sees it through from start to finish; working as an integral member of our team. Our continued partnership allows us the strength and reassurance to continue to add new clients to our roster; while sustaining the list we currently have.
More than a lead developer, I saw Arley as a mentor who always put others first. Working with him was always fun, since he brought so much excitement and made the working environment so comfortable for everyone. Arley was an amazing leader who brought so much joy in the workplace and constantly challenged his team to excel in their skillsets!
Arley was always able to give you support and advice on your career and your personal life. He was always open to comments and suggestions and was able to translate the message to management. He brings a positive vibe to the team and he would always think of the team first!
As a team lead, Arley's good humour and enthusiasm for work have been infectious. Also, he has a very sharp sense for how people around him are feeling, and it's a huge asset to him and everyone around him. 10/10 would work for again.
Arley has always been full of passion and loved sharing knowledge with the team. As a leader, he treats everyone like a friend and is happy to help debug some code or be there if you're going through difficulties outside of work. I really believe that he's an asset to any workplace. Truly the most positive guy I've ever worked with.
Arley has volunteered for the Atwell Centre to help us with the up keep and maintenance of our website. I continue to pester him with questions and he graciously responds in a timely manner. There seems to be no problem he can’t solve and kindly responds to all my questions. Arley is a gracious volunteer that is a strong advocate for what we do and kindly donates his time to help us stay relevant and accessible to our clients when they need us most.
We found Arley to be someone who works with excellence and great focus. His careful focus on detail and dogged persistence of a great product is evident in every single project and website we've ever asked him to create. He listened carefully to what we were asking and gave helpful support after completion. Whether it's polishing up front pages, streamlining a look, encouraging progressiveness, or even deciphering technical jargon, Arley's keen gifts, happy disposition, and dedication to the final product comes through with every page he designs.
Plus, he does a wicked awesome impersonation of Billy Corgan.
Arley is one of the most positive and capable people I have ever met. When working with Arley on various projects I am continually amazed at his dedication and expertise in his field of study. His drive and commitment to quality makes him a successful entrepreneur and a valuable asset to any company that would be lucky enough to employ him.
Erik Regis, Team Lead Integrity Solution Development at BlackBerry
Arley’s dynamic skills were essential to our project. His easy-to-work-with personality was second only to his creative charisma and enthusiasm that he carried at all stages of the production process.
Campus Trails Sidenote: I helped name this site too! I thought Campus Trails sounded catchier than 'Nipissing University and Canadore College Education Center Trails Network'.
I was in a bind and needed a website up in under a week to coincide with a book launch I was doing. I was told Arley was the man to go to. Not only was Arley able to have my site up in just a few days, but he was able to teach me how to update it myself, which was no easy task. From original concept to completion, Arley was able to build a site exactly how I wanted it, making it so user friendly a child could use it. And when your writing a kids book, that comes in handy.
Matt Minty, Author
It has always been a pleasure to work with Arley. He is very creative, productive, reliable and provides a professional product. Arley has a unique off-the-wall personality that makes working with him so enjoyable. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with Arley.
Phil Cowcill, Interactive Multimedia Professor
Interactive Multimedia at Canadore College
Arley was the Most Congenial Student of his graduating class (2002).
Finn Reynolds, Graphic Design Professor
Graphic Design at Canadore College
The best ways to contact me are by email or phone: