AJ Michels

ajmichels.com 651-307-0082
7771 Upper 23rd St. N.
Oakdale, MN 55128

Professional Summary

I have been working as a software developer for over 11 years. During my career I have worked extensively with many languages most notably PHP and JavaScript but I consider myself a polyglot. More than anything I am a problem solver. For me there is a right tool for every job. If I don't have the tools I need, I learn or build them. Programming is a creative profession and no matter what the language or platform I strive to produce fast, functional, and secure software with excellent user experiences. I am always looking for opportunities to work with companies that are interested in creating great software.

Technical Skills


Vim, Terminal, Sublime Text, Eclipse, Git, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE, Photoshop, macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, Ansible, Vagrant, Elasticsearch


PHP, Java, JavaScript, Bash, CSS, SASS, HTML5, XML


MySQL, SQL Server, SQLite, MongoDB


OOP, AOP, SOA, MVC, TDD, BDD, Design Patterns, DevOps, Agile, Scrum

Professional Experience


Sep 2015 — Oct 2017

Lead Software Engineer — Eagan, MN

At CaringBridge I have worked on enhancing and maintaining the CaringBridge.org website and its supporting services and software. I have worked with a large scale Zend Framework based web application, written Java based micro-services, and built a custom WordPress theme from the ground up. I am continuously working with our team to improve upon our coding practice and development life cycle processes.

  • Used Test Driven Development to update and maintain legacy PHP software
  • Created a Java based micro-service for managing site map XML data
  • Collaborated on Software Development Life Cycle implementation and refinement (Agile)
  • Implemented and updated Ansible managed server environments (DevOps)
  • Worked with team on large application UI refresh
  • Implemented SAML SSO with third party partner
  • Created and maintained a fully self contained Ansible base development environment for WordPress theme and plugin development
  • Converted legacy search functionality to Elasticsearch implementation
  • Mentored team members on PHP and general development best practices
  • Led a book club reading of the book Scrum by Jeff Sutherland

Technical Environment

  • CentOS Servers, Apache 2, PHP, Java, Node, MongoDB
  • Zend Framework, PHPUnit, SpringMVC, JUnit, Ant, Ansible, Grunt, Gradle, Jenkins, Git
  • jQuery, Backbone, Underscore, Jasmine, Bootstrap

WolfNet Technologies, LLC

Apr 2012 — Aug 2015

Senior Web Developer/Team Lead — Minneapolis, MN

At WolfNet I took on a leader and mentor role even amongst the more senior developers. I led development of a ground-up rebuild of their primary product and was heavily involved with the development of a new API. I created a brand new WordPress plugin which pulls in real estate data from an API.

  • Created WordPress plugin which displays real estate data retrieved from an API
  • Created multiple internal tools to assist with development and project management
  • Created full featured real estate search user interface with responsive design which is backed by the same API as the WP plugin
  • Collaborated on a RESTful web API which delivers real estate data for over 450 MLS markets in the US and Canada
  • Created a build and deployment processes which utilize Grunt and Git to deploy code to multiple load-balanced server clusters (DevOps)
  • Created a NPM package to facilitate deployment process
  • Created numerous jQuery plugins for use in real estate search solution and WordPress plugin
  • Implemented team wide code review workflow and Git best practices as well as Semantic Versioning format
  • Performed maintenance and enhancements on legacy real estate search application
  • Created a tool for generating Craigslist ads from real estate listings
  • Implemented new company website on a major CMS platform
  • Established development processes and flows

Technical Environment

  • Ubuntu Server, Apache 2, PHP, MySQL 5, Lucee/Railo, ColdFusion, SQL Server 2014
  • Git Source Control
  • WordPress, ColdBox, ColdSpring, Taffy, Grunt
  • jQuery, Chosen, TinyMCE

Minnesota Nurses Association

Jul 2013 — Aug 2014

Freelance Developer — Remote

I was brought on under a temporary contract to perform general maintenance while they were transitioning between developers. The contract lasted much longer than initially expected and I also created an entirely new web application for them.

  • General maintenance of Drupal based website
  • Developed specialized web application for collecting information from membership
  • Investigated possible updates to Appcelerator Titanium based mobile application for Android and iOS

Technical Environment

  • CentOS, Apache 2, PHP, MySQL 5
  • Git Source Control through GitHub.com
  • Drupal, SlimMVC, Doctrine ORM, Symfony Dependency Injection, Composer, Grunt
  • Bootstrap, jQuery

The American Academy of Neurology

Jan 2006 — Apr 2012

Senior Web Developer — Saint Paul, MN

I started working with the American Academy of Neurology as an intern doing “web updates” and various other tasks. Six months later I applied for an open position and was hired. My duties there grew and changed quite a bit. My primary duties were always to work on developing, maintaining, and improving their many web applications across multiple domains. The majority of the work was done using ColdFusion, OOP principals and best practices, often utilizing development frameworks.

  • Developed and co-designed patient centric website (patients.aan.com)
  • Re-designed and produced functional mock-up of publication website (Neurology.org)
  • Developed applications to capture, manage and report on event registrations.
  • Developed application to capture and report on cross departmental meeting notes
  • Developed and produced Interactive CD-ROMs using Adobe Flex 3
  • Co-developed and maintained multi-domain content management system
  • Designed & developed multiple micro sites for state neurological societies
  • Developed application to capture and display neurological disorder information provided by NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • Managed production and publication of Neurology Podcast the official podcast for the journal Neurology.
  • Supervised two part-time interns

Technical Environment

  • Windows Server 2008, Apache 2.2, ColdFusion 9, SQL Server 2008
  • SVN and CVS Code Repositories
  • Mach-II 1/1.5/1.8, Reactor, ColdSpring, Fusebox Frameworks
  • jQuery, qForms, and TinyMCE JavaScript libraries

Body Wisdom

Sep 2009 — Jul 2012

Web Developer, Freelance — Remote

For this client I worked alongside another developer to convert their existing website from spaghetti code ASP to ColdFusion 9 using Mach-II 1.8, ColdSpring and Reactor frameworks. During this project we also implemented a new design.

  • Researched, recommended, and implemented new shared hosting solution
  • Worked with a project manager and other developer to establish and complete project goals
  • Created a WordPress plugin for regional websites which utilizes API from primary site

Technical Environment

  • ColdFusion 9, MySQL, CSS, XML
  • MachII 1.8, Reactor, ColdSpring, WordPress
  • JavaScript, jQuery


The Art Institutes International Minneapolis


Bachelor of Science, Interactive Media Design