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About Zachary Johnson

Photo of Zachary Johnson.

Hello! I'm a Creative Developer in Minneapolis, MN with over 20 years of experience in software engineering and leadership. I founded Zachstronaut LLC in 2011 when I began full-time freelancing in the web and game development spaces.

My specialities include networked multiplayer game development with C# / Unity, next-generation web design implementations in JavaScript, and cross-functional team management.

Highlights of My Experience

  • 🎮 Launched my own game on Nintendo Switch
  • 🗣 Presented my creative work at events in the US and Europe
  • 🎓 Lectured on accessibility at a Big 10 University
  • 📱 Programmed a #1 Hit iOS App for Cartoon Network
  • 🌍 Conducted international ethnographic user research
  • ❤️ Fell in love with the web after making my first site in 1996
  • 🐈 Photographed myself with many random cats
  • 🍩 Ate all of the donuts

Need help with a project? I have an extensive network and a passion for learning. I'm a software engineer by trade and training, but I also bring significant multi-disciplinary skills from my time working on design and User Experience (UX) teams.

Let's make something together that is both useful and entertaining! is my personal portfolio and a place for me to post articles for web professionals, software engineers, game developers, and nerds ranging in scope from the humorous to the very technical.

A garden toad once cursed me to be forever interested in the following topics:

  • Making indie video games
  • Low-level network I/O with TCP and UDP sockets (and Web Sockets)
  • Product Design, Team Leadership, Production Flow
  • Prioritization and Risk Mitigation
  • Procedural generation, Noise, Cellular Automata
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), Artificial Life (AL), Emergent Behaviors
  • The open-source web stack (HTML / CSS / SASS / JavaScript / TypeScript)
  • Cutting edge web tech like WebGL and the latest HTML/CSS specs proposed by WHATWG/W3C
  • asm.js, WebAssembly, and Emscripten
  • Realtime web applications (Web Sockets and Node.js)
  • Using JavaScript in all sorts of weird places
  • Web best practices, e.g. Responsive Design, Progressive Enhancement, Progressive Enrichment
  • Accessibility and its advocacy
  • Playing Video Games, especially 8-bit and 16-bit flavors
  • Framework internals and creating new frameworks
  • Software Design Patterns, e.g. Promises, Factories, Model-View-Controller (MVC)
  • Application Security
  • Pointers and manual memory management
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Command-Line Interfaces (CLI)
  • ANSI C and Bourne Shell Scripting
  • Server Daemons
  • Optimization
  • Fishes