About Zachstronaut

Zachary and a giant cut-out of the pixel zachstronaut logo.

Hey there, I'm Zachary Johnson, an entrepreneur and Creative Developer living in Minneapolis, MN. I am both a computer scientist and an artist. I'm currently coding my way to the edges of the JavaScript / HTML5 / CSS3 universe. I aspire to create human-focused experiences that are both useful and entertaining.

I founded my business Zachstronaut LLC in early 2011. Please or hit me up on Twitter if you'd like to work together on a project! I have over 15 years of experience. I'm interested in big projects, small tasks, and everything in-between. I work quickly, and I've also got an extensive network we can leverage!

See my resume for details about my experience and education. Take a look at some of my speaking experience. Much of my career has been spent as a professional web developer and team leader. I've lectured on accessibility at the Big Ten. I've done international usability testing and ethnographic research. is the latest in a succession of web sites going all the way back to 1996. I launched this new rocket laboratory at the beginning of 2009 so I would have a place to share my experiments and show my love <3 for the internets. Here you will find articles and projects for web professionals, software engineers, gamers, and geeks ranging in scope from the humorous to the very technical.

I find myself deeply interested in many topics, including:

  • The web stack (HTML / CSS / JavaScript)
  • Cutting edge web tech like WebGL and the latest HTML5/CSS3 specs proposed by WHATWG/W3C
  • Realtime web applications (Web Sockets and Node.js!)
  • Using JavaScript in all sorts of weird places
  • Product Design / Application Design
  • JavaScript MVC/MVVM/MV* like Backbone, React, etc
  • Merging elements of gaming and behavior motivation into User Interfaces (UIs)
  • The Mobile Web, iOS, Android
  • LAMP stack (Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP)
  • Web best practices, e.g. Responsive Design, Progressive Enhancement, Progressive Enrichment
  • Beer and malt and hops
  • Playing Video Games, especially 8-bit and 16-bit flavors
  • Making independent video games
  • Pixels
  • Chiptunes
  • Low-level network I/O with TCP and UDP sockets (and now Web Sockets!)
  • Framework internals and creating new frameworks
  • Apache's mod_rewrite
  • Software Design Patterns, e.g. Promises, Factories, Model-View-Controller (MVC)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), Artificial Life (AL), Emergent Behaviors
  • Application Security
  • Pointers and manual memory management
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Optimization
  • Daemons
  • Command-Line Interfaces (CLI)