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Web architect:
'We're geekier'

Tyler Fitch
Tyler Fitch  


Tyler Fitch


I'm a Web architect for ISITE Design Inc., a Web development firm in Portland, Oregon. We work with all sorts of companies to develop Internet branding of their products and services.

I started working here last summer, right after graduating from college. My main job at ISITE is getting content from databases and getting it onto the Web pages that users view. My other duties include maintaining our office computer network and making sure our computers are functioning properly.

Years in position

Professionally ? Almost one. But I spent most of my time at school doing exactly what I'm doing now when I wasn't in class. So dating back to when I purchased my first computer and started making my first personal home pages, about four years.

graphic Tyler Fitch talks about his co-workers as a key attraction of his job. How do you feel about your colleagues? Can they get you into the office when you're feeling blue about work?

Yeah, I'm like Fitch, my co-workers really make my career work for me at times.
About half-and-half: Sometimes I love them, other times I wouldn't give them five minutes if I didn't have to.
No, sorry to say, I'm not too pleased with my work partners. Maybe just not the best match.
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I'm 23.


I attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. While there, I spent the first two years floating around and going to some of my classes. Then I kicked it into high gear and made up for lost time the last two years and earned my BS in computing science with a minor in mathematics. It was a great time with great people.

How did you get your current job?

I knew the founders of ISITE Design from our time together at Linfield College. I always stayed in touch and made sure I was learning the right technical skill set to be able to join the ISITE team when I finished school.

How many hours do you work per week?

I work 40 to 45 hours a week, in the office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. I ride mass transit 40 minutes each way to work and I usually spend that time reading books related to work. I also just purchased a computer, so now if I really need to fix something I can do it from home. I don't know if that's a good thing, though.

"I just purchased a computer, so now if I really need to fix something I can do it from home. I don't know if that's a good thing, though."

What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?

Get my e-mail and check the Web sites I check every day --,,, and some others.

What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?

I generally take an hour break for lunch starting at noon, but if I have a meeting run long then I just push it back. Half the time I get takeout from one of the restaurants near my office or I bring a sandwich or something from home to heat up in the microwave. In the summer I eat outside and take advantage of the wonderful weather we have here, but in the winter I stay inside and play video games with my co-workers.

Talking about ISITE Design, Tyler Fitch says, "Our main customers are firms that don't have the technical people on their staffs to make their Web sites, themselves." ISITE Design was founded in 1997 and moved into Portland's Charles Berg building in 1999. Some if its clients have included Shari's restaurants, Chemeketa,, COMSYS and WorldCom. And we met Fitch when he used our submission form here. If you'd like us to consider profiling your Day on the Job, click here, as Fitch did.

What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?

Things can get tense at anytime in our office. Either we're pushing a deadline for the launch of a new product or a client project malfunctions. If the site malfunctions in the middle of the night, then from the moment I'm in the office in the morning, I'm spending my time fixing the problem. If a client project malfunctions at 5:50 p.m., then I'll stay as late as needed to get the problem corrected. Times like those encourage us to test the heck out of everything before it leaves the office so it doesn't come back to haunt us.

If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?

I'm having a good day when I wrap up a project that I've been working on for a long while or I've fixed a problem that occurred.

How much work, if any, do you take home?

I try to not take work home other than some reading material for the train ride. But I have access to everything at my office from home. So if I can't fall asleep some nights, I'll get on my computer and work on stuff for a little while. That helps me want to fall asleep pretty quickly usually.

What does your work contribute to society?

My work is helping pave the road of a new revolution in media. The sites that we make cover the full span of new media. We've developed content rich sites solely for distribution of information and education, and we've developed site that people can surf for hours and just relax.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?

Probably not, I feel there will be a point in my career where I will be able to say that I've done it all and it will be time for me to move along. When that time comes I cannot say, but it will probably happen. An option I'm considering is teaching or working in higher education, so when my children are ready to go to college they will be able to go where I work for free, and then I'll be able to spend all that money I saved up for them on myself instead of their education. It will be wonderful.

If you could have two more careers, what would they be?

1) Teaching - to teach computer science at a college would be great 2) A Rock Star - there would be nothing cooler than to be a rock star, all the glory of an athlete without as much hard work to stay in shape.

What's an unforgivable trait in a colleague?

Not commenting their code.

"If I can't fall asleep some nights, I'll get on my computer and work on stuff for a little while. That helps me want to fall asleep pretty quickly usually."

What do you do to relieve stress?

I have a couple of options to relieve stress. At work we play basketball on a kids' hoop. We play games of H-O-R-S-E, but we're geekier so we play H-T-M-L. If it's not game time, I can just take a walk around downtown. There are lots of parks to go to and sit down and relax whenever needed.

What have you been reading lately?

I have more than an hour each day on a train commuting, so I get to do lots of reading. Most of it tends to be work-related, learning technologies that will help keep the office running smoothly, but every other month or so I throw in a book just for myself. The nerdy books I've read are "Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets and Solutions" by Joel Scambray, Stuart McClure and George Kurtz (McGraw-Hill, 2000, Second Edition); and "Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2000" by Barry Gerber (Sybex, 2000). The legitimate "for pleasure" book I'm going to start really soon is the first Harry Potter book.

When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?

Knowing that I'm going to have a good time at work because the people I work with are incredible and they make it a joy to be there. We're all young and we can all mix together. If I'm not having the best day, someone else is and they'll talk about it and we'll find some way to make fun of their good time and lighten the mood.


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ISITE Design Inc.
Linfield College
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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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