Collective Idea

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Photo of Daniel Morrison

Daniel Morrison

Recently posted: Quick Setup for Your Rails Apps

Among colleagues, Daniel is known for rambling about algorithm design or obscure academic terms, which he blames on his classical training in Computer Science. Among clients, Daniel is known for being honest and direct when trying to get clients to focus on value and efficiency, which he blames on his unwavering quest for…value and efficiency.

Daniel founded Collective Idea in 2005 to put a name to his growing and already full-time freelance work. He works hard writing code, teaching, mentoring and speaking about the company’s processes and tools.

Photo of Brian Ryckbost

Brian Ryckbost

Recently posted: Install Flash for Travis CI Builds

Brian found a better path to avoiding the real world than simply spending a lifetime accumulating degrees in college—he joined Collective Idea immediately after graduating from Calvin College with a BA in computer science. He was our first intern and, surprisingly, didn’t run away screaming.

Since being introduced to Ruby through a research project, creating a Mendelian genetics simulator, Brian developed an interest in development methodologies, testing and design. He pairs his technical vision with an entrepreneurial mind to create beautiful code.

Photo of Chris Gaffney

Chris Gaffney

Recently posted: Prepping your Gemfile for Rubinius

Chris is a Michigan native with a love of high-performance networking and server infrastructure. He brings a plethora of experience in event-driven programming and hardware integration systems.

He got his start in Ruby on Rails very early on (version 0.13) while on an internship from Grand Valley State University. He comes to Collective Idea from local startup where he spent three years working writing Ruby and Java.

Photo of Steve Richert

Steve Richert

Recently posted: Scheduling Crowd-Sourced Entropy with Webhooks

Steve is a Michigan State grad in mechanical engineering, but has been programming since he was single digits with his Commodore 64. QBasic greatness followed.

After putting in his time with PHP, Steve discovered Ruby, Rails, Git and Agile development. Open source greatness followed. After long admiring their work, Steve can finally cross working for Collective Idea off his bucket list.

Steve lives in Grandville with his wonderful wife, Catie. Just look for the really tall guy running with the really short woman.

Photo of Jason Carpenter

Jason Carpenter

Recently posted: Reverse Search with Elasticsearch

Jason Carpenter has a strong passion for making great changes to the world, and believes software is one of the most promising tools to create change.

He has the entrepreneurial spirit at his core which has lead him to start four companies in his young career, Including a web-application start-up called Ascribe, where his taste for software creation began to gain steam.

Jason completed his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998 and his MBA in 2006, both from Western Michigan University. He and his wife Denise are enjoying being in the thick of family life with their two young girls, and the recent (and final) addition of a bouncing baby boy.

Photo of Tim Bugai

Tim Bugai

Recently posted: Transient Properties of the Realm

Tim began programming at the young age of 8 on an Apple IIgs and has been expanding his repertoire ever since. Currently he’s helping our team with Ruby, Javascript and iOS. His strong background in agile software development gives him a focus and expertise that help him craft brilliant test-driven code.

When not coding, Tim is involved in the West Michigan tech scene, and you’ll often find him at GRWebDev, SoftwareGR, and BarCamp events.

Photo of Ryan Glover

Ryan Glover

Recently posted: Mocking HTML5 API's Using PhantomJS Extensions

Ryan attended Michigan State University for two years before leaving to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force. While in the military, Ryan studied at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he became fluent in Chinese Mandarin. After being discharged from the U.S. Air Force with honors, Ryan continued to serve his country by developing software for multiple government intelligence agencies.

Ryan has a deep love for learning and teaching, having come from a family full of educators. He is also a single father of two wonderful daughters. It was this passion for learning and devotion to his daughters that led him to joining Collective Idea in January 2012.

Photo of David Genord II

David Genord II

Recently posted: Cucumber exiting with 0 on failure?

David joined us from the east side of Michigan where he had been working heavily integrating third-party automotive data with internal systems. He also joined us from the open-source world, as we knew him as a helpful voice on the Delayed Job mailing list.

In 8th grade he began building websites, and in 2005 he began working with Rails, participating in the Rails Day competition with an app called “My Congress”. He went on to get a BS in Computer Science from Michigan State University.

Photo of Jason Roelofs

Jason Roelofs

Recently posted: Bootstrap Your App

Jason is an expert coder and smart technologist who’s worked for two local startups before joining our team. His deep technical understanding of all things code manifests itself in his plentiful open source contributions and his ability to answer most questions with an experienced answer.

Having started coding as a teenager, Jason lives for writing code and loves experimenting with different languages and new technologies. Jason is also an avid gamer when he isn’t working on code, writing, or practicing martial arts (currently Kung Fu and Tai Chi).

A Calvin College grad, Jason now lives in Holland with his wife Martha.

Photo of Brian Hempel

Brian Hempel

Recently posted: Better Ruby Rounding

Brian worked with us long before he came on full-time, and had we seen the baby face lurking beneath his programmer beard, we probably wouldn’t have assumed he was as smart. He proved quickly that he has earned the beard, both as a graduate of Michigan Tech in Bioinformatics and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, and as an experienced coder who picks up new tools quickly.

An occasional violinist and lover of birds, Brian is a cheerful addition to the office.

Photo of Eric Milford

Eric Milford

Recently posted: Rewriting History With Git Rebase, Reset, and Amend

Eric enjoys crafting well-architected web applications. With a career spanning nearly ten years, he has worked with government intelligence agencies and small startups. An avid and passionate learner, Eric continues to grow as a developer and improve upon his craft.

Aside from coding, Eric enjoys singing and playing guitar and performing improv comedy in his home of NYC. Having previously cooked professionally in fine dining, he is also learning to bake bread as an apprentice at SCRATCHBread in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo of Victor Sirotek

Victor Sirotek

Recently posted: How to use Sketch's revert feature — it's actually really awesome!

Victor is a comic book junkie working as a designer to support his addiction. He studied at Kendall College of Art and Design and has spent time designing various apps, interfaces and experiences since 2002. At Collective Idea, he leads our internal design and works with a variety of outside designers.

Victor is married to Marie-Claire Camp and helps with her company, SO Awesome LLC. She makes really neat things for children, often inspired by their twin boys, Owen and Silas. As Victor says, “they are incredible and blow my mind every single day.”

Photo of Chris Rittersdorf

Chris Rittersdorf

Recently posted: Simple Cocoa Configuration Using Swift Structures

It was gaming on the NES as a child that first interested Chris in computers and programming. He cut his programming teeth writing Visual Basic in school and then graduated from Kettering University. Now he plays around with writing retro games and chip tunes on mobile devices. At Collective Idea his expertise is in web and mobile development and teaching us all new things through pair programming.

Chris and his wife Sarah live in Grand Rapids with their two cats. When not coding, Chris is probably either remodeling his house or wrenching on a Volvo 240. In his words, “they’re fun to fix, and fancy to drive.”

Photo of Spencer Toth

Spencer Toth

Recently posted: 5 Timesaving KISSmetrics Tips I Wish I Knew About

Spencer Toth has always been interested in entreprenurship and business strategy. After graduating from Grand Valley State University with a Marketing degree, completing the National Science Foundation’s, Michigan I-CORPS Product Commercialization bootcamp, and learning Lean Start-up Principles and the Business Model Canvas while working at Start Garden he joined our team to help us with marketing and strategy.

Spencer lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Kierstin. When his nose isn’t buried in book about business or startups, he can be found woodworking or sailing the Great Lakes.

Photo of Andrew Bredow

Andrew Bredow

Andrew grew up in Michigan and attended Hope College. Shortly after, he and his wife moved to Austin, TX to attend grad school. While there, he caught the software bug, became a happy grad school dropout, and changed career paths to develop software professionally.

Having spent time in both the consulting world and the product world in the church software space, Andrew brings a wide range of experience to the table. He has a deep passion for learning and solving problems using technology.

He now lives in Holland once again with his wife, Carrie, who is a professor of psychology at Hope. When he’s not coding, he enjoys cooking, running, and having adventures with his twin daughters.

Photo of Matt Slack

Matt Slack

Recently posted: HSL color selector using HTML5 and CSS

Long a secret weapon at Collective Idea, Matt has been involved with Collective Idea projects since the beginning. He’s our resident web front-end master (webmaster?) who can knock out CSS and HTML faster than you can think it.

Matt lives in Holland, Michigan where he feverishly works on his Untappd badge count and gets mistaken for a certain similarly-named communication app.

Photo of Laura Mosher

Laura Mosher

Laura is a Calvin College Computer Science grad who spent time in Kansas City before returning to Grand Rapids. She is a full-stack developer who dives into code with passion and excitement.

An admitted tech, puzzle, and game nerd, Laura also loves knitting and crocheting. She’s also involved in a plethora of local groups and meetups.

Laura lives in Grand Rapids with her husband Michael and hedgehog Princess Kitana.

Photo of Ray Brown

Ray Brown

Originally from Philadelphia, Ray has been in Michigan since 2007 and has been involved in countless web projects for companies in the area. He started out as a web designer not knowing any code, but now he’s a front-end developer unafraid to tackle any language to make websites and apps shine.

He’s a board member and volunteer at Spoke Folks bike co-operative and enjoys cooking good food.

Ray lives in Grand Rapids and bikes pretty much everywhere he can.

Photo of Denise Carpenter

Denise Carpenter

Denise came from a medical background but married into an engineer family, which quickly lead to her making code commits to software projects along side of her husband.  After years of on-the-side coding, she took the full leap and has now been developing software professionally for the last three years.

One of the things she enjoys most about the world of programming is her ability to leverage her uncommon background to bring a unique perspective on real-world software solutions. Denise, or “Dee”, is also the busy mother of three young kids and is a passionate “volley baller” whenever she can fit it in.  

Photo of Joshua Kovach

Joshua Kovach

Josh grew up in Michigan and graduated from Grand Valley State University with a BS in Computer Science, with minors in Mathematics, Business, and Engineering. He also wrote crossword puzzles for the Grand Valley Lanthorn.

Josh has honed his development skills working in Rails, iOS and Android. He is an expert (and mentor) on HackHands, pairing with programmers working through coding issues.

Josh loves working on open-source software and in his spare time actively participates in GR GiveCamp and BarCampGR. He also likes playing Warhammer 40k, bicycling, programming, playing video games, learning new things, and solving puzzles. He lives in Wyoming, Michigan with wife Erin, newborn baby Mara, two cats, bearded dragon, and snake.

Photo of Ben Lambert

Ben Lambert

Before working at Collective Idea, Ben created cartoons as an animator and character designer for 10 years in Chicago and LA. After getting tired of the perfect weather every day, Ben moved to GR with his wife, Teri and daughter, Jade in 2010.

Ben learned iOS while making an iPhone game and digs making interactive interfaces. When he is not working, he likes drawing, eating indian food, drinking dark beers, attempting to kite board, and the constant challenges that programming brings.

Photo of Mike Kopchick

Mike Kopchick

Mike got his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Hope College, where he met the founder of Collective Idea, Daniel Morrison. He got his start into coding in 5th grade by copying BASIC programs out of 3-2-1 Contact magazines.

In his spare time he likes to play drums and bake bread. If he could he would take a 1-way trip to Mars (but don’t tell his wife).

Mike lives in Holland with his wife and 2 small children (a 2 year old and 6-month old), who like to keep him from sleeping.

Photo of Brianna Onken

Brianna Onken

Brianna graduated from Marylhurst University in 2006 with her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, with a focus on creative writing. She has been working in an administrative role for 8+ years.

In her free time Brianna likes to write, watch movies, listen to music, go camping, read, go dancing, bake, and spend time with family and friends.

Brianna was born and raised in Oregon and moved to Michigan in May of this year. She lives with her husband, Ben and furbaby, Dakota.

Contact Us

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Collective Idea
44 East 8th Street, Suite 410
Holland, Michigan 49423 USA 42.790334-86.105251


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