Mitchell Thompson, at home on the web
August 9, 2019 by Ryan Boudinot
Light bulbs started appearing over Mitchell Thompson’s head the first time he opened a Web browser. It was the mid-nineties, and Mitchell was a self-described “gay nerd from Florida” who’d just discovered AOL. Up til then he’d felt pretty isolated. With the scratchy sound of a dial-up modem as his rallying cry, he immediately grasped the opportunity to connect with other like-minded people from around the world. “The Internet saved my life,” he says.
Fast-forward to right now and you’ll find Mitchell standing at his desk at 2A building websites for our wide variety of clients. Whether it’s a site showcasing artist Juan Manuel Echavarría or promoting The Sports Institute at the University of Washington, Mitchell applies his web prowess with boundless curiosity and a knack for usability.
Mitchell is more than comfortable diving into new subjects at 2A, having enjoyed a wide-ranging career that saw him “loading trucks at a large shipping company, crafting lenses for eye glasses, slinging BBQ in a smokehouse, working in a soul crushing call center, testing for a Japanese video game company, and building maps for a search engine company.”
It was this latter job that gave the web designer direct experience working with software developers, and now there’s no turning back—Mitchell is building parts of the very World Wide Web he fell in love with back in the day.
Says Mitchell, “I wanted to join a small firm because I thought it would give me a chance to work on more interesting projects (turned out true!).”
You can’t get as far from Florida in the contiguous USA as Washington State. This part of Seattle is so dense with tech workers that you can’t toss a thumb drive without hitting a nerd, and the neighborhood is so LGBTQ-embracing that the insignia of the local light rail station is a Pride flag. Here, in addition to finding meaningful work and a milder climate, Mitchell has found an appreciative cohort who depend on his expertise.
If he could go back in time, what would Mitchell tell that gay nerd from Florida? “As hard as it seems right now, keep your head up. It’ll be a journey, but you’ll find your place.”