Bret Orton, the director of digital development for GFM, has logged more than a decade of experience creating custom Web solutions for clients that pair his creativity with his development skills. His expertise spans a full range of Web solutions, from back-end development to front-end integration, with an emphasis on open source Web technologies.
Bret believes that simplicity in architecture, design and development is a cornerstone of building websites that are at once notable and functional. He has worked with myriad websites, database schema, programming and scripting languages as well as on wireless and mobile projects.
The impetus for Bret’s career came in college, when, as part of a work study, he assumed the self-guided task of building the website for the school’s department of engineering. The satisfaction of learning new technology and coupling that with his creative spirit had him hooked.
Transplanted 18 years ago from the Bay Area to Colorado, Bret earned a journalism degree from the University of Denver.
He lives in Loveland with a rabid (not really) black Lab named Maddy, and he may or may not be designing rocket-powered snowboards for dogs. Patent pending.
Kung Fu Computer Genius
Bret Orton joins GFM from Belmont, Calif., halfway between San Jose and San Francisco. As Senior Director of Digital Development, Bret code-monkeys stuff (not really a technical term) for GFM and clients’ websites, Web applications and the like.
Our honest, helpful and happy coworker still recalls the valuable lessons he learned from his high school German teacher, Hans Frey, who commanded respect simply by being down-to-earth and level-headed. Work with Bret for one day and you can see that influence shine through in his own personal style.
Bret’s first job was a sort of precursor to the sign spinner phenomenon. Back in Bret’s day, the local stereo store dressed him up as Santa and gave him a “Big Sale Inside” sign (yes, the copy could’ve used some work) to hold up on the city’s main drag. But he didn’t complain. Probably because he made enough money to be able to buy the coolest stereo system of anyone in his sixth-grade class.
His greatest indulgence is to watch cheesy horror movies with a big bowl of buttery popcorn in his lap and wash it down with a tall glass of ice-cold milk. Sure his guilty pleasure seems a little benign, but don’t let that fool you: This computer genius finds extreme pleasure when Google returns a relevant search result for a coding dilemma he has!
Bret can usually be found wondering aloud about the societal loss of common sense. Or, when that gets boring, he’ll move on to karate chopping the air, Bruce Lee-style, and making kung fu action noises at his bewildered dog.
On the iPod: ‘90s grunge, punk, old-school hip hop, hard rock, techno and some classical guitar
Pet Peeve: People who don't get that the left lane is for passing
Collections: Nope. Don't dig clutter
Guilty Pleasure: Boulder Canyon Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt Potato Chips
The inside scoop: As a kid, I'd cry if the taco shell broke when eating tacos