Before forming Gunner Technology, we worked for ESPN for a long time — more than six years.
Over that span, we worked on some pretty incredible projects with some really incredible people.
From start pages to data-driven applications to social networking applications, we covered a lot of ground with the World Wide Leader.
One of our first projects at ESPN was to redevelop the scoreboard applications.
Other than the home page, the scoreboards, by far, get the most traffic and are one of the most important apps ESPN offers, so this was high-profile work.
We had two main goals with the scoreboards.
- Reboot the design to better fir the ESPN brand
- Implement “Caster,” which is a push-method of Ajax designed to deliver realtime updates without polling repeatedly for data.
Fortunately, we were able to deliver on both. And while the scoreboards have undergone many iterations since our work on them, the underlaying technology is still there.
GameCast is ESPN’s realtime, in-depth view of a game. It employs the same technology as scoreboards, but instead of live-updating all games, it provides a more detailed view of a single game.
A few years ago, start pages were all the rage. iGoogle, My Yahoo, Netvibes, Pageflakes and hundred others provided users with one screen where they could consume all the information that interested them.
ESPN wanted to do the same thing for sports fan.
For example, if you were a Florida Gators fan, you could add modules (scores, news, players, schedules, etc) for the Florida Gators. You could do the same for the Miami Marlins and so forth.
Until we completed this project, engagement was relegated to the dark corners of ESPN.com.
We overhauled the messaging platform that powered ESPN, brining fan engagements to stories, photos, videos and message boards.
WidgetCenter was the evolution of MyESPN.
While MyESPN allowed fans to come to one spot on ESPN and get all their sports info, WidgetCenter allows fans to take their sports info wherever they want.
While no such thing existed when we built WidgetCenter, the application was akin to Apple’s App Store for iOS applications.
It allowed developers to build widgets, which were small applications and then fans could come “grab” the widgets from WidgetCenter and install them pretty much anywhere.
Along with great functionality, WidgetCenter also harkened in a milestone for ESPN and the entire Disney company.
It was the first application built using Ruby on Rails, which we hosted with Amazon Web Services.
Fan Profiles is ESPN’s social network.
Billed internally as the Facebook for sports fans, Profiles allowed fans to connect, share and engage around sports while providing most of the features of a Facebook-like social network.
At the time, this was the largest Ruby on Rails sports application, serving millions of sports fans each month.
We initially built the application on a proprietary Java stack running on IIS. However, after a few months, we migrated the entire site to Rails, running on Amazon Web Services. A few months after that, we migrated to Heroku, where it continues to run today.
Social Media Integration
The final task we had with ESPN was to integrate ESPN with social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare from a product and marketing standpoint.
We built applications that syndicated content to the various networks and worked with companies like ViralHeat, Tap11, Meltwater Buzz and Radian 6 to value our social media engagements.
Cody is a very forward thinking technologist with broad hands-on knowledge of front and back-end web development. He is constantly experimenting with and researching new development platforms to maximize efficiencies in production processes. Cody consistently challenges himself and those he works with to come up with creative user driven experiences.
Dan Benshoff, Sr. Director, Web Development, ESPN
Cody is the best developer I’ve had the honor to work with. His depth of knowledge in all things digital is unsurpassed and his dedication to his craft and life in general is an inspiration. When you’re working with Cody, you are working with the best.
Jorge Mir, Web Developer, ESPN.com
Cody is one of the most enthusiastic and energetic people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He has an innovative spirit, a genuine passion for technology, and an insatiable curiosity. These qualities combined with his tenacious work ethic make him an outstanding web developer and technology leader. Cody has a very bright future ahead of him.
Mike Andrews, Sr. Director, Digital Operations, ESPNHS at ESPN
Cody is one of the most ambitious and dynamic web developer I’ve ever worked with. His skill sets are far reaching and he has the innate ability to think outside the box while seeing the big picture. No task is too big for him and he always delivered quality products in a timely manner. Highly recommenced in any capacity.
John Diver, Sr. Director Product Development at ESPN