Don’t get Yvonne Tse started on video games — or do! Whether talking about about her love of Final Fantasy XII, indie games or the Nintendo Switch, Yvonne is animated about this favorite subject of hers. The enthusiasm makes sense. As a web developer for Brafton, Yvonne blends technology and design on an everyday basis. But just in case you didn’t think Yvonne also enjoys the finer things in life, be aware she’s just as into John Milton and woodworking as she is RPGs.
Slaying web development, not just video game baddies
Art and creating has always been a passion for Yvonne, who’s taken on all sorts of projects in her time, like book-binding, or just “a bit of gluing, a bit of sewing and a bit of folding” as she serenely explains it. Initially, she studied design in college, but soon started taking outside classes for web development. A branch off the design tree, the field aligned with her interests. Plus it offered something nothing else could: quiet.
“I wanted first to be an artist,” Yvonne says. “Then I wanted to have money, so I went into design. Then I decided I didn’t want to talk to people, so I went into web development.”
After leaving the family home in Brooklyn for Boston on a whim, Yvonne soon encountered Brafton when a previous employer closed down. The match was a perfect one.
“They really needed someone and I really wanted a job,” she says.
In her role, Yvonne specializes mainly in full-site builds. That’s basically like taking the blueprints of a site and constructing the thing from scratch. On a typical day, she’ll get in, get her coffee, peek at her queue and get down to work. The coding Yvonne completes renders the design mock-up into a full site, with only a bit of chit-chat needed with the client to go over expectations and edits.
“I like it because I can get a list of things to do, then do it all and hand it back,” she says. “Somebody else talks to the client.”
Besides the work she does, Yvonne really enjoys her co-workers, the first thing mentioned when asked her favorite thing about Brafton. She is still, however, getting acclimated to being the most senior member on her team, with six — no, maybe seven — years on the job.
“I write programming to make the numbers make sense for me, they can do the math,” she laughs off.
Queue it up!
Yvonne’s work queue isn’t her only source of projects. Presently, you can find her knitting or honing her woodworking skill: knitting because it’s easy to do while watching TV (favorites include Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the forkin’ incredible The Good Place); woodworking because she’s since become the owner of a fixer-upper in north Quincy.
Being able to make a thing instead of buying it is a whole lot cheaper, and recent results have produced some shelves with closet rods. That’s only the beginning of her fixer-up ambitions.
I wanted first to be an artist. Then I wanted to have money, so I went into design. Then I decided I didn’t want to talk to people, so I went into web development.
“Come spring, there will be a heckuva lot of landscaping and gardening,” she pledges. “Something’s going to happen to that yard, I’m just not sure what yet, but something. I don’t like having a lawn, maybe more bushes. If anything, get some native grasses, some holly trees so the birds will have something to eat during the winter.”
You can, of course, find Yvonne plying the woodworking trade between gaming sessions. Though she has a soft spot for Final Fantasy, one of the biggest game franchises, it’s the indies she says she likes playing most right now. Games like Undertale, Night in the Woods and Firewatch are critically acclaimed titles produced by small teams rather than big studios and which offer a “neat” experience, Yvonne says, However, even if her new TV is incompatible with old PlayStations, it might not be enough to stanche the recent craving she’s had for FFXII.
And while she hasn’t attended a gaming convention lately, Yvonne used to frequent Arisia, a small fan con held in Boston, and take in panels that discussed storytelling, writing and social issues like gender and race.
For now, she makes due with getting her dose of intellectual stimulation through a nightly reading of “Paradise Lost.” John Milton’s epic poem that recounts Satan’s casting out of heaven and man’s fall from grace keeps freshman English majors up at night studying, but can also make for a great sleep aid.
“I love the language,” Yvonne says, “but it’s just so dense I can’t keep my eyes open.”
In the time ahead, Yvonne plans to keep on rocking web development work for Brafton, fix the house up and finally make it past those first 10 pages.