Sesame Workshop

Text: Working at Sesame has been a truly great experience. As a non-profit with such an enduring brand, the job often requires me to wear a lot of hats. As such, I’ve dealt in digital strategy, social media, and development across the stack. And I’ve been a part of some pretty great projects.

When I was brought on, one of my first projects was migrating our corporate website, sesameworkshop.org, from a proprietary CMS to WordPress. I did so in a couple of months, and have since moved other properties, such as our yearly press kits, over to the same system.

The official website for Sesame Workshop
The official website for Sesame Workshop, run on WordPress

I’ve also created quite a few digital experiments with our Communications team. Though these were built in the child-focused environment at Sesame, they are meant to engage fans of all ages. The most successful of these was Flappy Bert, a game that riffed off of the notorious “Flappy Bird” just as it was being pulled from the App Store. The entire build took 24 hours, built on top of PhaserJS, and millions of people have played it. Along the way, I’ve also created quite a few other projects, like a bookmarklet that replaces every image in your browser with Cookie Monster, and a Twitter bot built in Node that keeps Count Von Count counting.

Flappy Bert in action
Flappy Bert’s basic elements, sprites and final gameplay

But Sesame is also, first and foremost, about helping people around the world, and they have a number of initiatives that deal with children and families in certain conditions. One of the projects I’m most proud of helped to illuminate the problem a child can come up against when one of their parents are incarcerated. 1 in 28 children in the United States have an incarcerated parent, and the stigma around it often prevents them from speaking up about it. My colleagues and I dove into this problem, and built a small microsite which sheds some light on why this problem persists. Our goal was to help people empathize with children in this situation, by focusing on common scenarios they come up against. Ultimately, I think we did a good job, and I’m proud of the work that Sesame has done to address the problem.

Incarceration

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