Steve Roettger graduated from the University of Delaware in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and a minor in Management Information Systems (MIS). After graduation, he spent a year working for a financial advisory firm but realized it was not the career he wanted to pursue. He began teaching himself how to build websites by expanding on the basic programming knowledge he picked up from his Management Information Systems minor. Starting with basic skills and picking up the rest as he went, Steve realized that web development fit his personality and that he enjoyed the build and tinker philosophies, as well as the fulfilling challenge of solving complex problems.

Steve had always wanted to be his own boss and knew that the flexibility of working for yourself definitely had its perks. He knew that being fresh out of college, there was no better time to take a risk and that is what he did. One year after he graduated from UD, Steve founded his company. He says, “At this point I definitely don’t have any regrets, I’ve taken my fair share of lumps and had many tough times, but it was all a great learning experience and has definitely shaped the person I am. The accomplishments are always that much more meaningful knowing that you laid the groundwork.”

Today Steve works as a freelance web developer, working on everything from custom HTML emails and websites to custom web and mobile applications. His company is currently just him but he enjoys the opportunities that a small state like Delaware has in building his network. He remarks, “Geographically it’s a great spot. You can easily head to larger markets to get work as well as going to the small and more competitive ones. When I first started most of my work came from Delaware companies, but as I’ve grown in skillset and network, I’ve grown to do more work with companies outside of Delaware. I do firmly believe that Delaware is a great place to start a business, it may not be the best place scale, but with its geographically location, easy incorporation/friendliness to businesses, lower cost of living, easier access to government/larger stakeholders, smaller tight-knit community, and general sense of optimism/encouragement for startups, it is tough to beat.”

Over the years Steve’s company, like technology, is always changing. As a web developer, the most important trait is being able to keep up so that is what he does. Steve has made it a point to always keep learning and looking forward so that wherever a problem takes him he will be able to solve it.

For now much of Steve’s work comes from contracting with local agencies and thus far he has worked with a wide-range of clientele including Fortune 500s, startups, local businesses, and nonprofits in industries like Finance/Banking, Healthcare, Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) and E-Commerce. And while most of the projects that he does is confidential, he says that his his favorite project is his recent collaboration with The Barn for Adidas Swimming.

What does Steve have in store for the future? He says that there are a couple of JavaScript frameworks that he’s been wanting to pick up, and he’s hoping to launch a chatbot product that he’s been working on the side with a team for a couple of years.

Rachel Mackelcan

Rachel MacKelcan

Rachel MacKelcan is an intern at The Mill for Summer 2017. She's a rising senior at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Business Marketing.