kevin m. gates
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dreaddontdie is a personal portfolio created by me, kevin m. gates, and it showcases my passion for web design/development, photography, videography and other awesome things i've created in life.
i'm a 36 year old chicago native. a father, husband, artist, designer, photographer and technology specialist. i really love all forms of art and design...and technology provides a beautiful canvas to express it. i currently work at
as a cloud solution architect, helping customers and partners build applications using
i went to lincoln park h.s. but eventually dropped out and went to prologue alternative h.s. for a diploma. throughout high school, having money was important to me, so I worked at
the house of blues
over the years as a line cook...and i developed a great work ethic along the way.
before graduating in 2000, my teacher told me about
, a paid technology training and leadership development program. before applying for
, i bought a
and taught myself html between making orders at work. i had to apply my skills, so i built a website for my high school during the summer in the computer lab. I decided to apply for i.c.stars and provided a copy of the school website with my application. after a rigious application & testing process, i was surprised to be 1 of 10 accepted out of 300 people who applied to i.c.stars.
i.c.stars | *
. i learned business, technical and communication skills. i learned to love writing code, designing and building websites. it was like grown-up legos and i loved it every challenging moment. it was twelve hour days for three months and a single absence or late arrival meant you were out the program. however, i survived and took away these life-long skills:
celebrate every success!
volunteer to gain free experience
never say no to an opportunity to help or learn
always do the best you can
understanding learning styles (visual and kinetic for me)
during an i.c.stars fundraiser, i met an amazing guy from
and really impressed him during my speech that night. after completing i.c.stars and interviewing, i started working at
on january 31st, 2001 at the age of 20.
i started as an associate technology specialist, learning and eventually giving office and windows demos at meetings and events. I later focused on microsoft's e-commerce products until I had the chance to work on the new
being built out in Chicago. i learned how to build and manage a datacenter and spent 5 years as Microsoftâs Datacenter Manager: expanding the datacenter from a single rack to a $25M hardware, software and partner showcase.
later, I became a Unified Communications Architect (Exchange/Lync/Skype) and
Specialist, delivering strategy briefings and architecture design sessions for Microsoft's largest customers. i was later promoted to technical director, co-managing the mtc business. after 14 years in the mtc, it was time for a change so i worked as a Global Account Technology Strategist for Accenture, Avanade and Aon.
in august of 2016, i decided to return to my roots as a developer and took on the role of cloud solution architect for
group. it's a great job, on a great team, working with microsoft partners.
over the years, i've inspired the next generation by hosting thousands of kids/teens/adults at the microsoft office for career days, workshops and talks. i've had the privilege of sharing my story at schools, community events, galas and fundraisers and recently delivered the keynote presentation at The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition's
2017 stem summit
thank you for visiting!
you can also find me on
My LOVE for photography started unexpectedly in
, after buying my first digital camera. over the years, travel, events and fatherhood transformed photography into a real passion.
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i love creating videos. I started by putting together slideshows with music to bring the photos i captured to life. Soon after, I started doing more and more videos for birthday parties, special events or just because...
Ken Wilson, Mixed Media Artist
- August 2017 - I produced this video for my friend, Ken Wilson, to showcase his mixed media art. Things I learned while making this (1) to focus on music FIRST and built the visuals to emphasize it (2) Use of black/white/color effects; sync to the music and (3) my first video with my Sony a6500. Check him out at kawcuts.com
lewis farm and petting zoo
- August 2017 - We visited Lewis Farm in New Era, Michigan with family.
michigan ave bridge
- August 2017 - A view of busy Michigan Ave on a beautiful, hot summer day at rush hour.
Boats, bridges and trains
- July 2017 - I traveled to Minneapolis/St. Paul for work and I spent a couple of hours hanging out by the river after my all day meetings. It was so relaxing watching the boats, bridges, trains and beautiful sunset. Music by Panthurr: moonrise melody.
chicago waldorf school at the 2017 chicago pride parade
- July 2017 - Ever wonder what it is like to be in a parade?! We joined the Chicago Waldorf School in the 2017 Pride Parade and I produced this video (with music) to recap the amazing experience. Music: /soundcloud.com/panthurr - "a story of dance"
- May 2017 - Capturing the amazing experience of picking up Maurice after school and hanging out at the beach. Music: /soundcloud.com/joakimkarud - "looking to the sky"
cubs parade time-lapse
- November 2016 - A view of the cubs parade going through downtown chicago after the cubs won the 2016 world series!
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