A savvy software developer and hard-core cyclist, Bjorn Christianson has the rare job that taps his technical skills as well as his passion. At Bicycle Theory, a Minneapolis branding agency staffed by casually attired bike nuts, Christianson devotes 90 percent of his workday to the more technical aspects of building client websites.
"I'm just finishing up a new tool for our content management system," says Christianson, when asked about his job duties. "And our e-commerce platform is developing pretty rapidly."
Translation: Christianson enhances websites for clients like the Blandin Foundation and Behind Bars Bicycle Shop by adding user-friendly tools -- for example, Twitter and Facebook integration. He helps others, including Peace Coffee, boost their online-shopping capabilities.
Then there's the two-wheeled aspect of his job. In addition to working with clients including Rawland Cycles and Speedhound Bikes, Christianson spends part of every workday chaperoning the cycling-crazed commentators at mplsbikelove.com. In 2010, the principals of Bicycle Theory purchased the popular forum for local cycling enthusiasts. An early member of mplsbikelove.com and a well-connected member of the local riding community, Christianson was quickly handed the reins to the site. Bonus: As the site's primary moderator, Christianson also gets to flex his technical prowess. "We're working on a new software platform," he explains.
Thanks to the job's diverse duties and built-in bike zealotry, Christianson never dreads his daily commute to the office in northeast Minneapolis. "I like the variety and my co-workers are the best," he says.
So how did he land such a sweet New Economy gig? Surprise -- he went about it the old-fashioned way. "The position was listed on [the Bicycle Theory] website when I was looking for work," remembers Christianson. "So I just applied. I submitted my résumé, had a couple interviews -- I talked them into it."
- Age: 37
- Job title: Web developer
- Employer: Bicycle Theory (www.bicycletheory.com)
- Hire date: August 2010
- Background: Studied computer science at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and Portland State University. Previously worked at Fallon, a large Minneapolis branding agency, then One and All, a small and "relatively short-lived" Minneapolis branding shop.