Northern Liberties: Philadelphia Freelancers Have a Home at Devnuts

Devnuts, located in a 3,000-square-foot collaborative workspace in Northern Liberties, is an organization started in the spring of 2007 by former Drexel students Chris Alfano and John Fazio. Briefly, Devnuts welcomes freelance web developers and designers to make use of their unique incubation space.

Matt Monihan, Information Architect, discusses the purpose and future goals of Devnuts.

Matt Monihan, a graduate of the Drexel University School of Business and Administration, joined the team in August of 2010 as its Information Architect. As a team member, Monihan is tasked with providing all components of Devnuts-from developers to sales people-with an efficient system of communication.

The trio, all in their early 20s, offers an innovative production environment in the form of a space for developers to get their ideas out while allowing them to incubate and gain momentum over time.

“I want people to think of Devnuts like ‘The Social Network,’ only real,” said Monihan in an interview with Philadelphia Neighborhoods. “A job that doesn’t feel like a job.”

According to Monihan, Devnuts is unlike other hackerspaces and technology cooperatives in Philadelphia in that the community has developed a selection process for new members with the purpose of building a talented group of freelancers.

The freelancers who do become part of that group use the space as an office for personal projects as well as collaborative projects with the rest of the Devnuts team.

Salas Saraiya and Code for America's Mjumbe Poe work on a project at Devnuts' co-op space in Northern Liberties.

The group currently supports seven full-time team members and eight Drexel interns with hopes to expand city connections further out to other neighborhoods and schools.

The ultimate goal is to act as a kind of web development talent pool across the city.

Similar spaces, which Monihan explained Devnuts hopes to establish in the future, will potentially be used to draw in area high school students in in an effort to foster any interest they might have in the world of technology and web development.

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