Today marks my two-year work-a-versary. This isn’t really a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but I felt strangely inspired this morning when I was thinking about it and wanted to jot down a few thoughts about how lucky I am to not only have a job but to have a job I enjoy doing and one that sometimes makes me feel like I’m doing at least a little bit to contribute to the world around me.
I’ve been working with Cameron on and off since 2009. He was the one who saw enough potential in me that he took me on as a clueless intern then hired me full time a few months later. After a stint working with him at Blue State Digital, I moved on to other things. Fast forward a few years and Cam had started his own tiny web shop and asked me to be employee number two for Juking the Stats. It came at a perfect time and I’ve been happily plugging away here since.
People often ask me “what do you do?” and I for a while I struggled to answer that question. “I build the internet” was kind of sarcastic and “I’m a web developer” was pretty nerdy. I eventually settled on using something similar to the text from our old website:
We work primarily with nonprofits and campaigns as their partner in navigating the tradeoffs and complexity inherent in technology.
We build applications and websites and focus on ease of use for content creators and optimizations for users. The story should be the centerpiece. Technology’s role is to present content clearly, quickly, and optimized for any device.
So that’s my day-to-day in a nutshell.
I’ve worked for a big firm, I’ve worked for a small boutique, and now I’m at a small shop whose focus is do things and do things well. There are bits and pieces of each previous job that I miss and there are longings I have sometimes that go unfulfilled. There’s a bit of me that would love to work for a startup making The Next Big Thing™. There’s a bit of me that wishes I had the flexibility to tinker and experiment for days and weeks on end without deadlines. For every weight though, there’s a counterweight. The counter is that this job provides me the flexibility to live my life. The counter is that I can rely on what I know and my years of experience to build experiences that I know work and work well.
I’m so lucky to get to work with a fun team of people, each with a unique voice and history. I’m lucky to work out of my living room (or Tryst), take naps, cook hot lunches, and wear sweatpants to the “office.” I’m lucky to get to see the effects of my work. I’ve helped register tens of thousands of voters for a critical election. I’ve done work that raised conversion rates on a nonprofit’s donation form, and I spend most of my days building software that I believe will encourage and simplify giving.
I don’t work to cure the world’s ails or to be the guy building the coolest stuff on the web. I just work to make a bit of a difference and hopefully help you make one too.
It’s cool to work with people who feel the same way I do and it’s wonderful to work for someone whose vision powers our work each day:
We are technological optimists.
We believe that code is a multiplier for change.
Our goal is to partner with the ambituous and benevolent to build applications and websites that amplify their impact on the world.