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My Three Years as a Web Developer at WebMechanix

Originally posted on webmechanix.com.

Day 1,096

They still haven’t noticed I have no clue what I’m doing.

But hey, that’s the beauty of working at WebMechanix.

At the end of the day, the people here care more about my passion to learn than what I walked through the door knowing.

And the shared belief in cultivating passionate and positive energy is just one of WebMechanix’s Core Values that have kept me here for three years and made me want to stick around. I personally connect with each core value on some level. And if you don’t, perhaps this just isn’t the right workplace for you.

Some Knowledge Required

All that said, it certainly helped to walk through the door with some knowledge. In my interview, I presented mockups of sites I’d designed and developed. But even as we reviewed my code, dissecting my proudest work at the time, I cringed at inefficient if statements and hacky workarounds. I made sure to mention that with each new project (and I still do this today), I set out to include some new coding technique I’d read about or a more streamlined process that, overall, made me prouder than the last project.

I guess they saw in me an eagerness and capability to always be learning and growing, which is likely what landed me an offer letter (even if there were other more educated and experienced candidates).

Being Part of the Team

I arrived wanting to shift my career away from design into full-on development, which WebMechanix was willing to take a gamble on.

Sure, I had some professional coding experience under my belt. But I had never taken a development or computer science course EVER. I had never participated in a code review, never even collaborated with other developers on a project. I was purely self-taught, and while perfectionism (and Stack Overflow) made me confident in my code, I still felt like an imposter.

My previous role for two and a half years was designer/developer at a two-person agency where the other person was a designer, so coming here to join a team of developers, designers and marketing experts felt so exhilarating.

Three years later, I know why WebMechanix took that gamble: we seek out talented employees—sometimes people who haven’t quite honed that talent, but who have the “right stuff” to do amazing things if provided an optimal environment.

Opportunities Abound

I write “we” because that’s another part of this job I truly love: the opportunities I’ve been given to help hire and teach others.

Anyone at any time is encouraged to present a lunch-n-learn on pretty much any subject; a culture that only seems obvious in an industry where companies must live on the bleeding edge of tech to thrive.

And what’s best is that it’s not a competition to work your way up some corporate ladder here; we’re all part of and contributing to this “incubator” together, no matter your skill level at any given time.

Becoming More Senior

Nowadays, they call me a “Senior” Developer. And I don’t think that’s just because I’m near the top of the office’s age bracket.

Thanks to WebMechanix, in the past three years I’ve crushed nearly 25 new websites or redesigns and I’ve supported my marketing friends on countless other accounts through a variety of web development work.

Even in “slow” times, I’ve never been bored.

  • I helped build our internal dashboard—a webapp that aggregates data from Google Analytics, HubSpot, Harvest, Slack and QuickBooks and organizes it amazing ways.
  • I helped crusade the company’s adoption of Slack and I’ve built a dozen custom integrations for it that facilitate everyone’s daily tasks.
  • I helped build and iterate on a new “wizard” lead acquisition tool.
  • I’ve helped prototype, streamline and document common processes.
  • I’ve even taken opportunities to put my film degree to use.

During my three years, I’ve seen the company double in employees with revenue acceleration to match. I’ve made close friends, helped them grow, and have been grateful for their help in return. I’ve rock-climbed, trampolined, laser-tagged, picnicked and partied. I’ve split a board in two with my mind. I’ve learned more about web development than anyone wants to read in a blog post. I’ve also learned there’s so much more to learn.

We Are Who We Are. And We’re Damn Good.

No one’s curing cancer here. But we’re solving problems, having fun, trying new things, and genuinely helping others attain success while we’re at it.

If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you’ve rolled your eyes at my revolting expressions of ego and excessive praise for the signers of my paychecks. But I’m just trying to convey what’s possible when two ambitious, yet realistic, yet incessantly positive-thinking cousins create and nurture an “optimal environment” for geeks like me. It’s been an awesome three years. Thank you, Team.

$waltsHappiness = ( 'WebMechanix' != $employer ) ? false : ( ('WebMechanix' === $employer ) && ( 1 <= count( $ternaries ) ) ? true : false );

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