by Tracey Pilone
…not by a passion for an idea or a technology, but with a drive to establish the kind of place where we want to work. Where blogging and Tweeting and whatever comes next were good ideas, and not a waste of time. Where the people we work with are not just good, but awesome. Where personal relationships are valued, between the team members and our clients. And a place where we can all get paid.
Well, we’re a year in. And so far so good. We’re profitable, we’ve added some fantastic people to the team, and we’ve learned some lessons.
My role has evolved into handling the “business.” That covers everything from benefits to banking, contracts and proposals. (I also support my own writing clients, but such is the way of the startup). In my view, the role of the business side of the company should be to support development. Period. These things need to exist so that engineers can do their jobs and NOT the other way around.
Development doesn’t just mean coding here. It means writing and speaking and networking with other people to further good practices and good code. Looking around at everyone at Element 84, one of the things we all have in common is that we are all technical people who like people and communicating with them. In technical people, those are rare commodities, which works out well for us.
Change is inevitable. To become wedded to one technology is to our peril. Five years ago iOS didn’t exist and 5 years from now who knows what’ll be driving the industry. As a development company, to stay profitable we need to be willing to change and learn. I know that scares some people away from jobs in tech. I would argue that to stay relevant in any profession, be it law, medicine, or teaching, means embracing learning opportunities and continuing to grow. New laws are passed, drugs developed, teaching methods change. Development isn’t any different. So we spend a lot of time and money on learning new things.
It’s been a great year. I look forward to sharing some of our lessons learned in upcoming blog posts!