If you were able to have predicted the state of the world in July 2020 twelve months ago, I would say that you have amazing, out of this world foresight and need to leverage your powers for something more special than this blog post.
Seriously. Do the world some good. We need it.
For We Write Code, it was March 12th that we were having internal conversations about “encouraging our team to work from home for a week or so”. By 4pm on Friday the 13th (ironic right?), we changed our tune and mandated that everyone work from home without exception. We painted a picture of one, maybe two weeks, and then we’d get back to normal.
This is week 20.
Let me say that again. We are in week 20 of completely abandoning our work environment of the last five years. Our “who drank the last of the coffee and didn’t make a new pot?”. Our “the kegs are dry, who wants something other than DSM IPA?”. Our “what dog is going to be in the office today? LB? Penny? Alfie? Fritz?”
… We lost our culture.
But that’s probably a drastic way of looking at it. Sure, all of those things are true, but we’ve also grown a lot over the last twenty weeks. We’ve adapted our interactions. We’ve found new ways to have fun. We’ve adapted our culture to this new society.
I don’t want to use this post to pontificate about the virtues of work from home life, or how our company is better than the one down the street. I wanted to write this post to help convey that We Write Code is evolving and that we continue to kick ass by serving our client’s needs every day.
… We have evolved.
And we have learned. We’ve learned how to manage 15+ person video calls. We’ve learned how to adapt our sales process to get prospects on a phone or video call right away. We’ve learned how to conduct brainstorm sessions and requirement gathering sessions with iPads and Zenhub. We’ve added new AWS and partner certifications. We’ve learned how to pair program virtually. We’ve learned how to give criticism and feedback virtually. We’ve learned to manage Slack.
… We have learned.
We’ve also grown into new industries and found new client types. Back in late March and early April, my outlook was optimistically positive, but my concern was for the 3rd and 4th quarter. With such a long sales cycle, would our funnel support us six months from now, or into 2021? It didn’t take long for us to grow into new opportunities. We can now put Community Action, Telehealth, and Virtual Fitness industries as feathers in our collective caps.
… We have grown.
And we are tremendously thankful for that growth.
2020 has been a complete blindside for us, and for thousands of other companies around the world. As much as I would like to paint a picture that We Write Code is the best, most prepared custom development shop in the world, we’re in this just like all of you. We’ve participated in virtual community events. We’ve had virtual meetings with our mentors and mentees. I hope everything I’ve mentioned in this post carries on to shape us whenever we are “normal” again. Events, like we are experiencing in 2020, are what shapes culture on a global scale, and I, for one, am optimistic about what it’ll bring.
My question for you, as the reader of this post—what trials and tribulations have you and your team encountered? How have you lost culture? How have you evolved? How have you learned? How have you grown?
I genuinely want you to reach out to me if you want to talk. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the last twenty weeks, it is that none of us can predict when we’ll be back to normal, or even what normal will be, and having a network of people is one of the most important factors in all of us being able to see the flip side of 2020.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.