A Year of Startup Life

AuctionsByCellular Silent Auction Technology Mobile Bidding CompanyIt has now been a full year since I left the agency and client services world to join a startup. Going from a large multinational company that was part of an even larger global holding corporation to a business with about 20 full time employees was a big change.

Right away, the team at ABC made me feel at home, declaring my first day “Johnny Day” and having a party. (being the 1st full-time developer hire has its perks!)

I haven’t had time to do much open source in the last year. When you’re at an agency, demonstrating creative coding is part of the gig. As part of a rapidly scaling startup, our team is spending every minute we can developing features that our customers need and help the business grow.

One concern I had about leaving an agency was that I really enjoyed constantly getting to work on different projects. Joining a tech company where I’d be developing the same product every day felt like it might get stale.

I’m happy to say that is not the case at all! I feel more challenged than ever. On any given week, there are charity events all over the country that depend on the software we are building. It is pretty amazing knowing the code we write is helping them bring in more money for their causes, which makes me want to work even harder.

Over the last year, I’ve been working on lots of cool things, many of which I unfortunately can’t talk about yet. Some of my ABC highlights are:

  • Launched the responsive redesign of the company website AuctionsByCellular.com
  • Started analytics tracking across our properties to better understand how our mobile bidding product is performing used by our clients and how customers find out about us.
  • Launched a new version of our silent auction technology platform.
  • Implemented our git continuous integration workflow.
  • Took a deep dive into TDD, Selenium, Eclipse, Java and AWS.
  • Came up with a simple way of implementing data binding events with jQuery (need to write up a blog post on that one!)
  • Implemented Websockets on production – all item prices and bidding activity on our auction sites is updated instantly on people’s phones without having to refresh the page.
  • Worked some really cool charity events to see our stuff in action

Last, and most important, is the team. Not only are the people at ABC a lot of fun to be around, they are also great people. Many of them come from the nonprofit world, and others like me have left companies to get an opportunity to partner with charities and see firsthand how they make a difference in people’s lives. Beyond our day-to-day fundraising work, we have also been doing things like volunteering at RMHC, running a 5K to end homelessness and doing construction work for Habitat for Humanity.

So, after a full year, I can say that the honeymoon is not over yet. It is a privilege to be on board!

You can keep up with AuctionsByCellular on our blog, on Facebook, on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. (You may even see a pic/vid of yours truly pop up every now and then)