Cramer Dev Takes ChicagoOct 7, 2011 • Gabe Weaver
A few weeks ago the Cramer Dev team got together in Chicago for our bi-annual company meet-up. I was hired on to our distributed team back in June and this was my first chance to actually see the people I work with face-to-face, so I was seriously excited about the time we would have together to catch up on both work and life. Yes, we spend countless hours together toiling away via Skype and working collaboratively on projects each and every day, but there is something special about being able to put a face to the each voice we so frequently hear. I was really surprised when I met Brian Cobb; I had never expected such a deep, robust, radio voice to come from an extremely sophisticated, yet short in stature, guy. I also never knew Brian, Jason, and John were so good at Magic, or that Colin regularly sports those crazy five-finger shoes. As small as these things are, they are invaluable traits we learn about each other that makes our already awesome culture so much more fun.
Our company has grown dramatically this past year in both size and scope, most recently bringing on a new product manager (myself), developer (Brian Cobb), administrative assistant (Teri Taylor), and front-end intern (Dexter Jacobs) in June. The Windy City offered the perfect centralized location for the Cramer Devveterans to meet the newbies like me. We spent a day at a great co-working place, the Coop, reviewing where we have been as a company over the last several months and where we’d like to go in the coming year.
I’ve loved the opportunities we’ve had over the past few months to help small businesses succeed on the web, as well as being able to work alongside start-ups to turn their vision into a reality, and even launching our own product - Gearman HQ - into private beta. With the sale of Josh’s other company, Cramer IT, we are now laser focused on evolving over the next year to serve our clients and partners with even more capacity by adding a unique ideation and product management process to all of our projects. We can already build pretty much anything on the web, but now we can also help formulate a successful business model and entry into the market before we ever write a line of code.
In addition to serving our clients and partners, we are dedicating some time to developing our own products and research labs, where we can explore and build things that we think will make the world a better place. I, for one, am extremely excited about the upcoming public beta of Gearman HQ, a hosted job queue management system for developers to gain better insight into the inner workings of their applications. We have some other crazy ideas in the works too, but I’m not going to spill the beans on those just yet!
I’m not sure what the next year holds, but our weekend together in Chicago solidified the fact that we are all on the same page when it comes to being passionate about building great web applications and software products that solve real world problems. The meet-up in Chicago gave us the perfect forum for sharing that passion with one another and getting some quality bonding time in as a team. I’m already looking forward to the next meet-up.