It is hard to believe I am working almost one year at Elm – the time has absolutely flown. So much has happened since I joined. I have played a key role in the development of two great software applications at Elm and have lead the implementation and achievement of ISO 27001:2013 Certification for the company.
My software development skills have evolved a huge amount, I simply do not think it would have been possible to do such a full range of development at a larger company. At Elm I am involved in true ‘full-stack’ development. The lessons come thick and fast, and so does the learning. Not to mention a healthy dose of head-scratching and puzzle solving – all part of a day in the life of a software developer!
So here I am, the first and hopefully not the last, Elm employee to make it over the 1 year line! Today marks a year to the day that I walked into the office on Foley Street to a somewhat empty room. There was only one small bank of desks and only 3 office chairs but oh how we’ve grown since then.
It’s definitely not easy to pack up one’s life after 28 years and move halfway across the world. I mean, just moving out of your parents’ house for the first time is scary.
Some say I was crazy and impulsive, but what they don’t know is that this was actually a well calculated gamble.
Where do I even begin?
As an aspiring marketer, when I work on any project, I generally look for an end product and build towards that. I may as well keep up the same routine for this blog post.
This week at Elm we are beginning a marketing campaign titled ‘#GrowWithUs’. This campaign is what I have been working towards for the last 10 weeks, since I started at Elm Solutions, as the first ever marketing intern. The #GrowWithUs campaign will focus on raising the profile of Elm Solutions and will also focus on making people aware of the job opportunities we currently have available. We want to make individuals aware of how they can #GrowWithUs by becoming part of the Elm team.
In the last week there has been an incredible global reaction to the commercial hunting and death of Cecil the Lion, Zimbabwe’s most famous lion. It has been astounding how one animal’s death has caused such a media frenzy. With regards to the hunting of Africa’s enigmatic mammals, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of elephants, rhino’s and other large mammals poached and commercially hunted each year for the past couple of decades.
Anki is a spaced repetition application, based around user-generated flashcards. I have been using it about nine months and it has been great for learning Polish, programming syntax, and keeping my Spanish ticking over, even if I’m not a fan of rote learning. The cards are shown using a display algorithm. That’s where the real magic of this nifty little program is.
Here at Elm we make great software for a living and like that which makes living easier too. Life in a start-up doesn’t slow down for much, and there is no harm to have another tool in the box – whatever the interest! Ok, first things first.
We can hardly believe it… 1 year ago today we made our dream a reality and became a limited company going by the name of Elm Solutions. Why in seconds though? Well, anyone who’s involved in a start-up knows that it is not, in any shape or form, a 9 – 5 job. Every waking (and a lot of weird unwaking seconds) are spent worrying, thinking, planning, innovating and dreaming about the future. I remember glimpsing the saying “Entrepreneurs spend 80 hours a week to avoid working 40” on the day we set up and you could not speak a truer word. Although it’s not just the entrepreneurs but everyone who works for and with Elm.
It has been 1 year since we became a fully fledged IT start-up and no matter how experienced you may think you are, there is so much to learn in such a short space of time. One of our core principles at Elm Solutions is that failure is necessary when moving at a fast pace. It means you are pushing the boundaries while learning the route to success. But the importance cannot be overstated enough in failing fast while maintaining the highest levels of delivery for your clients. All that being said, accepting failure as a necessity of producing the best quality is fine, but making the same mistake more than once is unforgivable. If I could impart 13 lessons to anyone about to embark on the IT start-up journey it would be the following;
I find it hard to believe that Elm Solutions, the IT Company I co-founded with two friends in June 2014, is One today! Like any first time parents, we are very proud of our baby and it’s achievements in its infancy. We have faced all the normal challenges of having a new born; the long hours, the acute sleep deprivation, the teething problems, the self-doubting and, above all, the daily rate in which you face new experiences and challenges. But, like most first time parents, we are successfully meandering through and we look at what we have created to date with a sense of pride and accomplishment. This first year has been all about learning and teaching in equal measures and it has been a most enjoyable journey. We are putting a strong emphasis on ensuring that we are instilling our core values in our off-spring from the onset and we are seeing the company culture and values come to fruition in the five staff that we have hired throughout the year; our baby is growing so fast!
Everyone seems to be jumping on the social reform bandwagon. I slightly recoil at jumping on myself but the impact each and every single person can have should not be understated. There are many distasteful aspects appearing in both camps which this debate could do without. It is important then to strip it all back to the singular question of equality in our society for those who are regarded as “different”.