I just celebrated a special milestone: 8 years with Back40 Design.
Aside from Dave and Sandy, I’ve been at Back40 longer than any other employee in our company’s 16 year history. And I have to tell you, I don’t intend on going anywhere anytime soon.
Like Dave, I didn’t start out in the business of web design. I did the normal teenage jobs, and then, about the time I started a family, I moved into a career in manufacturing at Lucent Technologies. After several years, they laid off the work force and I went back to school. I remember flipping a coin, would I move into the medical field, or computers? Heads was up. I went back to school to learn about computer networking. While attending college, I welcomed a third child into my family. Because he decided to join us in the middle of a semester, I switched around a couple of classes on my schedule and graduated with a degree in Website Design and Internet Administration.
Turns out, I knew nothing practical about building websites. I looked in the PHONE BOOK for places to apply for work. I worked at a local Edmond web firm (who is no longer in business). While there, I learned many things:
- How to manage the various details that are involved in making a website.
- How to interpret requests from a client and translate it to something a developer or programmer could understand.
- How lack of communication with your clients cause things to go bad.
And mostly, I learned that I loved to say “yes”. And even more so “Let me help you with that”.
Working at Back40 has been a growing experience. The web team has grown from a small team of one designer, one developer, a programmer, a network guy, and me to a staff of over 15. The industry has grown so significantly. Flash websites, 600 pixel wide pages and HTML-based updates has turned into large hero images, full width pages, powerful CMSs and mobile first philosophy. And along the way, I personally have grown in knowledge, experience, and management skills.
One thing that has never changed for me however, is the clients. There is little I enjoy more than teaching someone how to do something, or coming to the rescue when there is an emergency. I love to reconnect with customers that I’ve known over the years and meet new ones as I learn what their business is and how it works. And I love to stun my children with random knowledge about things I learn from working with a wide variety of clients – stuff they would never think their mom would know (stuff like concrete grading, intermodal shipping, oil drilling bits, deer husbandry, the inner workings of Water Parks and radio stations)!
8 years is a long time. Especially in this digital world. But it isn’t enough. I look forward to the future. It’s bright and full of promise.
I’m Reyna, how can I help you?