2008 was a hell of a year.
After a few years as an independent contractor, I incorporated Zivtech in January. In April, Jody and I decided to become business partners (which, coincidentally, happened in the same week I learned I was going to be a father for the first time), and by the end of the year we had grown to an eleven person shop.
It seems a little crazy, but at this rate we'll outgrow the office we moved into in August. I guess there are worse problems to have. One thing that we had outgrown by last summer was our website, which I originally setup as a blog where I wanted to keep track of my trek to become a full time "Drupaler."
Well, I'm really excited to announce that we've migrated our site to Acquia Drupal and we've undergone both a complete redesign and an overhaul of the site's information architecture.
The site design was created by our good friends at Bluecadet Interactive, with whom we are partnering on projects on a more regular basis. The information architecture changes came from our efforts to better define our business for our proposal template and our business plan, and while I still think that the site is a work in progress, I'm still really psyched about all of the improvements we've made.
If you check out the site's menu, you'll note that we are definitely not one of the (soon to be extinct) firms that Dries' mentioned on his blog the other day - companies that don't give back to the community. We are not only proud of our involvement with and contributions to the Drupal community, we see it as central to our business model, and thus we track and highlight our contributions on our site. We also recently instituted a 20% time policy, whereby all employees are actively encouraged to spend up to 20% of their paid time working on any Drupal community related project.
We've also started aggregating local/regional tech and small business events on our calendar, which we created through a module mash-up similar to the one used to create our popular Drupal Video Planet (instructions can be found in the Drupal handbook for how to do this).
Growing to an eleven person shop in under nine months has definitely been a challenge, especially since we've bootstrapped everything thus far, but it's also been amazingly rewarding. I'll let each person introduce themselves when they have the time, but I do want to make a special mention of one of our new Senior Developers, Justin Randell, who is going to be moving from Australia to work with us in February!
Justin saw our job post via the planet, and was attracted to our company by our involvement in the community and our commitments to giving back, which is further proof that it's "pound foolish" to not give back. You're simply not going to attract top-notch Drupal talent if you're not a true Drupal shop (unless you throw tons and tons of money at the person, and even then there are no guarantees).
We also hired John Snow, whom we mentored in the Summer of Code, and whom we hope will join us (albeit remotely) full time as soon as he finishes his studies.
And as for our awesome new sign, it was created by the wife of our Ambassador of Awesome (Jose), Katy Yeaw, who also made the awesome prints that adorn our office. If you'd like to check out and/or buy any of Katy's work, please visit her website at http://butcherpress.com.