My first year at Wirehive
I started working at Wirehive almost exactly a year ago to the day. Over that time lots has changed, both for me, and within the company. I thought it might be interesting to look at what I’ve learned, and some of what has changed over the last twelve months.
On a personal level I’ve learned stacks. I’ve learned about the underpinning technical stuff, like how blockchain technology works and how it can be used. I’ve learned what cloud computing is, how it has developed, and what sort of things are actually possible with it. But I’ve also learned lots of cools new stuff about how to do the job.
I’ve finally managed to understand how InDesign works and why it is so awesome. I’ve spent a long time editing videos, and while previously I always used open source solutions like Openshot and VSDC I am now pretty handy with Adobe Premier Pro. I’ve even started to get my head around After Effects, I’m on a pretty steep learning curve, but it’s an enjoyable one. And that process of continually learning, developing your skills, and improving your underpinning knowledge is something that the company supports in a big way.
It’s not just on a personal level that this is true though. Over the last twelve months the company has made a concerted effort to improve its knowledge of a number of things. Most notably Microsoft Azure. We’ve gone from being a technically capable Silver Microsoft partner, to being one of the most knowledgeable companies in the UK. We are working closely with Microsoft to put on workshops across the country looking at the power and abilities of the machine learning suite Microsoft provide as part of Azure. If you’d like to get along to one of these, just drop us a line.
A large part of my role involves doing creative stuff. I’ve always thought that creativity was one of those things that you either had or you didn’t, and it came in unpredictable waves. Sometimes you could do it, and sometimes you couldn’t.
To a degree I still believe that, but I also think that, at least for me, there was a degree of copping out there. Yes, sometimes it is simplicity itself to write something, or to storyboard a video. I can sit down and in the space of an hour have 2000 words on a page. And good words at that. Sometimes however it doesn’t flow quite that easily.
I can stare at a page for hours and nothing comes.
But there are two things I have come to know as true.
Firstly, writers write. This sounds more than a little trite, but it’s important. I have long considered myself a writer, but for large periods of my life I have not written a single thing. Working for a busy company with firm deadlines I have not had that luxury. And so, I have had to just suck it up and write anyway.
Which leads perfectly on to the next thing. When Stephen King is asked how he writes, he answers:
“One word at a time”
If anything, that seems even more trite, but it’s also even more true.
Just write one word, then write another.
Rinse and repeat.
Now, I genuinely think that creativity is just a skill like any other. The more you do it, the simpler it gets. So, the next time you are struggling, remember, you are the architect of your own block.
One of the major reasons I moved from freelancing to working full time for Wirehive was that the unpredictability of payments was a problem for me. I wanted a regular salary, monthly payments, every month without fail. But it turns out this was not the most important thing Wirehive provided for me.
Like a lot of companies, we provide private health insurance for all the staff here. However, for many years no-one had claimed on it. Until I came along that is.
I have been involved in Martial Arts of one form or another for about thirty years now. I hold a fourth-degree black belt, and I train regularly. At least I did until April.
I was training in an obscure form of submission wrestling when I messed up a throw and did something bad to my knee (I won’t go into details, but suffice it so say I wouldn’t recommend it). A&E told me it was a soft tissue injury and that I needed physio. Thankfully they never sent me a referral.
Six weeks down the line I was still struggling to walk, and so I fired up the company policy and went to see a specialist.
A week or so later he re-attached the end of my femur that I had managed to break off, and is still seeing me on a regular basis. I can now walk again, and it is all down to the company providing the policy it does. So, if your company gives you private health care cover don’t take it for granted!
Having read the last bit, you probably won’t be surprised to hear I have had to spend some time working from home this year.
Thankfully as a Cloud Consultancy we are fully set up for exactly that.
I simply took my laptop home, logged on to all the cloud-based services, the company VPN and I was good to go.
We’ve even run business continuity exercises where the office is “destroyed” to see if we could cope. We can. It’s a bit lonely to work by yourself from home, but in essence as long as I have my laptop and a half decent connection I’m good to go.
Ukuleles are a Thing
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I play a variety of instruments. As a child I played the Violin, Piano, and I sang. I taught myself to play the guitar as a teenager, and I can hammer out a tune on most things.
Over the last few months there has been a growing number of Ukuleles appearing in the office. I held out as long as I could before buying one, and now I am a fully-fledged member of the Hawaii-hives. We’re not very good yet, (apart from me obviously), as a group we’re still learning to play together. We’re looking to put on our first concert for the rest of the company soon. I can’t see anything that could possibly go wrong.
There have been a number of things that have happened over the last twelve months that count as highlights, from finding articles I have written for the company website listed in other people’s important resources. Through to being asked to speak at events. But the one thing that far outweighs everything else is the fact that I am part of a team of incredibly clever people who are undeniably expert at what they do, and are pushing the boundaries of what it possible in the world of cloud computing.
My first year at Wirehive has been a rollercoaster ride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I should close by saying that we are currently recruiting for a few roles, and have a number of others coming in the not too distant future. If you’d like to join our team then get in touch, we’re always interested to hear from amazing people.