Alleyversary: Year One at Alley Interactive

The alarms on my phone sounded, I set 11 every night. About 2 hours later, they continued. Upon finally waking, I groggily shuffled to my office, where my computer was dead. The night before, I placed my headphones down on the desk, which had disconnected the power cord from its home nestled against the side of my Macbook.

Plug in. Boot up. Log on. 9+ new Slack notifications.

That’s not usually a good thing. Uh oh, my heart was in my throat. What went wrong? Is a site down? Did I miss a meeting? Our calendar integration with Slack notified the team that today is my one year anniversary at Alley Interactive. All of the messages were from teammates wishing me a Happy Alleyversary, with many emoticons included.

That’s pretty cool! I didn’t realize it had been a year already; these 12 months have been quite eventful and exciting. I’ve been able to speak at multiple WordCamps and Meetups around the country, attend great conferences like LoopConf in Vegas and WCUS in Philly. More importantly, I got to meet so many fantastic people this year in those cities, a few of whom have now joined Alley and I get to annoy them on Slack every day! Here at home, it was a positively unique experience getting to be an organizer at WCNYC. First and second trips to Europe happened when traveling to Brussels to work on the launch of POLITICO Europe, and then the launch of their Pro site months later. Participating on projects like that, as well as The New York Post, Decider, Digiday and others have been a great way of getting to work and grow with other team members and learn from the amazing skill sets, knowledge and perspectives they bring to the table.

Work-life balance has always been something I neglected. Alley, and my wife, helped me make that a priority. It’s eye opening to be in an environment where those around me care as much about me, and in fact at times, more so than I did myself. Work-life balance and living a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process, and it’s been fun too, I even gave a talk about it at WordCamp Saratoga (slides), I’ll have a post up on that shortly.

Everything is a process really, right? Careers, life, happiness, learning new technologies, building the next big project. As with anything, if we’re not moving forward or continuously growing, we stagnate and atrophy. That’s a lot of why I’m happy to be where I am, where I’ll be pushed, where there are opportunities to grow and where everyone’s incentives are aligned. Cheers to a year at Alley, and hopefully many more!