Life at Viget: Then & Now!

Cindy Caldwell, Vice President of Operations

Article Category: #News & Culture

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As we wrap up another year at Viget, I’m growing nostalgic and trying to remember all the things (large and small) that distinguish what Viget was like circa 2000 versus what Viget is like today. Although many of our employees have been here for a number of years, I’ve found that people are curious about “the old days” -- in addition to miscellaneous Viget trivia.

Then Now
Free Lunch Fridays happened around a single table. I was the only woman. A classic lunch debate was: Which would you rather fight -- a bear in the woods or a shark in the water? Free Lunch Fridays these days are a production challenge:  3 offices & 3 remote people all connected virtually via GoToMeeting. 24 lunch tables; 21 women. Lunch debates about accessibility, active listening, caffeine, and much more.
Our technology set-ups were all Dell desktops and POTS phone lines. We’ve been an all-Apple shop for awhile now. We all have laptops and 27” Cinema Displays. And, we converted to VoIP about 8 years ago. Depending on the day, we love it or hate it.
Stocking the fridge and pantry amounted to loading up on beef jerky, Mountain Dew, Barq’s, and Folger’s coffee. We are much more focused on healthy snacking these days. We stock fresh fruit each week, as well as healthy cereals and milk. Snacks include almonds, granola bars, and pretzels. (Having an Office Manager who is a bona fide nutritionist is a plus.) Flavored seltzer water -- and plain water -- are the predominant beverages, augmented by a fancy coffee pod system.
Supplies were acquired via treks to Giant, Staples, and Costco. Most supplies for all 3 offices are purchased by our office manager in Virginia and revolve heavily on scheduled bulk shipments via Amazon.
We built most of our custom software solutions on the LAMP technology stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). Today, most of our custom software work is in Ruby on Rails.
We outfitted our offices for the first several years primarily with folding tables. We upgraded to IKEA furniture and, as our work preferences changed, have modified our IKEA desks via circular saws and other means to cut off extensions and convert some to standing desks.
Regularly, we had 3-4 large dogs in the office every day. I remember the smell all too well. With nicer office space came “no pet” clauses in leases. Occasionally, David’s pet parrot, Tad, makes an appearance in Durham, however. And, Eli’s small lapdog, Bodhi, appears in the Boulder office on occasion.
Our Third Thursday team activities occurred every month, but were more low-key events such as volleyball, putt-putt golf, or a field day we christened “Vigolympics.” We moved our team events to a quarterly cycle (re-naming them Third Third Thursdays) and raised the bar a bit. Our events these days include paddleboarding, snow tubing, and trampolining.
Our after-hours gatherings often involved our pub darts league and beer pong. These days, we’re a bit classier:  wine & cheese gatherings and visits to craft breweries.
In the beginning, we all did what we could and wore multiple hats. For example, Brian was our visual designer, as well as Cold Fusion developer (in addition to CEO and sales guy). Andy was a PHP developer and IT guy (in addition to President and money man). While Brian and Andy are still involved, even at the project level on some accounts, neither one codes nor designs web sites for Viget these days. Andy is still our IT guy, though!

As I’ve noted before, core elements at Viget never change. We hire great people. We work with inspiring clients. And, we continue to challenge ourselves to learn new technologies and to experiment with new ideas when not working on client projects. Stay tuned as we continue to evolve and grow this coming year.

Cindy Caldwell

Cindy helped start Viget and now serves as our Vice President of Operations. She remains fascinated and challenged by an industry that never stops evolving.

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