It's Thanksgiving in the US again and we at Compose want to take some time this holiday to share what we are thankful for. It's been a year of rapid growth for the company and yet we haven't actually changed that much in how we do things. For us, it's still all about the key people in our lives, a company culture that gives us the flexibility to do the things we enjoy, the cool products we build, the great customers we get to help along the way, and the exciting opportunities around us for learning and growing.
Compose and Family
Compose is all about family. Some of us have large families and some small, but family always comes first. And this includes the extended family we make together. We may live across the globe from each other or right down the street, but we're all brothers and sisters from another mother.
Jon, our resident marketing guru, says "I'm thankful to work with a group of people who make me laugh daily on Slack chats. When you work remotely a lot (as we do) creating a culture online requires an extra effort, and this team makes that effort to connect through irreverent humor and great conversation."
One of the folks who makes us laugh daily is Wesley, support engineering wizard. He says he's "thankful for working with genuinely lovely people who are a very rare combination of brilliant and warm."
Jason, co-founder and platform engineering sage, tells us "I am thankful that our company is composed (get it?) of a bunch of people that really enjoy working with each other. The output we create is secondary to the time that we have, being a valuable experience to each of us." His brother Matt M, another of our exceptional engineers on the Compose platform, shares "I am thankful I get to learn from a group so much smarter than me at Compose," while Steve, one of our UK-ers with operations amaze-craft, relates "I am thankful for the flexibility to work on things I care about, with smart and fun people who inspire and challenge me every day, and some of whom I have convinced to enjoy gin as much as I do."
Sometimes we drink more than gin, but we won't get into that here... Coffee is also a drink of choice. "I'm thankful that I get to work with a bunch of smart, interesting, and genuinely good people, who also happen to build some really amazing stuff. Also grateful for the flexibility to work from anywhere, which means that I've been able to meet up with many of these folks in the cities they usually work from. And finally, eternally grateful for good coffee, always," adds Michele, coffee-lover and tireless customer advocate.
Katherine, ace support engineer and all around kind person, appreciates our extended family of Compose customers, as well: "I am thankful for our customers, for making me laugh and cry, and most importantly giving me the opportunity to learn new things everyday."
We have much gratitude for our actual families, too, of course — those loved ones who support and motivate us outside of work. Thom, expert marketer and swag enthusiast, expresses his gratitude on this day with "I'm thankful for the awesome people I get to work with, my wife and family and upcoming baby girl. And turkeys." We think he means eating turkeys, not that he's calling the people in his family turkeys...
Shaun, recently married and cracker-jack developer, gives thanks for the people in his life most succinctly: "Wife, kids, family and friends." That about sums it up. Chris, who is also a master developer and source of much laughter in our group, echoes that sentiment with "Family, friends, yaddy yaddy ya."
We typically enjoy much levity at Compose, but Kyle M, our top-notch support engineer in South Africa, reminds us of the truly important family moments to be grateful for: "My nephew getting out of ICU after being born prematurely."
Growing Our Family
This year we've grown our group by more than 30%. Our hiring process is pretty unconventional, but we keep adding the most amazing people so we're definitely doing something right.
Navam, who excels (ha-ha!) at producing financial reports and lets us spend money for good causes like hiring, is "thankful for a growing Compose team." He points out "We've had a good group of people join us this year."
Some of the people that have recently joined Compose expressed their thanks for Compose, for family and new opportunities.
Kellen, one of our Canadian brethren who crafts our help docs and who has been known to help anyone and everyone with anything, says "I'm thankful for good music, good headphones, and good people."
Our design team has doubled with two new partners in crime. Matt G, designer extraordinaire and developer-in-the-making, says "I am thankful for the most exciting year of my life. I got engaged, married, and had a baby girl with my best friend. I moved into a new house, got a new car, and started a new job (spoiler alert, this one). Thanks to Compose, I can now sharpen my design skills, learn how to be a front end developer, and work from home and watch my baby girl grow up. Nothing in the world beats that." Jennifer, maven of design, says "I'm thankful for the opportunity to join Compose this year! It’s truly refreshing to work with a talented group of people who love what they do and share a commitment to the company and its products."
Jonathan, Samantha and Andrew, support engineering prodigies, share what they're thankful for. Jonathan tells us "I'm thankful for the opportunity to join the Compose family! This is an amazing opportunity to work with an awesome group of people and fantastic product. Also, I'm thankful for my family and their support in this new journey!" Samantha says "I’m thankful for joining the Compose team this year and having the opportunity to learn new things every day!" and Andrew, who joins us from Japan, shares "I am thankful for becoming a part of the amazing Compose team who make coming online to work every day something to look forward to! I'm also grateful to be able to work from abroad, but I'll miss the turkey dinner."
On platform, we've added the extraordinary development talents of Mat B who says "I am thankful for all the great opportunities I have had this year and that I could join the Compose family. I get to work with a great and smart group of people, learn something new every day and avoid horrors of daily Bay Area commuting (the joys of working remotely!)."
Having Time For Ourselves
And, because we spend so much time with our families, with each other (even though we're remote), and with our customers, we also take care to set aside some time for ourselves. We have a deep appreciation for "me time".
Kurt, co-founder and CEO of Compose, who has been running the IBM integration gauntlet since the acquisition of Compose earlier this year, reminds us that it can boil down to something as simple as not having meetings: "I'm thankful for days without meetings. And that we're able to maintain a minimal meeting habit within the walls of IBM," while Kyle M. from South Africa finds gratitude in "being able to work from any place in the world with an internet connection."
Many of us spend time outdoors each week. Chris, who was thankful for family above, is also thankful for "bicycles and trails". We have a lot of people who are thankful to get to go running, hiking, and snowboarding, among other outdoor activities. There are also the sports fans among us, who are thankful for the distractions of hockey, soccer, football and others.
And then we have the indoor distractions we appreciate — time with technology and television. DJ, in the UK, whose wisdom is shared several times a week in the Compose blog, celebrates with us in his own way: "I'm thankful I have a quiet day to settle down with a warm dataset, a cuddly database and do some Compose magic with it. So, I'm also thankful for Compose magic and the people who make it. Oh, and MST3K Turkey Day."
I'm thankful for being able to work from home and enjoy that particular solitude, but also for having such incredible people to work with that keep solitude from turning into isolation. People at Compose share their opinions unrestrainedly (pop tarts or toaster strudel? War!), help each other out without needing any benefit for themselves, have a personal commitment to our products and company, care about each others' well being, and best of all, make working fun! I have never worked with such a great group of people before and that's the truth.
Here's wishing you a joyful holiday with your family (related or not) and also the blessing of time to yourself amongst the chaos. Happy Thanksgiving!