Lucky number 7: 10up’s seventh year

10up turns 7

In our seventh year, we built on our investment in culture and storytelling by expanding our team and depth of services, and by redoubling our investments in open source and creativity.

We welcomed more than 30 new clients to our portfolio in another record sales year. We launched new websites along with web and mobile apps for major brands across verticals as diverse as finance, healthcare, academia, high-tech, big media, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, and fitness… to name a few.

In a milestone event, we completed an acquisition of Lift UX, a boutique, Emmy-nominated agency that focused on user experience for design-driven websites powered by WordPress. Intended to strengthen our experience design expertise and resources, this investment added executive design leadership and expanded our portfolio of design stories.

A renewed approach to our All Hands Summit yielded our largest and most memorable team event to date. Held in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, our team gathered from around the world to take over a former Carmelite convent for a week of learning, sharing, building memories together, uniting around company goals, and celebrating our successes. Among the conference highlights, we held our first client panel, featuring leaders from companies like Microsoft, McClatchy, and Beasley Radio sharing insights on agency partnerships.

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Helen Hou-Sandi

Congratulations to 10up Lead Engineer Adam Silverstein, recently made a WordPress core committer!

With complete access to the WordPress code repository, core committer status is not given out lightly. Through his work on the Revisions UI for WordPress 3.6, leading the recent WP API Backbone client development and many more core JavaScript features, his countless speaking appearances, and his mentorship during WordCamp contributor days, Adam illustrated his dedication to WordPress and the 10up values of openness and community service.

Sixth Annual All Hands Summit: photographic retrospective

atl-skyline

Back in September, team 10up gathered in Atlanta from around the globe for four days of knowledge sharing, team building, and face-to-face time. Our days were filled with inspiring, educational presentations from our peers, while the evenings let us kick back and relax with teammates whom we normally only see on our computer screen.

The event began with an in-depth keynote presented by company leadership: our own 10up State of the Union. The keynote was followed by more than a dozen sessions presented by 10uppers who contributed their time and effort to share their knowledge, lessons learned, and perspective. Topics—to name a few—explored:

  • new tools, best practices, and important concepts for engineering, user experience, and design;
  • techniques we can use to delight our clients;
  • lessons learned from projects;
  • the current and future state of content platforms and distribution;
  • ways to support more performant, effective web ads that are more profitable for publishers without sacrificing visitor engagement, and;
  • how to identify and manage impostor syndrome.

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Is 10up hiring Senior Project Managers? Yes!

As we continue to add inspiring, award-winning clients to our roster, we continue to expand the 10up team. We can’t deliver outstanding client experiences and websites without first-class project managers at the helm, so while we continue to hire across our disciplines, we’re especially focused on adding qualified Senior Project Managers.

If you want to work with some of the biggest brands on the web with industry leading talent, let’s talk. Start by downloading the Senior Project Manager job description (or read on), and visit our Careers page to learn more about working at 10up. When you’re ready to apply, send your résumé and cover letter to [email protected].

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Helen Hou-Sandi

I am honored to be stepping in for Matt Mullenweg as the WordPress 4.7 release lead, slated to go from mid-August through early December. Being a release lead for such a big and varied project is no small task, especially since it doesn’t mean I stop being a lead developer, core committer, or 10up’s Director of Platform Experience. I previously led the 4.0 release in 2014 and provided the background music for the video – I might make that a tradition, following an upcoming piano performance for my WordCamp Europe 2016 talk in Vienna (a city associated with composers like Mozart and Schoenberg).

John Ragozzine

In 2014, we instituted Rocketrip, so that 10uppers could earn points for shared savings on business travel. These points could be redeemed for rewards like gift card and donations. Earlier this year, after we decided to sunset the program, our team had a few weeks to redeem their points.

Something wonderful happened. A few of us decided to pool our points for a group charitable gift, spurring dozens of other 10uppers to donate their points to the pool. This week, we donated to Girls Who Code – whose mission is to close the gender gap in technology and engineering. We’re proud to support an organization consistent with our values, practices, and culture.

Flexibility: Flexbox support for Internet Explorer

A few weeks ago, we pushed out our newest open source project: Flexibility, a polyfill that back ports Flexbox support to Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9.

Flexibility

Flexbox is one of the most significant advances in front end website layout since the advent of CSS, empowering us to build beautifully responsive and flexible layouts using pure, clean CSS. Here’s a short explanation from a great overview prepared by CSS-Tricks:

The main idea behind the flex layout is to give the container the ability to alter its items’ width/height (and order) to best fill the available space (mostly to accommodate to all kind of display devices and screen sizes). A flex container expands items to fill available free space, or shrinks them to prevent overflow.

Unfortunately, Flexbox support wasn’t added to Internet Explorer until version 10, leaving older versions – still popular in some corners – out of the Flexbox revolution. This idea didn’t sit well with 10up’er Jonathan Neal, tasked with engineering a beautiful layout for a Fortune 50 forced to contend with supporting older versions. We decided to subsidize his time to see if we could introduce Flexbox support under less-than-ideal browser requirements. The result was Flexibility: a smooth front end experience for older browsers, without compromising our ability to use pioneering layout technology.

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Reflections on ElasticPress

With 2015 coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the ElasticPress project’s accomplishments since its inception one and a half years ago.

Today, we released ElasticPress 1.7, which completely restructures post meta storage. This enables performant post meta queries with complex comparisons against data types, such as integers, dates, and times. We also fixed some bugs.

Like many of our popular open source projects, ElasticPress was originally conceived as an internal tool designed to support some specific client needs. Since open sourcing the project, ElasticPress has garnered over 30 contributors (most of whom do not work at 10up), 16 major releases, and a thriving Github community where developers and site owners are collaborating. ElasticPress is used by major hosting companies and across hundreds of websites, some of which serve millions of pages each month. I have introduced developers to ElasticPress at speaking engagements around the world.

elastic_press

We’ve also learned our fair share of lessons since initiating the project. Here are a few that stand out.
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The First WordCamp Sacramento

WordCamp Sacramento

Sacramento, CA

Speaking Sponsoring

Rumors of a WordCamp Sacramento started in 2012, after I rebooted the WordPress Sacramento Meetup. Fast forward to 2015: there are 4 meetup organizers and northern California’s WordCamp San Francisco has been displaced by WordCamp US. The Art Institute of Sacramento volunteered its campus for an event, a professor offered himself as lead organizer, and indispensable local leaders stepped up to take an active role.

I’m proud to have played a small role in co-organizing the first WordCamp Sacramento, which takes place tomorrow, and even more proud that 10up is sponsoring the event. I’ll be joined at the event by three 10uppers who are speaking: Sacramento’s own Ben Ilfeld, who will be teaching site advertising basics, Northern California’s Vasken Hauri, who promises to improve lives with event-driven caching, and Luke Woodward, joining us from out-of-state to debut “Robots Write the Docs.”