Thank You Sparkbox

For just over two years, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Sparkbox team where I was able to serve great clients and help our teams deliver exceptional work. This January, I’ll be taking a new position closer to my new home in West Michigan, but I wanted to mark the end of my time there with some thoughts. I’ve learned so much being a member of this team – both professionally and personally.

CodePen Radio

Katie, Jeremy and I on CodePen Radio talking about the redesign

Biggest Lessons Learned from Sparkbox

Adaptive Thinking

Working with the Sparkbox team challenged my thinking around flexibility in web projects. For those who heard Rob Harr’s talk at the 2015 Digital PM Summit, you know that Sparkbox has very iterative, agile thinking when it comes to managing web projects. Business needs change, new information comes to light and a myriad of other factors can happen that affect the initial plans for a website project. Being able to adapt, accommodate and guide projects through frequent changes really stretched my thinking around software delivery. Those that know me know that I am already a pretty naturally flexible and adaptive person, but Sparkbox helped me move further away from the “waterfall-only” mindset and structure flexible projects that adapt to changing information.

Flexible Schedules & A Family-Friendly Environment

Teaching Girl Scouts Workshop while pregnant

Teaching a web design workshop for Girl Scouts (6 months pregnant!)

Families come first at Sparkbox and they have built an incredibly accommodating, family-friendly culture. As a working parent of two small children, this benefit became invaluable to me and was a tremendous stress relief. Not only was this a benefit to me as an employee, but it taught me first-hand how a modern workplace can structure in a flexible way and promote inclusion by allowing for multiple types of working situations.

Sparkbox promotes flexible working hours and creative working solutions in a way to help support employees to work their best based on their individual situation. Automatic remote meeting setup is built into any meeting invite should anyone need or want to work remotely on a given day. They supported me in experimenting with various part-time schedules which allowed me to continue to grow in my career while still having ample time bonding and raising young kids. A project management role is not typically associated with reduced working hours, so we had an open feedback loop to continually improve how to best structure this arrangement for both the teams and clients.

Going Beyond the Project: Caring Deeply About the Web

sparkbox-team

Sparkbox cares deeply not only about their projects, but also the quality of the web as a whole. The company mission is a “web built right“, which they live out through their culture, code quality processes and educational events. As a project manager, sometimes these details can be bumped down my priority radar in the craziness of keeping on top of deadlines and navigating relationships. But, being a part of this team reminded me of the importance of progressive enhancement, accessibility, code quality (and more) as well as the vital value and sustainability behind these principles of a better web.

Until Next Time

I will miss this team but am looking forward to seeing their continued great work and positive impact the web industry .

My remote sendoff party :)

My remote sendoff party 🙂

Leave a Comment