Saying Goodbye To Branded Holdings

It’s with sadness  that it is time to say goodbye to Branded Holdings. The past year and a half have really been a game changer for me and my family. We have enjoyed living in Florida and I have really loved working with the great team at Branded Holdings. The team was able to accomplish so much this year but with the market having one of its hardest hit years, I was laid off.

I am grateful for the time I was able to spend at Branded Holdings and all that I was able to do and learn. I had the opportunity to do many things including

  • outsource projects
  • hire a team of developers
  • manage multi-million dollar websites
  • utilize the bootstrap framework and scss
  • become Google Analytics certified
  • A/B test to help increase revenue per visitor
  • learn MODX
  • direct web development projects

Adventure is out there!

I am now looking for a team to work with in the Puyallup, Tacoma, or Seattle area. I also have several business ideas that I would like to get started on along with some freelance work that I may pick up. If you know of a team looking for a web developer or you have web development work that you need done, let’s get in touch. You can find links to my linkedin profile and other online profiles at michaelgrace.org

New Job as Director of Front-end Web Development

I am very excited to announce that I will be headed with my family to Tampa Florida to be the Director of Front-end Development for Branded Holdings, a Selling Source company. I am very much looking forward to the challenges and responsibilities that this new job will present. Along with the excitement of starting a new job, Cassie and I are excited to experience life in the southeast, enjoy some warm sandy beaches, try some new food, and have a baby!

My experience at WCG over the past year has been great. WCG is full of incredibly smart and talented people that have been a blast to work with. I am sad to leave many of the friendships that have been forged over the many projects and clients we have worked with.

Great leaders at WCG I’ve had the chance to work with or get to know:

  • Jim Weiss - Founder of WCG and an incredible leader and hard worker with a great vision
  • Bob Pearson - President W2O Group that works out of the Austin office when he isn’t traveling and author of Pre-Commerce
  • Aaron Strout - Head of location based marketing at WCG, fun guy to work with, and usually rockin’ a great hairdo : )
  • Greg Matthews - Health revolutionary doing some really interesting work with medical and doctor related social media data
  • Spike Jones - Author of Brains on Fire and if he is on your team, you know you are going to have fun
The people that I have had a chance to work with in the trenches are amazing. Extremely talented people who know how to get stuff done. We’ve been able to do  fulfilling work for lots of interesting clients both large and small. I’ve personally had the chance to participate on various projects for Michaels, Warner Brothers, Hershey’s, Pfizer, Apnicure, ViroPharma, Maquet, Sanofi, and more. It’s been a very busy year working, learning, and growing. It’s been challenging and educational to work on various internal projects along with efforts to promote the Use of Yammer, Fitbit, and other tools. Many have come to know me as the Yammer king…

While at WCG I have been able to grow in new areas and strengthen existing skills in project management, analytics, web development, big data, communication, client management, project planning, web development, and social media. I will be forever grateful for my time at WCG. A big thanks goes out to my wife for always supporting and believing in me, and to God for being patient with me, making me a better man, and being a constant guide in my life.

 

Standing Desk Impressions – First Week

Some of you may have seen a photo or know that I have been trying out standing at my desk recently. Here are some of my thoughts after a week.

Findings:

  • Love how it has improved my posture. Feels great for my back and my shoulders.
  • I don’t slouch like I did in a chair. No more resting my elbow on the chair or my desk.
  • Can’t get as sleepy as I could sitting in a chair.
  • Feels like I have better blood flow and generally feel more active.
  • Legs and feet get sore after a while.
  • Would be really great to have a tall stool to rest my legs and feet throughout the day.
  • I’ve heard that a padded mat will help some with the feet hurting.
  • I find myself wanting to continue to stand at my desk even when my feet and legs are tired.
  • Many people within WCG and outside WCG on my social networks have either asked questions or shared their love for standing at their desk.

Insights:

  • Based on reactions and questions, I think there is a lot of interest both internally to WCG and outside of WCG for working at a desk while standing.
  • I believe that standing at my desk has made me somewhat more productive in my work day because I don’t get as sleepy and I feel more active throughout the day.
  • I also believe that I continue to want to stand at my desk because of how good my posture feels standing at my desk versus sitting.
  • Working at a desk may not be feasible for everyone since it does put a fair amount of stress on the feet and legs. Some may be able to stand for longer periods at a time than others. I think the key for some will be to have a tall stool so they can gradually work up to standing and working for long periods of time.

The next step for me is to get a tall stool to be able to rest my feet and legs throughout the day as they get tired. I may also want to look into a standing pad to reduce the stress on my feet. Standing has been worth the effort and I recommend it to anyone looking to improve their posture and their general health while at work.   Update 02/10/2012 I upgraded my setup to something a bit more sophisticated but still makeshift : )

Mike Grace Is Hired!

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking for work and available for hire. Today I am excited to announce that I am hired!

I now get to work for WCG and will be working out of their Austin Texas office on 6th street.

My wife and I are very excited to be in Austin, experience the culture, and bask in the warmth of the sun. We are especially excited for the warm winters that we are going to have here ;) I am excited to be part of a winning team, doing amazing things, and making a difference in the lives of others.

You can expect to continue to see me blog here and possibly on WCG’s blog as well. You can connect with me and stay up on the latest on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ where I like to share what I learn and get to know other awesome people.

A huge thank you to family, real life friends, and online friends who reached out and responded to my announcement of looking for work. It always amazes me how supportive and helpful everyone is. The response was amazing and I had lots of good options to choose from. Thank you!

Photos are from the Utah 2011 Tour de Donut ride I did recently. Last photo was taken with the famous “Fat Cyclist” (left) that is making a difference doing what he loves to raise money to fund cancer research and help others with cancer, and my good friend Sam Curren (right).

– SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! –

If you haven’t checked out my latest Kynetx apps, you should because they are HOT!   The first one filters out foul language and hides animated gifs on G+. The second makes browsing craigslist much easier, faster, and more enjoyable.