So I’ve decided to take an interesting next step in my immersion into the world of web development (which I began last fall). In partnership with General Assembly, I’ve become a web dev apprentice for the next couple months at an NYC startup called Sailthru.
Sailthru helps businesses and brands engage with “smart data” to deliver custom, real-time experiences to millions of users. They seem to have carved out a decent niche with publishers and some solid players in the ecommerce space. I’ll mainly be focused on front-end development but I may also get a chance to dig into some backend and learn a little PHP. Overall, I feel like it’s a good next step that allows me to keep on learning and practicing, while also connecting with an interesting and growing NYC startup (and making a little cash too).
To keep tabs on my experience, I’m going to try to blog about it each week on this site. I’m just starting, so I don’t have much to report yet, but I thought it’d be helpful to set some key goals and objectives for my time there. I’ll be sure to revisit these along the way, but here’s what I’ve got so far, including some the WHAT and the HOW for each goal, along with some examples:
WHAT: Master HTML email creation from top to bottom
–learn how to design/style via tables/rows
–learn how to incorporate personalized data
–learn limits of CSS and CSS3 as used in html emails
–build a number pr presentable templates for portfolio by May
HOW: This will naturally be a part of my day-to-day work at Sailthru. I’d like to be fluent with basic template-building process by end of 1st month.
WHAT: Find one decent-sized NEED at Sailthru and improve upon it
–NEED: might observe that their user-facing documentation needs improvement
–DO: provide major edit to all (or at least one key section) of documentation
HOW: This is TBD, since it will completely depend on their client needs and critical issues. But the point is to have some measurable impact on their business.
WHAT: Keep my eye on the ball for my longer-term job search
–keep applying, interviewing, networking, and building up my “story”
–continue expanding on my Product Manager skill set (wireframes, user stories, UX, Omnigraffle, etc..)
–daily emails, job searches, networking emails (or weekly events)
–month 1 – pick two key PM projects to complete (wireframe of site, user stories for certain app, etc…)
WHAT: Learn basic PHP
–Sailthru programs in PHP, so I’d like to understand the basics of this programming language as compared to Ruby
This is TBD, as it will really depend on Sailthru project needs and availability of Engineers to help teach me basics.
WHAT: Finish one of my side projects
–I’d like to further improve one of my ongoing side projects. Best Ever Live Version and Gigmarklet are prime targets.
–Of course, I may decide to build something entirely new, since I’ve got a few ideas in the hopper.
HOW: This one will be hardest to track and stay on top of, since it will really depend on the amount of free time I have outside my day-to-day gig. For now, I’m going to simply set a deadline for choosing the project to work on…I’ll do that by the end of March.