Building Aidia

Building Aidia

May 30, 2022

Building this software agency has been one of the most rewarding and difficult things I've ever done. Starting today, March 8th, I'll document high level insights, challenges, and humorous things that happen through this journey.

2022-05-30

It's been a minute since our last update. Here's a fast overview of the last month:

  1. We've been able to go through and re-evaluate technologies in the industry, which means we will be making a few changes to our initial project setups. We will be taking advantage of some new libraries which enable faster deployments and more performant sites.
  2. We took on our first art project, titled "was this the face". Excited to share the details of this one! We are completing the final polishes now.
  3. The HIPPA compliant document sharing software, Relay, is released! Check it out at relay-app.io! This project has been a blast, incorporating end to end encryption with a serverless backend.
  4. We have a few other new projects which we are excited for too!

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Great code describes intent. Okay code describes implementation. Bad code doesn't describe anything.
Challenges
Working on analyzing our methods to eliminate as much friction as possible.
Humor
I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.
2022-04-18

Work, work, and more work.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Copy / paste is a sign that something could be automated and made more efficient.
Challenges
Maxed out hours meant I needed to work on Saturday when a previous client reached out. Looking forward for things to calm down a little.
Humor
Give a man a program, frustrate him for a day. Teach a man to program, frustrate him for a lifetime.
2022-04-18

Work, work, and more work.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Copy / paste is a sign that something could be automated and made more efficient.
Challenges
Maxed out hours meant I needed to work on Saturday when a previous client reached out. Looking forward for things to calm down a little.
Humor
Give a man a program, frustrate him for a day. Teach a man to program, frustrate him for a lifetime.
2022-04-12

This week marked the start of 3 different projects. And, we had some old clients reach out to us for some additions to their custom software. So, that's why this is a really short update haha. Gotta get back to developing some amazing projects.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
In programming and in business, complexity is easy to implement but hard to maintain. Simplicity is hard to implement but easy to maintain. Considering that the life of software and business extends well past implementation, where should the effort go?
Challenges
Two organizations we are working with love acronyms. 2M2H.
Humor
How can you tell if someone is an entreprenur? Don't worry. They'll tell you.
2022-04-05

We've been able to make significant progress with a lot of our projects which has been exciting. Also, we made the decision to bring on some more help by the end of the month. Seeing quality candidates come our way is always a blast!

With all of the busy-ness of the week, I haven't been able to spend much time on social media which is definitely showing in terms of engagement numbers... oh well haha. To date, our work has 99% come from word of mouth, and our clients continue to refer us. It's honestly an amazing place to be.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Opportunities can be as stressful as challenges, if not more so because they are optional.
Challenges
Drought and floods... I thought we were in a flood a few weeks ago, but our work has continued to grow. Being able to scale effectively while maintaining our high levels of quality is becoming a larger challenge, but is also really fun to see.
Humor
What did 0 say to 1? You're a bit too much...
2022-03-29

Few noteworthy things:

First, I had initial discussions with a new intern. He reached out to me directly and asked if I had any internship opportunities which impressed me. Though he is a "boboc" in the programming world, I spent an afternoon with him going over what he knew, what he wanted to learn, and created a plan with him to learn it. If I didn't melt his head too much, he will be joining the team shortly as an intern.

Second, one of my potential clients reached out after a few months of radio silence. We caught up, and we may move forward with her project, pending a few last items that need to be confirmed. We discussed what to do if someone has already launched your "big idea", how to handle business partners, and the incredible opportunity that comes from nicheing your product down. Afterwards, I seriously considered pivoting to become a business consultant haha.

Third, we are making incredible progress with all of the software projects we are currently working on. Knowing I can count on my team to deliver quality software is seriously amazing. Our experiments with increasing the amount of decision making power each individual team member has is leading to increased development velocity and development fun.

Lastly, Kollin, one of our dev team members, got engaged! I know, not business related, but knowing my teammates have the ability to socialize, have fun, and make memories out of work is how I know the work is good work.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
For better or for worse, you get what you measure.
Challenges
Teach quickly without overwhelming. I believe the answer comes down to having a clear end goal, guided implementation of learning, and hooking into foundational knowledge. Learning what kind of foundation a person has quickly is a trick in of itself however.
Humor
Why did the programmer drown? His shampoo bottle said: Lather; rinse; repeat;
2022-03-22

A few interesting things happened this week. I had the opportunity to travel to meet with one of my clients in person. The organization wanted to be able to print things remotely, so we built a custom print server. And it worked! We need to make a few modifications to it to fully support their use cases, but it was pretty exciting.

I also was able to meet with fellow agency owners over some lunch. It was great to hear their stories of getting started, challenges, insights, and the funny things that happen in the business.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Scaling at all costs can cost you everything. Slow and steady may not be sexy, but it allows you the time to stay on top of everything.
Challenges
The custom print server worked wonderfully, except for a specific kind of printer. Apparently, Datamax thought it was a fantastic idea to create their own programming language, DPL (Datamax Programming Language). So... time to learn another esoteric language haha.
Humor
How many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb? None. That's a hardware problem.
2022-03-14

We had a few exciting things happen this week!

First, we officially kicked off a new project. This is our first working in tandem with a few other companies, so I'm sure it will be a learning experience. It's always fascinating seeing how other companies run, what they place emphases on, and the stacks that they are familiar with.

Second, we finally made contact with the designer I mentioned as last week's challenge. He is committed to wrapping up the designs, so hopefully we can wrap the project quickly up once those come through.

Third, I was able to meet with another founder I've had the opportunity of mentoring. He's made incredible progress with his project, and it's looking like he will be able to release it soon.

Fourth, I finally added some updates to this website! I fixed the blog posts to actually go under /blog, added in some SEO cruft like automatic sitemap creation and cannonical tags, and a few other performance related boosts. These changes have further increased our Lighthouse score to be 98 Performance, 83 Accessibility, 100 Best Practices, and 100 SEO.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Assumptions and hidden expectations cause a lot of contention. Why do we assume the worst about the strangers around us? Why do we expect the unstated from those we know well? Truth is, most people are really just trying to do the best they can given their circumstances.
Challenges
There simply isn't enough time in a day to do everything. So, sadly, the things that I need to get done, get done, and the things I want to get done, don't. Short term, I think that's acceptable. Long term, I think it can be pretty demoralizing.
Humor
The best part about booleans is even if you're wrong, it's only by a bit.
2022-03-08

This is the very first update! I wish I could go back and back-fill everything that has happened in the last 5 years. And maybe I'll add in flashbacks in later updates, but for today, we will just cover the fast overview of Aidia.

Five years ago, I was eating lunch with my step-dad. He told me about some of the problems he was dealing with at work (same problems he'd been telling me about for a month), when I finally said, "Ya know, I could build something that would fix that".

So, I built it. And it was a rush! We showed it to his team, and they loved it. That team went on to recommend me to a few other people, who recommended me to others, and so on until here we are today.

So, without further adieu, let's talk about this week:


Insights
Team velocity is a measure of more than just speed. It's a measure of communication, impact, emotional and physical health, trust, and satisfaction. Improving your team in one of the categories will cause the velocity of the team to increase.
Challenges
We are at capacity with work, but we are nearing the end of a few projects. So, do we ride out the bump in work, or bring someone on? The other big challenge of the week is working with an external designer for one of the projects. I think he might be ghosting me haha.
Humor
An SEO expert walked into a bar, pub, whiskey, beer, wine, barley, hops, bottle...

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