• Apr 28, 2018
After securing a position at Giant Swarm, I had about 2+ months before I started, which is unnerving because there are so many things to learn and do. But where even to begin? A deep breath and just follow the directions of your new colleagues.
See, the equipment used in a remote-first job starts with the computer that you need. Not just the one you want but what you really need. And in my instance, just enough to run my software like Hubspot, Moz, Adwords, Social, Hotjar, GA, etc. The full marketing stack. But after that basic necessity, you start to notice that a lot of meetings are done online. In fact all meetings are done online, which means you also need to get a good headset or at least one you’ll be ready to wear almost all day long. We’re not just listening to Spotify and Podcasts on those things, that’s meeting gear. So once all set up, equipment running and software installed, this is where the learning curve begins.
Website Content Management
I use CMS’ like WordPress, HubSpot, Umbraco, DNN, Drupal, Joomla. A lot of them. What’s our website built in? GitHub. I’ve heard of it but have never needed to use it. Setting up Issues (not something that’s a problem, it’s what they call them), PR’s (Nope, not Press Release), Forking (still don’t know) and the like, this one software is dev-centric and adds quite a learning curve. So a CMS is now replaced with a combination of VS Code and GitHub desktop. Please keep in mind GitHub is not only a CMS, not even close. It’s where communication, organization, and implementation of development takes place.
No Microsoft Word or Powerpoint? What about Excel - it’s all cloud based these days, doesn’t that count as something I can use? No, not when there’s Google Docs, Slides and Sheets. This was an easy one to let go. I had used them in the past but never so collaboratively. Jumping on and making real-time changes with your co-authors and brainstorming through messages that get resolved within hours - sold. But it’s not like that in mid-sized to large organizations, it’s going to be .docx and .pdf sent through email. Not here.
I’ve worked with devs and IT professionals before. And they are very secure with passwords whereas a marketers password is either “1-2-3-4-5-6” (the six is for extra security.) or “password”, either is sufficient. If we have to change it, then of course it’s “password1”. And in Fortune 500 companies, security is the last thing on their minds, it’s all wide-open for anyone, even those who don’t work there anymore sometimes still have access to information and databases, which I always thought was weird. At-any-rate, the security in tech startups is Fort Knox grade. So difficult sometimes that to get a password, you have to download three apps. just to get to the place where the passwords are secure. I mean, post-its are secure, you can fold them in half, crumble them up, burn them, put another post it on it, etc. So security has been a learning curve but in a very positive way.
When marketers want to get something done, we pick up the phone or we send emails for communication. And sometimes, when it’s urgent, we’ll make the call and then send a follow up email. In a remote-first, tech startup, email is almost completely replaced by #Slack and the aforementioned GitHub. And the picking up of a telephone is replaced with Google Meets. So now I have three more channels to reach out in. In fact email and the phone are now my last two forms of communication, I just realized that just now. Damn. The very positive thing about using these types of communication is that it’s built for quick response and collaboration, so it’s a step in the right direction.
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