Christmas at Evilnut Technology
Twas the week before Christmas, and here at Evilnut Tech,
Everyone was a typing, and giving a heck.
All the developers were drinking coffee by the mug,
In hopes that their code would run without bugs.
It’s my last day at Evilnut Technology for the year. When I come back from visiting family in small-town Ontario, it will be 2017, a new start for the world, Vancouver, and our quirky little Tech company.
There’s no time like Christmas for connecting with loved ones— getting in touch with what really matters. For us here at Evilnut Tech, Christmas is an opportunity to reflect on what’s been a truly wild year. 2016 saw Evilnut Technology grow from just four core employees to over twenty. We found ourselves a new headquarters and added a whole stocking-full of brain power. Best of all, we built some great websites, including a website for Vancouver Coastal Health and Harrison Hot Springs. In the midst of all this rocketing growth, it’s important that we take a deep breathe, sip some holiday eggnog, and reflect on where we’ve been and just where we think we’re going.
So on this frosty December morning, I filled my mug with something steamy and I sat down with some of our team to reflect on this past year and to find out where they think Evilnut Technology is headed in 2017.
Judith Liu graduated from Graphic Design at the Vancouver Art Institute and recently joined Evilnut Technology
What’s been your favourite project of 2016?
“Definitely creating our brochure. I love the challenge of taking all that we do and putting it on one document—making it fit. And I like working with paper and combining text and images.”
What’s it like to work at Evilnut?
“Evilnut is young, which means that there is a lot to do. And it’s never boring. We’re really growing together and taking on bigger and bigger challenges all the time.”
And how are those bigger challenges going?
“We’re up to it. Because we’re not afraid to learn from each other.”
What’s next for Evilnut?
“In January, I’d like us to think about a re-branding strategy, including our website and maybe even changing the logo. It’s a little bit too evil at the moment. And then we were talking about a new brand for the marketing wing of the company as well. So I’d be excited to work on that.”
Any Holiday Plans?
“New York! Broadway, I’m very excited!”
Barry Yu is Evilnut’s Special Project Manager
What Special Project are you currently working on?
“We’re partnering with Cornerstone College to set-up an international teaching and internship program. We’re looking to mentor promising young developers and then offer them paid-internships here at Evilnut. This gives them the chance to grow their skills, get a diploma from Cornerstone, and to work with experienced project managers. And, of course, it gives Evilnut Technology the chance to discover new talent, and to offer them full-time employment. The project is called IO Academy.”
What was the most exciting part of 2016?
“All these great new employees brought on. We’ve got a great new marketing team. I think they’re going to really help Evilnut reach new customers. Get the word out there. Our company is new, but we’re very talented.”
What’s Barry looking forward to in 2017?
“The first IO Academy students will be arriving in May of 2017. So that’s what I’m focused on. It is so important to build this bridge between Colleges and employers, and I really want Evilnut to be at the forefront of that.”
What’s the most exciting part of working in tech?
“It’s exciting, because the possibilities are endless. You have to keep learning, keep meeting new people, and stay open to new ideas. And tech is at the front of everything now, it’s the next thing in everything.”
Leon Zhu and Tony Huang are SFU Computer Science graduates and the Project Managers here at Evilnut Technology
What did 2016 mean for you?
T: Growth! Four people to Twenty! It’s been crazy.
L: Hustle. I came in on the hustle and it’s still all about hustle.
How’s the new office?
T: More elbow room. We needed some personal space.
What’s been the most exciting project of 2016?
T: Vancouver Coastal Health. Great to work on a government site, and the focus is different from other sites.
L: Me and Barry went to Harrison Hot Spring. And once we’re done with their website we’re hoping we get some company deals at the hot springs.
What’s been the biggest challenge of the past year?
L: Getting everyone to think about prioritizing. There is endless work to be done, and we need to be smart about our work-flow. That’s what I continue to teach my team.
What is Evilnut’s greatest strength?
T: The strength of a company is always in its people. If we can continue to keep everyone engaged and driven, then our strength will continue to grow.
L: Our company is still very flexible. Which means we can adapt quickly to new opportunity.
T: Yeah, we do projects for a huge variaty of different companies and we get to see what models really work. So if we keep learning from our clients, and pay attention to the examples of other tech companies, we’ll be able to chart our own direction successfully.
What are you most excited for in 2017?
T: We’re going to develop our own product. We’ve done a lot of successful contract work, but I’m really excited to work on something of our own. We’ve got a couple cool ideas, so we’re exploring viability.
L: We’ve got big hopes. But it’s always better to start small, find a niche, and grow from there.
So Leon what are you most excited for in 2017?
T: You mean besides his girlfriend coming from China…
L: Haha, well yes, but besides that, I’d say our special project.
Taking any time off for Christmas?
T: Well we’ll be working on our special projects and…we don’t really get much rest.
L: Skiing will happen though. Definitely.
T: It’s OK, don’t feel too bad. We’re used to it. We did 25-days without a break.
L: You kind of enjoy it. Despite the pain. But it’s mixed.
T: Yeah, I mean building stuff, it’s what we love to do.
Final thoughts: what’s the trajectory of Evilnut?
T: The next year is going to be crucial. I’ll say that. We need to keep educating our team. And I’m going to Toronto to get our team rolling. So Leon will have to manage on his own for a couple months.
L: We’ve been working pretty hard. Throwing our all into this. I imagine the same thing, maybe even more hustle next year. Efficiency is going to be important. But the potential is definitely there.
Evilnut Technology hums with creative possibility. There isn’t a whiteboard or window in the entire office that isn’t covered in code, business models, or marketing strategy: arrows connect model-to-model and model-to-market. CEO Scott Meng’s office is wall-to-wall with Chinese and English, a complex flow of numbers and code and schema. In the same week, we might work on a winery’s website, an app company’s branding strategy, and look at the viability of an app idea. Every single idea might be the next great thing, or simply a vision, a sugar-plum fairy, dancing just out of reach. It takes skill to tell what sleigh will fly.
It’s been a crazy year for Evilnut Technology, we’ve grown faster than Santa’s waistline and worked harder than his elves. Time now to kick back with friends, family, and some holiday punch, so that we can step into 2017 with confidence. Here’s hoping that Toni and Leon and the rest of our hardworking developers get to power down their computers for a day or two and go play in the snow. Their code will be waiting for them, ready to become that next great thing—perhaps a driver-less sleigh that can seamlessly deliver packages all around the world?
From us here at Evilnut Technology, happy holidays!