Anniversary Graphic designed by Alecia Frederick. Can you find the hidden Easter eggs? Let us know in the comments if you find one and/or know it’s meaning!

Did you hear? Elevator Up turned 15 today! To help celebrate this milestone we wanted to share a little about where we came from and where we are going.

Our Ventures

You may know Elevator Up as just a digital agency, but we’ve also launched several ventures in our 15-year history, including The Factory, coLearning, and Alignment Mapping.

Building Something Useful

What do we need to build, and why?

These are the fundamental questions we try to answer by gathering, validating, and updating the requirements of a project. I trust the importance of requirements is self-evident. Its primary importance is corroborated by the formidable Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (a.k.a. the SWEBOK, a.k.a. ISO/IEC TR 19759:2015), a multi-decade joint effort of the ISO and IEEE, which starts with a treatment of software requirements.

Example: User Stories The ubiquitous form of the user story is one attempt to answer these questions by seeking to tie each…

We recently welcomed Amber Wustman to the team as our Studio Manager! Amber brings great energy to the team and we’re very excited for her to start her new journey here with us. Continue reading to learn more about her!

Where are you from?
Byron Center, MI!

What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love the chance to be creative in different ways. Everything from crafting financial spreadsheets, 📊 inputting formulas and analyzing data to prepping the office for client visits or employee celebrations and anything in between. No two days are the same.

Favorite hangout outside of…

Remote work is definitely a controversial topic in the tech world. Some organizations fully embrace it and don’t even have a physical office. They believe that allowing people to live and work where they choose will motivate them to do their best work. Other organizations avoid it at all costs, worrying it will lead to wasted time and degraded work. Both of these things can certainly be true, but a more balanced and flexible approach is a better fit for most organizations. …

In case you missed it, over the last few weeks we have been sharing interviews with our team on our social channels because we were curious about how our employees got into their profession. Everyone has their own story and journey on how they go to where they are today, and we are excited to share a little glimpse of their adventures with you. Follow along to hear from our Designers, Developers and Product Managers.

We recently welcomed Alecia Frederick to the team as a Front-end Developer! With her dueling knowledge in both development and user experience design, we know she’ll be a great asset to the team. Read on to learn more about her!

Where are you from?
Michigan born and raised. My family moved all over when I was growing up but I spent most of my childhood in Saginaw. I also lived in Chicago for about 9 years so it feels like my second home.

Most business applications can be thought of as routines that store, retrieve, and manipulate data. Without data, there’s not much value in the application. It can be easy to assume that an application will know how to deal with the data — that information will magically disappear and reappear in a useful form when you need it.

It’s not magic, it’s strategy. Choosing the best way to store different types of data from the beginning is important. …

The ‘Ah-Hah’

Each year, Elevator Up plans an exceptional holiday party for its employees including a half-day experience with food, games, and a special gift. I was given the task to pick out the special gift that the team would receive. Honored, but nervous, I accepted. A few years back, the team received custom embroidered Patagonia fleece jackets. I knew the gift I chose had to be something personal and unexpected like that gift! My mind was blank for days until, bingo! I happened to notice a lot of the team wore backpacks to work, whether commuting by bike or simply a…

Because thinking is hard
Because it’s easier than thinking, people like to implement processes or tools and then, sometimes, try to determine their purpose. The soothing siren song of the latest flow-chartable cure-all that will make everything better is just so tempting. This includes us software makers, as we are enticed by a milieu of both ideas and tools that all the cool people are apparently using at any given time. Perhaps we even peddle them ourselves.

Just how often do you plan on making sausage?

Recognizing this folly, some radical purists reflexively reject tools and ̶p̶r̶o̶c̶e̶s̶s̶e̶s̶ red tape. This…

One of the things that the company has been working through is how to best handoff projects. Project handoffs between product managers happen for a number of reasons. Whether a PM in the company leaves, takes on another client or is promoted within the company, a PM should be prepared and organized enough to be able to hand off their project to another PM with minimal effort. As a team, it is our duty to ensure artifacts and documentation is in such a state that would allow handoffs to occur successfully. The client should not feel the impact and should…

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