Behind the Mug: Jeffrey Goldberg

We’re starting a new feature here on the Agile blog to tell you a little more about some of the awesome people who make up the 1Password team.  We’ve got a diverse cast from across North America and Europe, and we think they’re all pretty neat.

Starting off this series with a bang is our security guru, Jeffrey Goldberg.

Chief Defender Against the Dark Arts

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Jeffrey Goldberg lives in Plano, Texas. He moved there with his family from Southern California in 2005. When asked why, he would answer that he moved there for the weather. In this way, Jeffrey alerted his new neighbors that he was a serious contender for the role of village idiot. A title he has since earned and defended.

The real reason for the move, of course, is that he is a global stalker: He has been following his wife (an academic) around the planet since 1988. That includes living Hungary, England, Southern California, and now North Texas.

Jeffrey suffers from a pathological compulsion to explain things to people. The people around him also suffer from his compulsion. His actual training is in theoretical linguistics (a PhD dropout), but he barely manages to speak one language.

Jeffrey was invited to join AgileBits (then Agile Web Solutions) presumably because Dave and Roustem liked his posts on the forums explaining security. At the time, he was working toward becoming a high school math teacher, but had learned through student teaching that he just didn’t have the right temperament for it. In a previous life (the 20th century) he had been a system administrator and postmaster at a UK university, a dilettante academic, publishing a few papers with his wife.

A quick Q&A with Jeffrey:

What’s your spirit animal?

Banana slug.

What’s in your mug: coffee or tea?

Caffeinated.

What’s your favourite family recipe?

Uncle Sweeney’s meat pies.

What’s your pet peeve?

That many useful theorems depend on the Axiom of Choice.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A fog horn.

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AgileBits is now accepting applications to its School of Magic

This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes I feel a bit like I spend my days at Hogwarts. There’s magic happening all over the place, the occasional dragon, and never a dull moment. This has been extra true lately, and as a result, our very own Minister of Magic has declared it is time once again to open applications to Hogwarts! In this case we’re presuming you’ve had a turn under the Sorting Hat, and we’re looking for those who have been sorted into the following Houses:

  • Customer Support
  • Android Developer
  • Windows Developer

As you may have noticed, the iOS version of 1Password got a significant update late last year, and the new Mac version had a dramatic unveiling a couple of weeks ago. For those playing along at home, you’ll recall we have two more versions, and it’s those two we are aiming to transfigure into sleek modern versions. Doing this means we need your help!

And by “you” I mean “a person who is all-around awesome and familiar with 1Password and has excellent communication skills”. We are accepting applications from wherever you are. Yes really! Most of our team works remotely, which is no problem. Our owls can always find you.

You may find it hard to believe, but there’s more awesome involved than just being accepted at Hogwarts. On top of MAGIC, you can also look forward to:

  • An encouraging and cooperative virtual office
  • A healthy pay scale (no house-elf style treatment here!)
  • A flexible schedule
  • Casual Friday…every day! In fact, even more casual, if that’s your thing.
  • Other neato spells and charms that make working for AgileBits loads cooler than whatever you’re doing now.

As for what we ask in return, it’s pretty straightforward:

  • Great work ethic
  • Cool head in a hectic environment
  • Strong communication skills
  • High rum tolerance (ok I’m kidding. It doesn’t have to be rum)
  • Passion for driving 1Password forward to make it the Best App Ever
  • Support members need to be able to help with about 65 email replies a day, ensuring customers get the help they need. No worries though, our Spell books are available for study!

Does this sound like you? If so, please email us with your preferred job in the subject line (Support, Windows Developer, Android Developer). In the email itself, tell us who you would most like to sit next to during breakfast in the Great Hall, and your current favorite app (besides 1Password) on your platform of choice. Also include the answer to this question: What is the motto of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

 

Behind AgileBits: Meet the people who support 1Password and Knox

We’re big on people here at AgileBits. It’s why we have human beings answering support emails nearly around the clock, why our blog header has a photo of us in our spiffy shirts, and why we recently opened our first-ever office in Toronto. In fact, I’d love to introduce you to the people who support, develop, design, and help get the word out about 1Password and Knox, starting with some of our amazerbeams Customer Support team.

In alphabetical order, we have:

Greig Allen

Our Senior Foreign Correspondent:

Do-not-give-Greig-food-or-drink.jpegHey Guys! I’m Greig and I’m from Aberdeen, Scotland.

I’m the only AgileBits CS team member based in the UK!

When I’m not answering questions from our customers, I can be found on a football field. And when I say football I mean American NFL style football, not “soccer”.

I started using 1Password back in 2009 and started working here in 2012.  AgileBits is honestly the best company to work for and all I needed to do is answer a blog post!

He used to be our only Foreign Correspondent. We’ve promoted him to Senior.

Chris De Jabet

aka Chris Prime, we hired him before our other Chris’s. It’s really not as confusing as I’m making it sound:

I am two-thirds of the way to achieving infamy on the Internet. I enjoy great coffee, and naturally am fussy in making it in my Aeropress. I also over-carbonate with my Sodastream. All I need is a clicky keyboard and I’ll have it made.

I live in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska with my amazing wife and son.

I’ve been an avid fan of 1Password since 2008, and started working here in September 2012 after seeing the right tweet at the right time.

Kelly Guimont

Since I’m doing the introductions, I suppose I should tell you about me as well:

Kelly Captains Chair 2013Hi! I’ve been at AgileBits almost a year and a half, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Unlike Chris Prime, I have apparently achieved Internet Infamy, since I have a gloriously clacky keyboard I type on when I’m not drinking Aeropressed coffee or supercarbonated water from my Sodastream.

I’ve also achieved Internet Infamy in other ways, since I’m a writer for TUAW and a host of the TUAW Talkcast. I can also be found shooting my mouth off  on a few other podcasts as well, such as the British Tech Network’s Mac and Comic Shows, and as a host on Angry Mac Bastards.

Alex Hoffmann

Our newest addition both in hire date and birth date, meet our Junior Foreign Correspondent!

Alex+HoffmannI’ve only recently started working for AgileBits.

I’m the geeky bearded German guy who speaks British English, German (of course), and Chinese, and who now works for a Canadian company. It’s seriously great.

1Password was the first app I installed when I bought my first Mac and it’s probably the most important app on my computer. 
I heard a few people (Kelly, Dave,…) raving about how awesome it is to work for AgileBits and since I’ve always been the tech guy, I was happy to get the chance to help people with a product I love, working in a great team, and get paid for it ;)

Steve Joyner

Next up, some San Francisco cred:

I’m a San Francisco coffee fiend and IT geek who swears that 1Password is the best thing since oxygen.

One day, minding my own business, Dave Teare, co-founder of AgileBits, reached out and asked if I’d found my dream job. (Do they exist?!). Apparently, they do — so don’t wake me up!

I prefer cold to hot, Coke to Pepsi, and hate feral pigeons. I’m a voracious reader, vegetarian, and sleep twice a day.

Scott Kramer

Here’s Scott; every time he tries to get out… we pull him back in!

SJKMy home is in the western US, where I’ve lived most of my life.

I’ve always been a film buff, but my first encounters with computer technology and ARPANET in high school hooked me. I knew then computers and networking would be a life-long passion. Much of my career has been in system administration, later emphasizing on different aspects of customer support. And you can’t keep me away from online forums.

Working with AgileBits and supporting its wonderful customers is a fulfilling experience, always challenging and inspiring.

Ann Liao

Now another of our ladies:

I’ve only recently begun my journey with AgileBits, and I’m loving every moment of it.

That jump for joy, rewarding feeling you get when you solve a complicated problem is how I feel every day when I’m helping customers with 1Password.

I’m so proud to be a part of the AgileBits family, a family filled with super awesome people and a work culture that genuinely says “we care”.

Ann is also notable for being the second lady in Support, which means when Megan signed on I was so pleased to be one of three I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Chris Meek

And now, another of our Chrises:

Meek EditI have been a passionate fan of 1Password for a number of years, and after graduating from Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto recently, I knew I wanted to work for AgileBits.

I couldn’t find any job postings on the website at the time, so I sent an email off to support and a few short weeks later I was welcomed into the family.

Every single day I look forward to going to work and enjoy working with each and every person at AgileBits. It really is just that – my second family!

OK, this Chris wins at blurbs for the blog.

Megan O’Brien

And here’s another of our newer folks:

Megan EditI’ve only been with Agile Bits for a short time, but I love it a whole bunch. I’ve been able to speak with and help people from exotic places like Paris and familiar places like Manitoba. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to be able to connect with so many different people and make their lives a bit easier.

When I’m not typing up emails for AgileBits, you’re likely to find me either exploring new places with my camera or hunched over my craft desk making something from my massive horde of craft supplies. I love Lego, animated kids shows, and a whole host of other things I was supposed to outgrow when I became an “adult”.

I have to say, it’s pretty brilliant to be a part of a team that shares so many of my geeky passions, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us all!

Kyle Swank

The support team’s resident runner:

Kyle Swank 200I started at AgileBits nearly two years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun, so it feels like I started yesterday. I work with a great team of friends and get to meet fantastic 1Password users on a regular basis, what more could I ask for in customer support?

When not helping 1Password users I’m often outside running, reading a good book or restoring my early 70s muscle car. I enjoy a challenge, whether it’s a 1Password troubleshooting question or pushing myself toward a personal record time on a 10 mile run.

Anthony Wadlow

It’s always a plus to have a teacher on board:

Anthony Wadlow

I’m originally a biologist and teacher from Southern England.

Despite the near tropical weather and the cheap gas prices in the British Isle, I made like a goose and migrated to Toronto, Canada.

Since then I’ve been won over by truly refreshing and open AgileBits philosophy, both inside and outside of the company. I couldn’t be happier!

Marshall Wendler

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Marshall!

I live in the Carolinas and have been with AgileBits for over a year.

AgileBits has been the best company I have ever worked for – Not only do we put out the best password management system on the planet, we offer the best customer support in the world.

Oh, and the people who work here are pretty damn cool too!

Marshall might win at blog blurbs too.

Ben Woodruff

Next up we have a grass-roots fan-turned-employee:

I’m from the Greater Rochester Area in NY. I love working at AgileBits because I love helping people.

I started out as a 1Password user with 1Password 2 for Mac many moons ago and when I started helping answer questions in the forums Dave made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

When I’m not working for AgileBits, I’m a volunteer firefighter & EMT.

 

Khad Young

So far, so good! Now meet our Forum Choreographer:

khad avatarI grew up in Detroit, loved L.A., but found true love in Indianapolis. It is hard to escape the Midwest forever!

Working at AgileBits is my dream job because I get to work from home (or from anywhere). I love to travel, so that just means I can use my MacBook Pro from beaches and bars. :)

Note: We’ve met Khad’s true love, and she’s wonderful!

Stay tuned for more Behind AgileBits

That’s just a portion of our growing customer support team for now. We’ll be back soon to introduce you to the teams tasked with engineering 1Password and Knox, making them beautiful, and more!

Thank you, Steve

It is in no way an overstatement to say that AgileBits would not exist at all, let alone be the company it is today, without Apple and the vision of Steve Jobs. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to you Steve. We’ll miss you, and we’ll honor you by continuing to try to make the world a better place.

Designers: you still have time to join our team!

Remember our call for another full-time designer to join our resident pixel ninja Dan Peterson? Well a couple of funny things happened. First, we received so many great applications that it’s taking us some time to get through them all. Then our team got caught up with some new work with the releases of Lion, Safari 5.1, and Firefox 6. What does it all mean?

It means you still have time to apply! Check out Dan’s original post, look over the details and what Dan would like to see from you, and show us what you got! AgileBits is a fantastic place to work and we need another fantastic designer to help us keep moving forward.

Join our design team today!

Since my start here at AgileBits four years ago I’ve been designing everything from software interfaces to our booths at Macworld Expo. It’s been an ever-increasingly wonderful and daunting task. As time has gone by and we’ve created new products we have thought again and again about finding another designer to work with me. It is now that time. There are a few ways in which the right person could fit in here, so I’m going to start by talking a little bit about everything I do.

Web Design

We are very much a Ruby on Rails company. Our developers fell in love with Rails long before I joined up and continue to use and love it. Generally I mock things up in static HTML and CSS and leave wiring it all up to them (with quite a bit of back and forth, of course). It works out fairly well, but someone proficient in design and Rails to help take some of the load off me and the developers would be a huge help. HTML 5 and CSS 3 knowledge is a must in this area and JavaScript knowledge a big plus. This is the most likely area for you to fit in.

Ads and Graphic Design

This is by far the area with the least workload but still a very important one. We don’t do a ton of advertising but the occasional static banner ad, etc. comes across my virtual desk on average every few months. We’d also like to get some smaller badges/ads done for enthusiastic users and promoters (which I unfortunately haven’t gotten around to in quite a while). The only other thing in this area I’ve done is a couple Macworld Expo booth designs and pamphlets to pass out there which I don’t think we’ll be doing again anytime soon.

Software Interface Design

UI and UX take up the majority of my time. It’s also my favorite part of the job. I primarily mock things up in Photoshop and, when time permits, write it up in HTML and CSS to show interactivity. My almost entirely computer-illiterate family gets the privilege of being my sounding board. Having them around is an unbelievable help to me. The hope for me is that the right person joining us is going to give me more time to dedicate to this area.

Icon Design

Icon design is one of the areas that challenges me the most. It is incredibly difficult to make something beautiful at so many different sizes! Someone skilled in this area would be a huge boon to me. I have done my best here but end up relying heavily on stock art as a starting point in many cases. As much fun as it can be when I get it right, it would be nice to have someone with more of a specialty in this area.

Finishing Up (and how to contact me)

I’m not entirely sure if I’m looking for someone to almost completely take over one aspect of the design here at AgileBits or for someone that can help me do everything I do. A big part of the decision is going to be based on how well I think you will fit in here. We are an incredibly tight-knit group and there are a lot of challenges to working remotely that not everyone can handle. If you’re interested, I’d love to take a look at some examples of your work. The only real requirement here is a high level of skill and a real passion for design. Please send a brief introduction and link(s) to your portfolio to dan [at] agilebits [dot] com and I promise to get back to you as quickly as I can.

Edit: We are primarily looking for someone full time but depending on your abilities and situation part time is a possibility. I also briefly mentioned working remotely above. Just to be clear this is not a job that will require you to move anywhere. We all work from our homes (or coffeeshops, co-op spots, etc.) which can be both liberating and difficult at times.

The Agile Blog feed is moving, you might have to update your reader

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The dust is finally settling from changing our company name to AgileBits and moving our official blog to blog.agilebits.com. Your bookmarks should automatically redirect, but there is one last not-so-small change we’re making to the blog that might require a few of you to update your feed readers. Emphasis on might and a few.

As of this post, the Feedburner feed from our old Switcher’s Blog (feeds.feedburner.com/SwitchersBlog) and the feed from this new Agile Blog (blog.agilebits.com/feed/) are pulling a Voltron. They’re joining forces to become one single feed, here to defend the universe with knowledge of our products, important security topics, company news, and any other neat stuff we decide to write about.

From now on, our officially official Agile Blog feed will be feeds.feedburner.com/AgileBits. We have good news and bad news about this change, but since I prefer to send you off on a high note, let’s start with the latter. The bad news is that some of you (very few, judging from our statistics) might have to update your feed readers with the new address manually. I’m pretty sure that Safari, for example, doesn’t automatically update RSS feed addresses for changes like this, but I’d be happy to be wrong.

But the good news is that the majority of you use Google Reader, which should update the feed address automatically. I’ll wait a day or two to make sure this post reaches all readers and corners of the web, then I’ll flip the switch to the new feed. I’ll use Feedburner’s built-in feed redirect option, which is what will notify smart readers like Google Reader to automatically update your subscription address. Still, if anything looks amiss next week, definitely let us know.

As always, thanks for reading!

Here's to five years of 1Password

Know what happened on this day in history? Sure, Smart introduced the US to its new car, the Soviet Union got on board with banning nukes from outer space, and Pete Townshend wrote the anthem of a generation. Oh yeah, and it’s the tenth anniversary of Apple’s first retail store.

It’s also the day that Roustem Karimov and Dave Teare, co-founders of AgileBits, released the first beta of 1Password to the world.

Yep, on May 19, 2006, version 0.8 of 1Password became the first that Mac users had the pleasure of experiencing (a public beta, of course). Back then, we were still called Agile Web Solutions, and 1Password was missing a couple letters from its name. I remember discovering “1Passwd” when I wrote for TUAW and immediately becoming enamored with it.

1Password has come a long way in five years. It’s kept pace with new browsers and Mac OS X releases, gained a bunch of great new features from Secure Notes to Dropbox syncing and 1PasswordAnywhere, and it even gained a Windows version! It also picked up those missing letters and, more recently, we changed our name to AgileBits.

This is also probably a good time to mention that I’m back! I joined the company in 2009, got tempted away by Macworld in 2010, and have since returned to my senses. Fortunately, Roustem, Dave, Nik, and my other friends at AgileBits were in a generous mood, so I was able to return and don a few different Agile hats, including the Agile Blog.

But back to the app of the hour: 1Password. It’s become the password and identity manager to have, and we owe it all to you. As we toast to five years of our flagship product, we also toast you, our fantastic customers, for making it happen.

We are AgileBits

It’s kind of fitting that we reinvent ourselves (reborn, if you will) just in time for Mother’s Day, eh? (Mother’s Day is this Sunday in the States.) Agile Web Solutions, Inc. is now AgileBits. Out with the stodgy old name, in with the new! There are a couple of reasons we’ve made this change:

  • Our fantastic friends over at Smile Software changed their name from SmileOnMyMac and we got jealous.
  • I use the word “bit” with joyful abandon, almost too frequently.

Okay, those aren’t the real reasons. The truth is that we didn’t feel that our company name accurately reflected who we are, anymore. In all seriousness, there was too much seriousness! We’re a simple, fun-loving bunch. We work hard, changing direction on a dime. We’re Pac-Man, and—as you already know if you keep up with 1Password for Mac beta releases—we chomp bits. =]

So, that’s today’s news. Please pardon the debris while we clean up a bit (see? I told you!) around here. Give us a few days to get things sorted, and if you still see references to “Agile Web Solutions” anywhere, please let us know so we can change it to AgileBits.

Thanks, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Get our full text feeds!

We recently switched from Tumblr back to a self-hosted blog, and our RSS feed address has changed. For folks who read our posts via RSS, you’ll want to update your reader to point to . That way, you’ll get the full text of the articles, and not just a teaser!