Behind the Mug

Behind the Mug: Ben Woodruff

Today’s edition of Behind the Mug focuses on a long-time member of our team, Ben Woodruff!

Positive Experience Architect

Our Positive Experience Architect, Ben Woodruff

How did you come to join the team?

I joined AgileBits on a part-time basis while still in school. I was a passionate user who had asked a few questions in the forums, and decided to spend some time helping out there. After writing up a few answers for fellow ‘1Passwd’ (as it was called then) users, I received an invite from Dave to join the team.

When I graduated AgileBits was the obvious answer to the question “where do I want to work full time?”

Would you rather night out or evening in?

Evening in! I’m a total introvert so I need time in the evening to ‘decompress’… Away from crowds.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea, but only iced tea. I drink a ton of iced tea. Not big on hot drinks.

What are your hobbies?

Ben, the firefighter

When I’m not helping folks solve their password problems, I’m helping folks in my community by volunteering with my local all volunteer fire department. 70% of the firefighters in the United States are volunteer. Small communities often cannot afford career staffing for fire protection.

I’m also an amateur (“ham”) radio operator, play Magic: The Gathering, and enjoy photography.

What’s your patronus?

The bulldog!

What’s your nickname and how did you get it?

 A lot of my friends call me Radio. It comes from my interest in radio communications — both with amateur radio and public safety two-way radio systems.

Behind the Mug

Behind the Mug: Khad Young

Khad spends his days writing about 1Password, making sure our User Guide and Knowledgebase are full of concise and helpful articles.  We thought it might be nice to give him a chance to write a little bit about himself for a change. Today’s Behind the Mug feature is all about our Passwordsmith, Khad Young.

Passwordsmith

Khad

After growing up goth in Detroit, Khad was ready for anything. He embarked on a journey across the United States to the City of Angels for more sunshine and less snow. After spending a number of years in Los Angeles, something was still missing. He met his lovely wife at Macworld and moved to Indianapolis for her for “one last winter” in 2013. After enduring the Worst Winter Ever, they are now back in sunny Los Angeles where they are both enjoying the lack of snow. It’s perfect weather for riding his 1973 Honda motorcycle year round.

Khad’s past jobs include a funeral home, a nightclub, a piercing shop, and a church. At first, it may seem that there is no possible connection there, but one of the things they all have in common is the opportunity for compassion toward others. The surrounding circumstances were all quite different, but that compassion continues to be a theme today in his work at AgileBits.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. There is a tragic side to this tale. Khad’s strong proclivity for socializing has led him to develop a severe karaoke dependence. He has been spotted singing in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and even the Dominican Republic. Friends and family are concerned that there may be no end in sight.

We’ve been doing our part to keep him busy and off the streets. If you spot him in the wild, please approach him slowly. He is a hugger.

A quick Q&A with Khad:

Early bird or night owl?

I’ve no interest in catching worms.

Fruit or vegetables?

Yes, please! I’m vegan, so I guess that explains my answer to the previous question as well.

Longer battery or better performance?

Battery for sure. I’m a ramblin’ man. I ain’t got time for shuckin’ and jivin’ from my gear.

iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

WHAT KIND OF MUTANT HANDS DO YOU THINK I HAVE?! I’m still rocking my iPhone 5s and hoping a new 4-inch iPhone is released this year, so I can use my phone like the civilized, pants-wearing mammal that I am. These opposable thumbs aren’t getting any longer.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I have a fondness for this one lately:

“In this world you must be oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant. For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” — Elwood P. Dowd

How about some advice for the kids?

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that trained professionals use water.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I always wear a Daring Fireball shirt when I go to an Apple Store. It’s like playing on “Difficult” instead of “Easy.”

Khad's clean workspace

I like to keep a clean workspace.

IMG_0212.PNG

‘Twas the weekend before Christmas

Sara Teare, our Minister of Magic (or Customer Support Manager), repurposed a holiday classic this weekend to show some internal appreciation for the Agile team and all their hard work over the holidays.

We love taking care of our customers, and the holidays inspire us in all sorts of ways. I just had to share this bit of internal joy and appreciation with you. :)

– – – – –
T’was the weekend before Christmas and all through the house,
every creature was stirring, including the mouse!

The stockings were out, needing filling with care,
the pressure is on, we are all so aware.

The children were running, everywhere but their bed,
With high doses of sugar going straight to their head.

Mom’s shopping on Amazon, iPad in her lap,
Dad is wishing that he could go for a nap.

When out in the Forums, there arose such a clatter,
We sprang into action to see what was the matter.

Over to Cerb, I flew with a flash,
Stopping to grab Jeff’s jelly bean stash.

Expirations of trials and license confusion,
A question here about sync substitution.

When what to our wondering eyes does appear?
St. Nick in the forums with a spinning gear :(

1Password appears to be giving him trouble,
No fear Dear Santa, we’ll help on the double!

Go Adam! Go Marshall! Go Steve! and Go Mike!
Go Eva! Go Sean! With all of your might!

Go Jasper! Go Peri! Go Marc! and Go Scott!
Go Yuanou! Go Team – think all the good thoughts!

With a click and a clack, and a DR to boot,
a quick reset and good changes take root!

His 1Password now good, its Pro features reset,
With TouchID shopping, the quickest presents to get!

All our users are happy, and are singing along,
knowing they won’t get their passwords wrong.

A simple tap or a click, and they are all off to play,
having finished their shopping the auto-fill way.

The team taking care to reassure all,
Even spending some time on telephone calls.

Everyone is so happy with all of your care,
Customer service like this can be quite rare.

With rainbows appearing, the team knew they were right,
Happy Saturday to all, and to all a good night!

/- Sara Teare

the Agile Mug 01

Behind the Mug: Aleen Simms

For our second Behind the Mug feature post, we get to learn more about one of the recent recruits to our crack team of document gurus: Aleen Simms.

Wordsmith

2014-10-21 10.28.36

Aleen descended from the foothills of the Rockies to the Valley of the Sun many years ago. When she’s not writing, you can find her podcasting, reading, taking pictures of her kittehs, or building LEGO sets with her husband at the dining room table (where else?). An unapologetic Hufflepuff, Aleen is committed to helping the world around her become a more accepting place.

Some Q&A with Aleen

If you had a warning label, what would it say?

Warning: extremely sarcastic.

What are your pet peeves?

The sound of chewing, when LEGO bricks refuse to come apart, stepping on LEGO.

Where is your favourite place to work?

My husband hacked together a standing desk for me soon after I started at AgileBits! Sometimes I get lazy and sit down, but I really love my desk.

2014-06-11 13.54.12 HDR

Family tradition:

Every October, I meet my mom, uncles, Granny, and subset of cousins in Las Vegas. Every couple of years, my mom gets show tickets for Uncle Jeff and me as early birthday presents. We’ve seen Phantom, Blue Man Group, a few Cirque de Soleil shows, and, most recently Le Rêve: The Dream. I look forward to it every year.

What’s your favorite book?

Jane Eyre was the first “grown up” book I ever read, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Most people I know find it insufferable. :)

Who’s your favorite author?

Neil Gaiman. I’m not one to fawn over people, but I admire both his writing and personality. I had the opportunity to meet him briefly last year and maybe made a complete fool of myself—I don’t strictly remember anything other than being completely giddy.

Aleen did a lot of training for her ‘mug shot’ … you can tell she’s a true pro when it comes to beverages in addition to word-smithery!

Aleen's Mugs

the Agile Mug 01

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

IMG_2004

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 in 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.

IMG_1950

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.