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!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I know that technically I shouldn’t be celebrating, since we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, but I have so much to be thankful for, I take every chance I get :)

I am so thankful that I have a job where I can work from home with my family (see below) and when I’m not “playing dad”, I get to work at the best job I’ve ever had!

I wanted to take a moment show you how thankful I am to all of you, our amazing customers, for making what we do possible! I didn’t want to “just” say thank you so we purchased some great books for you and are having an amazing license giveaway.

Presents for you: Free licenses and books!

Here’s that picture I promised: here I am coding 1Password while my kids are helping in their own way:

Dave coding with kids Jack & Abby

That’s my five-year-old daughter Abby helping her brother Jack use her iPad. Yes, that is her iPad; I don’t even try to trick myself into believing I own it anymore :)

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Switcher's Blog gets Agile

It’s been a long time coming, but the Agile Web Solutions blog has a new name, a new design, and a new home. If you’re using a newsreader right now, you might want to visit blog.agile.ws to actually see what I’m talking about.

“Switcher’s Blog” has been retired in favor of “Agile Blog,” a name that does a far better job of carrying the company torch. All posts have been moved to this new domain and are searchable. The RSS feed hasn’t changed from feedburner.com/switchersblog, however, since we didn’t see much of a pressing need during the initial move. You shouldn’t need to do anything in order to keep reading the Agile Blog, and hopefully, you won’t have to if we decide to change the name in the future.

The other benefit of viewing this post at our site is that, well, you’ll be at our site now. The old Switcher’s Blog lived at its own domain that didn’t have much to do with Agile Web Solutions. Thanks to Rob Yoder, one of our newest Agile Ninjas, the Agile Blog fits right into our site, complete with our navigation bar, social media links, and a banner image (shot on the Agile Cruise!) with sexy rounded corners.

For those interested in the details of our switch: we used to run on TypePad, now we’re on Tumblr. Jason C Martin, a developer for New Media Geekz, built an import script that moved our posts (one drawback of Tumblr is that it does not yet offer a blog import tool). Thanks to Tumblr’s Personal Domain feature and full access to theme markup, Rob was able to make our Tumblr blog fit right in with the rest of our agile.ws site.

Tumblr is a great blogging service and community with a lot of unique features and a “keep it simple” approach. There are different “post types” like text, photo, video, and quotes, and each can have their own style and presentation. Photos, for example, don’t even need a title, and quote posts prominently feature the actual quoted text in large type, with the source and any comments displayed below. If you register on Tumblr (it’s free) and visit an individual post, you can click a heart icon in the upper right to “like” it and show us some love. You can also use the “reblog” button in the upper right of individual posts to re-post them to your blog as links, quotes, photos, or other post types.

With our move to Tumblr, we now use Disqus, which means you have a few more options for logging in to comment on posts. You can use your Twitter, Facebook, or even Yahoo ID to log in, so you don’t have to fork over your email address or sign up with a new service.

As always, thanks for reading, and let us know what you think of our new blog!