Well, it’s official: Julie Turner (@jfj1997) will be joining me at Sympraxis in mid-May. This is very exciting news for me.
If you’ve been following me at all, you may know that I have my own little company called Sympraxis Consulting LLC. (One of the first things Julie is going to make me do is bring that Web site into the second decade of the twenty-first century!) I started it with my good friend Peter Sterpe back in 2008. Starting a business at the end of 2008 was – well – let’s call it bad timing. Pete and I had a slow go of it for a while, and he left to take a real job. I was solo for about 6 years until Pete rejoined me last year. A few months ago Pete got the opportunity to take a full time teaching role at Boston College, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
I’ve never had grand plans for Sympraxis. I wanted to go out on my own mainly to see if I could pull it off. I also was tired of “working for the man”; anyone who knows me understands that office politics and bureaucracy are not my thing – I just want to get stuff done. I was extremely lucky to have a little idea that became SPServices and that little library has opened many doors for me. It seems like it’s worked: eight years later I still love what I’m doing and I’m able to make money doing it.
Julie is someone I’ve heard about for years, mainly through my friends who worked together at Knowledge Management Associates (KMA). (As is so often the case in this busy world, KMA is no longer extent as a standalone entity, having been acquired by Sentri, and then by Polycom.) The info I heard about Julie was universally positive over the years. When people like Sadie Van Buren (@sadalit), Chris McNulty (@cmcnulty2000), and Mike Gilronan (@mikegil) say good things about someone, it means a lot.
There’s a strong synergy between what I love to do in the SharePoint space and what Julie loves to do. We both do a lot of client side development, we both are passionate about implementing solutions that work extremely well with an excellent user experience, we both believe in the promise of effective knowledge management driving organization performance improvement, and the list goes on and on. We don’t believe in technology just for the sake of technology; it has to solve specific business needs.
I’ve been extremely impressed by the work that Julie has done with Bob German (@bob1german) on their Widget Wrangler (WW), which is now a part of the Office Development Patterns and Practices repo (OfficeDev/PnP – Samples / ww) on GitHub. The approach that Bob and Julie have taken in the WW is incredibly well-aligned with the approaches I’ve been advocating for development on SharePoint for years. Without deploying any server-side code, we can build extremely robust solutions on top of SharePoint, and the thinking Bob and Julie have done with the WW takes it even further than I’ve been able to go as a solo artist.
I expect to learn a *lot* from Julie – and I’m hoping she can learn some things from me. Julie brings server side development skills I’ve never even tried to master, and those skills complement the client side work extremely well. Need a new REST service? Julie can do that. Need an AngularJS app done fast? Julie can do that, too. In my mind, Julie is technically ambidextrous: she’s equally comfortable writing code on the server and the client. She has a reputation as being extremely fast and good. Julie is also funny, smart as a whip, and believes in a good work/life balance. Having Julie aboard will greatly expand Sympraxis’ capacity to do more of what I’ve been doing all along, and bring her highly complementary capabilities into the mix. Who could want more?
Running a small business like Sympraxis is definitely a family affair. We discussed Julie joining Sympraxis in my kitchen after she had met my wife Melanie and son Calder. I look forward to meeting Julie’s husband Ken and her awesome son Evan. Some people say that being an entrepreneur is all about sacrifice, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s going to be great to have Julie join the Sympraxis family.