When I started at Synergistic Marketing I was hired as their Front End Development Manager.  My job was to manage their Fun and Family web site and social network campaigns. I was to work closely with the back end developers to help build their business to business web site. Two weeks into the job, the back end developers quit and took their knowledge of what they created with them. They built the Fun and Family website using C++ and compiled it. This meant I had no ability to makes changes or updates to the site without the back end developers. After they left, I was unable to do my job.

The only thing left to do was build a new web site. Three months later they had a new website. They were not ready to plan the future of the web site so it was left unused for several months.  In the meantime work on their business to business website began. It took several months to get everyone on the same page. The job started as a high pressure job, I scrambled to put together four working websites all on my own. I was charge of the whole web site operation.  They had rented a windows server from RackSpace, while I had experience working on the back-end of websites before I never had to set up a deployment environment.  It was a learning experience. My experience with Windows and Linux servers were all based on servers I built at home. Having access and being in charge of a company’s server was at times nerve racking. I got to know RackSpaces help desk intimately for the first three months until I learned my way around.  

Once I was acclimated, to the server I was able to install PHP and MySQL, which at the time I did not know was possible on a windows server. I planned and installed a three tier deployment environment. I creating a Testing(QA), Staging, and Production environments. I used Git to manage these environments. I used WordPress as the CMS to create the different websites. I learned a lot about server management. That knowledge served me well, I understand and respect back-end development in ways I did not before. I can also recognize when back-end development is going badly.  I can see when shortcuts are being taken and standards are not being meet.

Synergistic Marketing was not a good job. Often I had no direction, and the needs of the company changed daily. It was not the job that I signed up to do or desired in my life at that time. After a year of creating mock-ups and idea changes and exchanges, most of my ideas were misused, abandoned or abducted. They decided to use and outside organization to recreate the web sites, they pressured me to build. They kept me around long enough to help them pick the company that was going to replace me. Once they found what they wanted, they let me go. Often I was underused and overlooked. However I am grateful, I did gain a lot of skills, and now know I can not only design a website but manage the back-end. I understand deployment environments and know how to use Git and WordPress together.