We asked startups, Fortune 500s, and remote-reliant teams to share how they keep the holiday spirit alive at work.
Yesterday, we celebrated our third annual Secret Snowflake at PowerToFly! We wanted to know what other companies do to keep the holiday spirit alive at work, so we asked our partner companies to share one or two of things they do to celebrate. From spending quality time together in person (even when their teams are spread across multiple locations!) and giving back to their communities, to taking time to rest and recover for the new year (a couple of them even shut down between Christmas and New Years), their answers did not disappoint.
Read on to get an inside look at the many creative ways these companies celebrate the holiday season and kick off the new year!
Greenhouse — A New York City New Year.
Greenhouse SF Party
"At Greenhouse, we like to end the year on a high note and start the new year off right. To close out the year and celebrate our successes, each of our office hubs hosts their own holiday party and our distributed employees are given the opportunity to choose their own Greenhouse-sponsored activity. We love seeing each employee show their own personality through the photos that are posted on Slack the next day. As a distributed workforce with teammates all over the United States and Dublin, we don't always get to meet face to face. So, we like to ring in the new year together by bringing the entire Greenhouse family to our headquarters in New York City for Kickoff Week. During this week, we get to meet our fellow teammates in person, show off our unique knowledge at Trivia and karaoke night, and bond on both a company and team level."
[Learn more about Greenhouse.]
Quip — Cookies and camaraderie.
"This year, Quip held our fifth annual Holiday Cookie Cook-off. Quip employees brought in cookies to share with their coworkers and compete in categories including Most Millennial Cookie, Best Non-Cookie Cookie, and Grand Champion Cookie. More important than the baking and the voting, everyone at the company looks forward to eating all of the amazing cookies, and socializing with coworkers across the company."
[Learn more about Quip.]
Blockstack — White elephant and wacky socks.
"At Blockstack, we held a 'Fuzzy Socks White Elephant End of the Year Party' this year for both HQ and remote team members. We provide the fuzzy and patterned socks so that everyone who joined (team member and their families/partners) can wear them and feel included as part of the celebration, whether in person or remote. We played White Elephant with gifts provided by the company, so that we can swap gifts around. For remote folks, we ran a spreadsheet with fun descriptions of the gifts to intrigue remote folks to choose the present."
[Learn more about Blockstack.]
Braintree — Letters to Santa.
"At Braintree, every year we look forward to participating in Chicago Sun Times' Letters to Santa program. Every child deserves to get gifts for the holidays, so this is our chance to help make that a reality. We receive letters from local elementary schools, and Treeps sign up to help purchase gifts between $25-$30, ensuring every child has a happy holiday! This year we saw participation from over 180 employees, who provided nearly 350 gifts for local students."
[Learn more about Braintree.]
Dell — Random acts of kindness.
"At Dell, we close for the week of Christmas to give everyone time to relax and recharge before the new year. We also keep the holiday spirit alive through different team activities. This year, one of our teams is having an acts of kindness contest. Participants contributed $10-$20. Now they have until January 3rd to complete ten acts of kindness (e.g. giving up a parking space at the mall, or your place on line at the cashier, or any other). At the end, each participant will submit their top act of kindness and the team will vote on the #1 act. The winner gets to select the cause that the entry money is donated to."
[Learn more about Dell.]
T. Rowe Price — A "Holiday Giving Campaign."
"T. Rowe Price hosts an annual Holiday Giving Campaign, and every year, associates go above and beyond to make an impact. More than a dozen nonprofits around the world are supported each year by the firm's 7,000 associates. Giving and serving in the community are important aspects of T. Rowe Price's culture, and the Holiday Giving Campaign is a longstanding tradition that has grown along with the firm. Through donations and volunteerism, T. Rowe Price's associates make a difference in their local communities all year long—but the holiday season especially sparks a spirit of generosity and camaraderie. To learn more about T. Rowe Price's culture of giving read out latest report at, TRowePrice.com/CRReport."
[Learn more about T. Rowe Price.]
CarGurus — A top-secret, surprise private performance.
"Among many holiday traditions at CarGurus, such as donation drives, individual team celebrations, and Secret Snowflakes, we like to celebrate the start of the new year with a company-wide party! Last year we invited all 900 employees, along with a plus one, to the House of Blues, for a private surprise performance by Snoop Dogg! This year, we will keep up with our tradition by having our subsidiary company PistonHeads join us to partake in the holiday festivities. The live performance is still under wraps, but we cannot wait to share who it is. Follow us on our Instagram culture page, @cargurusculture, to see all of the fun that is about to come during the rest of the holiday season!"
[Learn more about CarGurus.]
Procore — A "Week of Giving."
"Towards the end of the year, each Procore office gets to celebrate, reflect, and give back in ways that are unique and special to our offices. But celebrating isn't all we do—our Austin office, for example, participates in a "Week of Giving" where we give back to the local community through donation drives, volunteering at local charities, and writing gratitude cards for children at SAFE, a human service agency in Austin serving the survivors of child abuse."
[Learn more about Procore.]
Vrbo — Unique themed parties + festive sweaters!
Vrbo's 2019 Haunted Holiday Soiree that was on Friday the 13th!
"Each Vrbo office around the globe is uniquely decorated and has its own holiday celebrations, but our One Team value is what brings us all together to reflect back on the year we've accomplished together. We gather in our most festive sweaters for a holiday version of our monthly companywide meeting with leadership, 'Table Talks,' to recognize achievements and discuss what we can look forward to in the new year. In Austin, we hosted the Latinos in Tech End-of Year Fiesta, which brought together 10+ tech companies to celebrate the city's strong and growing Latinos in Tech community. An Austin employee favorite is our holiday party that we've hosted Downtown at Moody Theatre for the past three years!"
[Learn more about Vrbo.]
VideoAmp — Contributing to the community.
"At VideoAmp, we celebrate the holidays and get into the Holiday Spirit by giving back! A few years ago, VideoAmp was a tiny company with roughly 17 employees, and one thing we all shared together was a commitment to people. "VideoAmp Gives Back" started off simple. At first, we worked with organizations that allowed us to volunteer, like the Salvation Army. Eventually decided to do everything in house during the holiday season: from lunch kits, hygiene products, and toy drives to sponsoring families' Christmases. All these events were recommendations from our employees, and as our company grew bigger (we went from 70ish in 2018 to over 200 employees in 2019), so did VideoAmp Gives Back!"
[Learn more about VideoAmp.]
Scout RFP — A sophisticated San Francisco soirée.
"To celebrate the holiday season, Scout RFP hosts a Holiday Party every year at a venue in San Francisco, where we are headquartered. Our employees who are remote or work in another office fly in, and everyone is invited to bring a plus one. We rent out a private section of the venue and have food and drink available to all our guests. It's so fun to see all of our coworkers outside of a work setting, dressed in cocktail attire, and with their plus ones."
[Learn more about Scout RFP.]
Intuit — A holiday market in support of small businesses.
Every December, Intuit puts on a Holiday Small Business Market, where local businesses and vendors are invited to Intuit campuses to showcase their creations and (hopefully) spark unique and creative gift ideas for Intuit employees. The event encourages support of local businesses, a sentiment in line with Intuit's mission of powering prosperity. Many of the local vendors are also small business customers of Intuit's QuickBooks product. Intuit also has a Toys for Tots drive in partnership with the Marine Corps and our team at Intuit Boise also partnered with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to write letters from Santa. For every letter written, Macy's will donate $2 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The team hand-wrote 378 letters!
[Learn more about Intuit.]
SeatGeek — Giving, giving, giving.
"Here at SeatGeek, the holidays are all about giving. We have an employee-run group internally called GiveGeek that organizes charitable events and donation opportunities for the company. This holiday season, GiveGeek has partnered with a few different organizations to create 3 unique opportunities for employees to give back to the community. From purchasing gifts for under-resourced children, to writing cards for local seniors and partnering with a local food drive, GiveGeek helps create opportunities for SeatGeek employees to make a positive difference in the community."
[Learn more about SeatGeek.]
Nextdoor — An end-of-year shutdown.
"At Nextdoor, we're scaling quickly and have offices/team members in over 10 locations around the world. In addition to some amazing Holiday parties, we're grateful to have been given the opportunity to implement an end-of-year shutdown and our offices will be closed until the first day back in the office on January 2nd. This allows our team members an opportunity to step away from all of the hard work we've put in at Nextdoor and reconnect with our community of friends and family."
[Learn more about Nextdoor.]
💎 Are CallRail's engineering teams the right fit for you? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 Engineering teams at CallRail encourage collaboration, communication, and empathy. Ayana Reddick, Senior Software Engineer at CallRail, shares what they are looking for in candidates and tells you why you’ll thrive there.
📼Engineering teams want candidates who have a growth mindset, love to learn, and are really good at communication. They also value team members who are excited about solving problems and working collaboratively. If you think you have what it takes, don't hesitate to apply.
📼At CallRail, engineering teams use Ruby on Rails for their backend, Angular on their frontend, and PostgreSQL for persistent data. They also use Jira for creating and tracking tickets, GitHub for their version control, and AWS for many cloud tools. Get familiar with these resources if you want to join them!
Engineering Teams And Diversity - Company’s Culture
CallRail seeks to hire from underrepresented groups. They pride themselves in selecting from a pool of very diverse candidates. They value the work that people do over their resumes. They encourage people to take their authentic selves to work. And they strive to create a supportive and welcoming environment. For this, they have Employee Resource Groups, that give voice to, provide safe spaces for, and educate the company at large. Some of their ERGs include the Rainbow Coalition, Black and Brown, Women Circle, and more.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining CallRail? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Ayana Reddick
If you are interested in a career at CallRail, you can connect with Ayana on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About CallRail
CallRail is here to bring complete visibility to the marketers who rely on quality inbound leads to measure success. Their customers live in a results-driven world, and giving them a clear view of their digital marketing efforts is the priority for CallRail. They see the opportunities in surfacing and connecting data from calls, forms, and beyond—helping their customers get to better outcomes.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
“In my early twenties, I wasn’t the best at saving money. So, when I got the job at Nike and found out a financial coach was offered to me — for free! — I thought, ‘It’s time to be an adult. I should use this service to help me learn how to buy stock, tell me what I’m doing right with my money and where I can improve.’”
That’s Ashlee Bobb, Nike Media and Influencer Relations Manager, on the free, unlimited access to financial coaching offered to every U.S. Nike employee through EY Navigate™. EY coaches are trained on Nike’s benefits and programs, so Ashlee was able to work with her coach on a budget and savings plan utilizing Nike’s 401k match and Employee Stock Purchase Plan – all in one 45-minute session. She left the meeting feeling confident about what her next paycheck would look like and how her money would work for her.
“The EY coaches are really willing to come on the journey with you,” Bobb says, adding that hers was willing to work with the fact that, hey, she’s not going to give up take out, but still wants to save for the future. “The cool thing is I can see how this financial guidance could help me down the road when I decide to get married, buy a house, have a kid. Every Nike employee should take advantage.”Sound like the kind of company you want to be a part of? Check out our open roles on jobs.nike.com
Erika Morrison is a naturally passionate and encouraging leader. From leading her family in giving back to their community, to coaching adolescents in track and cheer, to managing her team at Light & Wonder during the pandemic, her experience is rich with lessons to share with up-and-coming leaders.
“I believe in motivation, positivity, inspiring, finding the good in everything, everybody,” she says. In addition to 30+ years in the tech field, Erika is a wife, a mother of two, an avid exercise lover, and has even been a small-business owner.
We sat down with Erika to hear about the experiences that have led her to her current role as a Software Engineering Manager at Light & Wonder, as well as three practical ways to lead with purpose.
Seeing Potential in Others
Erika has always been fascinated by the world of technology. Growing up, she loved cassette tapes, DVD players, phones, and whatever other gadgets she could get her hands on. When her dad brought home a PC Junior, it didn’t take long before she started programming on it. She designed her own trivia game, using what she learned in her middle school programming classes. “I was typing the questions in and programming the answers. I had a blast writing it and showing it to my family. I remember I wanted to show everyone what I made. That was my first real desire to get into programming.”
Erika followed that instinct into college where she majored in Business Administration and minored in Computer Science. The kickstart to her tech career came when she landed a computer operating job while still in school. She comments, “I was originally applying for a secretarial position at this company. But someone looked at my studies and experience and saw potential in me. I didn't think I was ready for that because I was still so young, I was still in school.”
Erika went on to work as a programmer analyst and software engineer for multiple major Casino based companies. During this time, she even started and ran a local event-planning business, which fine-tuned her skills in successful customer service.
Then, someone saw potential in Erika again. A former coworker reached out and offered her a leadership position with the company that would become Light & Wonder. Erika took on the role of Software Engineering Manager and says “it’s been opportunity after opportunity ever since.”
Managing Through the Pandemic
Erika believes that the best way to lead a team is to really get to know its members. “A lot of leading is knowing the people on your team,” she explains. “Know what each person needs — What may work for one person may not work for someone else. We have to take a little bit of who they are into consideration when attempting to motivate, to coach, to inspire because we're not all motivated by the same things.”
Prior to the pandemic, Erika and her team worked together in the office, which gave her the opportunity to do so. Once the pandemic hit, however, she had to pivot to incorporating virtual meetings to be able to generate that intimacy. She organizes bi-monthly check-ins with her team members where she intentionally asks for their individual preferences on communication and feedback.
“I have one-on-ones with each of my staff every two weeks. We go over the issues that they've had and then any questions or concerns or anything that they want to chat about. Sometimes it's business and sometimes it's personal. But, I feel like taking that extra time out just to have those conversations is extremely important.”
She also cohosts weekly remote Friday cocktail hours to cultivate her team’s relationships and check in on their mental health. “During the Friday cocktail hours, we would relax, ask some questions, or play some games. And it was nice to have that interaction again and connect with the team. It also allowed me to check in on everyone's mental health and make sure that if there was anything that we could do, we were here.”
Inspired to Encourage the Team
Erika is inspired by the example of her past and current mentors and their vision for her professional trajectory. She acknowledges that it was thanks to key people who saw her potential that she has been able to have these experiences. Erika’s own personal drive and passion for encouraging and uplifting others have led her to love her leadership position.
As a manager, Erika seeks the highest level of respect and excellence for her customers, while creating an encouraging work environment for her team. “I want to make sure that my team has everything that they need in order to succeed and get their jobs done the way they want to. I want them to have the level of success that they want.”
Erika ensures that her team members feel their significant contribution to the company and how they are serving with purpose. “We need to feel like we are part of something significant,” she says. “That’s my goal as a leader and for my team.”
3 Ways to Lead with Purpose:
Drawing from her experiences as a tech leader, business owner, coach, and community volunteer, she gives us three practical ways to lead with purpose in whatever context.
- Understand the “why”. “It’s extremely important to know the why of your company. Once you understand it from the company’s perspective, you can communicate it clearly to the team. And once you get that down, you’re able to help build a strong path for them to follow so that both “why’s” are in alignment. Knowing the why of your individual team members allows you to better manage, assist, and build a relationship with them.”
- Build consistency. “I think it’s very important that we are consistent and don't deviate from the why and the task at hand. Building consistency with others motivates and inspires people to give their best, even when we don’t feel like it. When dealing with a change or a huge transition, it’s extremely important to stick to the why’s, the steps we’re taking, and the right attitude."
- Remain positive. “You have to find positivity in everything because no matter what, it could always be worse. We can always find the negative things, but there are also always positive things. As a leader, I need to be empathetic, kind, and encouraging no matter what. It’s extremely important that I’m positive and involve my team members in the process.”