For Paul’s birthday, Patrick made a web app to suggest the appropriate facial hair for the day’s weather.

For Scott’s birthday, TJ built a custom game where you climb up an ice wall by capturing Android phones. How fast can you do it?

It’s over! By outlasting Jon in our office “NFL Survivor Pool”, Christopher has become the rightful possessor of the coveted Harvest Cup. It shall remain in his possession until the dust from our next office contest has settled.

Tomorrow is TJ’s birthday so we’re headed to the movies. Want to join us?

Yesterday was Ken’s birthday and Scott helped us celebrate with a special edition of Bike Magazine. Everyone had a favorite headline – what’s yours?

Hacksgiving 2013

Just before the Thanksgiving holidays last week, we put a pause on work as usual to devote 2 days to something we call Hacksgiving[1]. During this time, the team was invited to work on anything of their choosing. The only parameter was that the projects should be “Harvest related” in some way; anything that our customers or teammates will find helpful or useful would be fitting. To get things rolling, people simply posted ideas and rallied others to collaborate with them. No projects needed approval and the event was hardly limited to just developers. Our designers, support team and marketing team all jumped in. 

The result? An impressive set of 18 projects was presented at our special Show & Tell. Projects ranged from the very technical (Harvest is now IPv6 compliant!), to the beautiful (our marketing site is looking just a bit more polished). Developer tests got better and faster, and various improvements to our beloved Co-op were made. And amongst many other things, a special set of GIFs (ThanksGIFing[2], of course) were  created and to be shared a few lucky customers. 

At the end of all the presentations, we threw in a twist. We wanted to recognize the standout projects, and especially those which reflected our Harvest Eight values (these are our core values which we’ll write more about another time). Using the fantastic Poll Everywhere, everyone live-voted their favorites to close out the presentation. It proved to be really fun way for the team to provide recognition. Hats off to everyone involved, it was incredible to see what got done in just a couple days. More importantly, it was great to see everyone have fun along the way. -DW

[1] Hacksgiving - coined by our organizer, Patrick Filler. 
[2] ThanksGIFing - named by the always clever Warwick Poole.

When Albert knocked out a longstanding issue, our dev team felt like celebrating. We printed up a commemorative tshirt and shipped Albert a surprise package of them (cat not included).

We had a visitor in the office today! Christopher is dog-sitting little Pickles, and we put her to work answering support emails. Woof.

We had a visitor in the office today! Christopher is dog-sitting little Pickles, and we put her to work answering support emails. Woof.

Our paper towel dispenser made art / lost its mind.

(Photo by Yen.)

During one of Harvest’s bi-weekly Show and Tells the topic of podcasts came up. Harvesters are avid podcast subscribers, and we compiled a list of our favorites to share with each other. Here’s the cream of the crop:

  1. RadioLab - They say curiosity killed the cat, so if you’re a cat, you should stay far away from this podcast. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich guide you through stories that will expand your mind and - of course - pique your curiosity.
  2. Stuff You Should Know - Two guys explain stuff you should know. You’ll suddenly be able to tell your friends how ejection seats, bitcoins, and magnets work. Excellent lunchtime conversation fodder with this one.
  3. Back to Work - Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin bring you a show about productivity, though it often veers off into discussions of comic books and quotations from Glengarry Glen Ross…  
  4. Roderick on the Line - In his second appearance on this list, Merlin Mann and his good buddy, Indie Rock Star™ John Roderick of the band The Long Winters, talk weekly on the phone. Roderick’s modern version of Farm Wisdom and storytelling always make for an entertaining chat.
  5. Bullseye - Are you a pop-culture junkie who slants more cult-classic than Kim Kardashian? This podcast with Jesse Thorn is for you.

We’re thoroughly enjoying these beans from Verve, who has a little stand in Williamsburg (where you can also get a haircut and / or purchase some outerwear).

Today’s Moment of Zen comes from Harvest developer, Evan Walsh. Quite a few of us on the team have taken an interest in 3D printing and we’ll soon be outfitting one in our HQ for experiments. More importantly, stories like the one told in this video make us incredibly excited for the future. -DW

Every other Friday morning, we get the entire team together for a chat we call Show & Tell. In the course of 1 hour, we catch up on project happenings and demo the latest works in progress. We always end these meetings by with a Moment of Zen, a 3 minute (or less) video selected by a team member. 

What’s that awesome you’re looking at? That’s Tracktor, an Arduino-powered device to start / stop your Harvest timers, from our friends at Viget.

Switching timers now takes as much time as it takes to push an arcade button, and, generalizing my audience here, I’d put money on that being pretty speedy.

The code, by Eli Fatsi, is here. That’s a lot of awesome right there.

Lunchtime bingo.

We had a full house today for Show & Tell, our bi-weekly company wide meeting. From the left: Lettini, Phyllis, Alex, Christopher, Sri (with two heads), Alanna, Paul, T.J., Calina, Danny, Jae, and me (Shawn) not in the photo. And about 15 (!) Harvesters joined us remotely.

Topics discussed: recent integration with Atlassian JIRA, a major update to our internal admin panel, plans for the rest of the year (a lot of exciting things cooking…). Plus two wonderful demos: “Podcasts Killed the Display Ad Star” by Sri; and “A Presentation about Me: How to Turn an MFA into a Tech Job” by our latest Harvester, Calina.

We concluded today’s Show & Tell with a Moment of Zen, chosen by Jae – Large Scale Structure of the Universe.