05.31.2011 Culture, Community, and Business

ThinkShout hires Andrea Burton, User Experience Engineer

As some of you know, Lev and I formally went into business together as ThinkShout, Inc. this January. One of our primary motivations in doing so was to build a small, dynamic, highly-professional team of open source technologists with a passion for serving progressive causes. While excited to bring on the best minds in our field, we've also been conservative in our philosophy on growth. We've seen too many start-up consultancies try to grow too fast - often resulting in inefficiencies that negatively impact clients.

Fortunately, Lev and I have had the opportunity to work on some stellar projects over the last year and a half that we've been collaborating. As a result, we've been able to quickly position ourselves to bring on our first full-time hire and employee #3, Andrea Burton. Hiring represents a big step for us - but we feel strongly that we couldn't have made a better choice in bringing on Andrea as we gear up for a number of great projects this summer.

In deciding whom to bring on board, we considered a number of factors. We are a small team with a horizontal project management structure. Everyone gets their hands dirty in Drupal code. Everyone engages directly with our clients at some point in the lifecycle of a project. We expect that all team members have excellent communications skills. We expect that everyone is passionate about developing expertise in one or two particular areas of software development. We expect that everyone take an interest in giving back to the open source community.

I've been working with Andrea as a contractor for more than two years. In fact, Andrea was the first Drupal contractor I ever hired for a gig when starting my own consultancy. Since that time, Lev and I have watched Andrea grow as a developer, user experience expert, project manager and team leader. Andrea is one of those unique technologists who is great in the guts of a specific project, as well as looking across projects to help teams continue to grow strategically.

As ThinkShout's user experience engineer, Andrea will lead our requirements gathering processes on new projects. She will manage our creative process - developing wireframes and site maps, and coordinating our work with our design partners. In addition, Andrea will build and theme Drupal sites. Andrea has a strong background in design and website production. As a user experience developer at Meedan, Andrea became a leader in multi-lingual social media and Drupal translation management.

Andrea's expertise will expand ThinkShout's offering while allowing us all the opportunity to focus more, in addition to improving the service our clients receive. We're honored and thrilled to have her join our team, and, quite frankly, are just happy to have her around for her great taste in music.

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