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About Kristin

Not to be trusted with Cheetos or blueberries.

Customer Support Needed in Asia or Australia!

Kristin wrote this on 11 comments

We’re looking for another support team member! Specifically, we’re seeking a native English speaker in Asian or Australian timezones, so our local customers there don’t have to wait until the sun rises in the UK for help.
You’ll be responsible for providing tremendous customer service via email for Basecamp, Basecamp Classic, Highrise, Backpack, and Campfire. You’ll also help us answer questions via Twitter, create and edit help documentation, and maybe run some online classes.
You’ll be expected to answer about 75 emails per day once you’re fully up to speed (2-3 months or thereabouts). This is a significant volume, so be sure that you’re ready and able to deal with that kind of daily load — you’ll get all the love and help you need along the way!
We’re looking for some great writers who love helping our customers, so you should enjoy making complicated situations simple and painless and have a passion for our products.
If you want to join Chase, Chris, Emily, Jim, Joan, Kristin, Merissa, and Natalie in making our customers happy, please apply!
How to apply
Please submit a cover letter explaining:
1. Why you want to work in customer support.
2. Why you want to work at 37signals and not somewhere else.
3. A description of a great customer service/support experience you had recently, and what made it great.

Also, pick three of the questions from customers below and answer them like you would if you worked here:
1. Does the new Basecamp offer time tracking?
2. Is the new Basecamp offered in any other language besides English?
3. I’m interested in your products, but not sure which one is right for me. What’s the difference between Highrise and Basecamp?
4. I’ve been a Basecamp Classic user for years and see you have a new version. What’s the difference between the versions, and why should I switch?
5. Is there a reporting function in the new Basecamp?

We offer heaps of lovely benefits, plus a progressive work environment. Starting salary is $45k USD, depending on experience.
Email everything to Include “Customer Support” in the subject line. If you’re attaching a resume, please send it as a PDF. We look favorably on people who get creative with their applications. Note: This is not a position for designers/programmers who are looking to work their way into another job at 37signals; we are solely looking for someone interested in and dedicated to support.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Becoming remote

Kristin wrote this on 18 comments

Before working at 37signals, I worked as a florist, a barista, an education intern at a theatre company, and a university instructor. I was happy at all my previous jobs, but the culture at 37signals got me. And I got it. During my interview with Jason, my main concern was whether or not everyone at 37signals enjoyed each other’s company. We all spend more time with our coworkers than our friends, so it’s important that we appreciate and respect each other. By the time I purchased and wore a horse mask at the office, I knew we had all clicked.

I lived in or around Chicago nearly my whole life. With a lifetime of friends and a network of artists and writers, it seemed like the best place for me. I could meet friends at the Art Institute garden for lunch and head back to 37signals HQ in time finish up my day’s work. The Garfield Park Conservatory was a short bike ride away in the summer or a bus ride away in the winter. It was idyllic city life.

Then, something changed — I needed a cultural shift. My parents left Chicago a decade earlier and my brother was about to move to St. Louis to be closer to his wife’s family. Family wasn’t holding me to the city anymore, and I moved back to Chicago after grad school because I had always imagined Chicago as my home.

37signals wasn’t holding me to Chicago either; I’ve worked from Kansas, Berlin, South Carolina, San Francisco, New York, Portland, Austin, Colorado, and a train to and from Ann Arbor.

By the time I told Jason that I wanted to move to Portland, he already knew. I had spent two months in Oregon working during the day and exploring on my time off. I went to Astoria and watched sea lions as they barked at each other like the sad and soulful creatures they are. I annoyingly screamed, “HEY YOU GUUUUUUUYS!” at Haystack Rock. I camped in total darkness underneath all the stars on Saddle Mountain. I stayed at the Sou’wester Lodge, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the coast.

Jason gave me the +1 in November and I moved to Portland at the end of January. While I miss seeing my Chicago colleagues every week, I’m more productive and happier where I am now. That newfound happiness and productivity helped me create a space conducive to my midwestern work ethic.

This is an example of the kind of personal freedom remote working allows. When I needed a cultural shift in my personal life, I didn’t have to leave the job that I love. 37signals granted me the freedom to live my life where I want, as long as I agree to visit Chicago every few months. In just a few days, I’ll go back to Chicago for a company-wide meet-up. It’ll be my first time working from the office since I left. I can’t wait to reunite with the horse mask.

Basecamp via Chrome Frame

Kristin wrote this on 14 comments

When we were building the new Basecamp, we wanted the foundation to be built on clean, modern underpinnings to take advantage of all the new wonderful features of HTML5. That meant we have to drop support for older browsers, like IE8, that have little or poor support for the HTML5 technology we are using to make Basecamp awesome for everyone.

But, have no fear! We realize that a lot of people are stuck with IE8 (sometimes even IE7 or, yikes, 6), so we made sure that Chrome Frame works with Basecamp. Chrome Frame is available for IE 6-9 on Windows machines and can usually be installed without admin access.

If you’re stuck with an older version of Explorer, check out Chrome Frame and get yourself a Basecamp account.

On Poetry & Programming

Kristin wrote this on 23 comments

I’m a poet, lover of literature, and budding Ruby student. Even as a lover of language, I never thought to explore computer language as a way to enhance my knowledge and appreciation… until I started working here. In writing code, you face similar obstructions as you do in poetry: context, line breaks, stanzas, even word-choice.

As I revise and revise a program I’ve been working on, I realize how the content of the program dictates the form, just like in poetry. A stanza and a block of code are both rooms within the larger piece. Indentation can be used as a way to signal a change (in tone, movement, concept) to the reader in both a poem and a program.

Look at these screenshots: one is part of a Ruby program and one is a contemporary poem. It’s hard to tell the difference!

I think it’s possible to compare the arc of a program to the dramatic structure of a piece of literature, like Freytag’s triangle. (Although, that’s another post entirely…)

How else do you see form across languages and genres?