Here we are again, the beginning of a new year.
It seems like only yesterday that we had just jumped into the wonderful year that was 2017, and although we’ve had some amazing times, we’ve also had some bad.
2017 was the year we lost our amazing and dear friend, Andy. Although we’ve now moved into a new year, we still miss his presence every day, and will carry on doing so in the years to come – so much so that we have dedicated a yearly award to him at our Christmas party. The award recognises the Webbie that is selflessly always helping others. The Webbie that most embody’s Andy’s values, and is always doing their bit.
While there may have been lows in 2017, we’re bringing in the new year by reflecting on its highs. So here we are, in no particular order of course.
Company events are kind of our thing. The marketing team spend a vast amount of their time planning official company events, and paintballing was the first one in the social calendar.
What’s better than shooting your colleagues in the face, right? Well, this was our time to shine! We attended Manchester Paintball Arena for three hours of paintballing. The sessions ended with bruises, aches, and an all-round excited vibe. Unfortunately, everybody’s biggest target, Chief Exec. Craig, couldn’t attend.
Award Nominations & Award Recognitions
We take our work very seriously. So when we get recognised, or even shortlisted for an award, it means a lot to us. We were shortlisted for multiple awards this year;
- Viv Dean, Office Manager – shortlisted for Line Manager of the Year at Manchester PA of the Year Awards
- Jack Simpson, Head of Marketing & Communications – shortlisted for Marketing/PR Professional of the Year at the JCI Manchester Young Talent Awards
- Dominique Ward-Marsh, Junior Project Manager – shortlisted for Higher Degree Level Apprentice of the Year at Skills for Business Awards
- Web Applications UK – shortlisted for Small Business of the Year at Skills for Business Awards
Our award wins for this year have been our biggest achievements. Our Chief Exec. Craig was humbled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at Oldham Business Awards, for services to the Oldham Business Community.
In November, it was announced that our Industrial Placement programme had been awarded the prestigious Princess Royal Training Award, in recognition of our innovation and feedback-driven approach. Our Chief Exec. Craig, Software Engineer Andrew, and myself attended St. James’ Palace to receive the award, and we couldn’t have been happier.
Our ethos is who we are, and being recognised for any award is an amazing achievement. We work pretty hard to push training, learning and development, and it’s our aim to keep improving and changing, and investing in our people in 2018.
— Web Applications UK (@WebAppUK) November 2, 2017
2017 saw Executive Assistant Naomi, and Senior Engineer Chris, have their 10-year Webbie anniversaries! They’ve both come so far since joining Web Apps, and they’ve grown and changed throughout the years.
Naomi joining as an Administrator, and Chris joining as a Software Engineer, now share their knowledge with others to help them improve. They embody our ethos and mentor others so they can progress, and we’re all grateful for their hard work. Congratulations guys – here’s to many more years as a Webbie!
Stranger Things 2 was scheduled to be released in October. Hack Manchester is also in October. It was just too good to be true! Hacker Things made its debut appearance and was extremely well received. Baseball caps are always a great hit, and the mentors and helpers wore retro-style jumpers.
Every year we say that Hack Manchester is the best one yet, and it keeps improving. So, we’ll say it: 2017 Hack Manchester was the best yet! We’re already looking forward to Hack Manchester 2018.
— Web Applications UK (@WebAppUK) October 29, 2017
The next official company event was also activity-focused – go-karting! As somebody who’s only been go-karting once, I was pleasantly surprised with myself (And why not, when you finish 4th place!).
We held a sweepstake before the event, so Webbies who randomly selected the winners of the race received a prize, whilst the overall winner of each round won a prize. It was a fantastic evening full of laughter – and we even saw those naughty drivers have their comeuppance when they received black flags! I’m looking at you two, Joel and Nick!
It was great to see two of our Software Engineers Brodie and Josh, or as Webbies call them ‘Brosh’, both promoted to Senior Engineers. We couldn’t think of two more suited to the role. Both have won prestigious awards at our previous Christmas parties, so we weren’t overly surprised when we heard the news.
2017 introduced a new role throughout the company, that combines the Marketing, Project Management and Development departments. Part of our ethos is to be brave in offering and receiving constructive feedback. Because of this, we have seen the quality of documentation vastly improve prior to being distributed to clients. The role of Quality Assurance has been added to improve both internal and external communication.
Our third company event saw us hire out Revolution, Oxford Road for a quiz! Divided into six teams, Have We Got a Quiz for You was one of the best quiz nights we’ve had yet. Les Quizerables managed to win the quiz, whilst Paul’s Quiz to Rysz received the wooden spoons. We also ended the night with an unforeseen game of ‘Save the Duck’.
2017 introduced a new group structure to Web Apps. Webbies are split into animals of prey, and have weekly meetings to discuss progress, feedback, cases and any concerns. Team banners were created and displayed at the Webbie Christmas party, and are now hanging in our offices. It’s an exciting time for Web Apps as we are constantly changing the way we work together and share feedback. It is part of our ethos after all!
In the aftermath of Christmas, January can sometimes feel a little bit gloomy, so we decided to brighten up our offices with our new team banners! pic.twitter.com/XCnF6ON6uR
— Web Applications UK (@WebAppUK) January 3, 2018
The legendary Christmas party is always the biggest event of the year. We don’t do things by halves, and this year we somehow decided on a Harry Potter themed Christmas party. It was very well received, with a Platform 9 ¾ wall, Quidditch Pong, Selfie Mirror of Erised, and Harry Potter props. Group banners also made their valuable appearance (see Group Structure). It’s being talked about as the best one yet – and we’re incredibly relieved! Topping this in 2018 is going to be a little difficult.
We’ve had a fluctuating year, but here’s to hoping 2018 is better than last!