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Daxko Kickoff 2017 and Achievers Club Winners

By | Culture, Employment Brand, Life at Daxko, Talent | No Comments

Every January, Daxko gets ready to start the new year by holding a company-wide Kickoff event. Kickoff 2017 was attended by our teams in Birmingham and Houston, spanned a Thursday evening and a full day (almost) on Friday and included a keynote from Dave Gray, team breakout sessions, and of course, lots of fun – and some unexpected surprises.

Kickoff 2017 was western-themed, so our Thursday night event included dinner, line dancing, old-timey photos, and plenty of games. You can see highlights in the video below. Who knew so many of our team members were such good dancers?

Our team breakouts were cut short on Friday because of inclement weather. In fact, most of our Houston team got snowed in after flights were canceled. Fortunately, they made the most out of a stressful situation. The team hung out with Dave and dined on pizza at the Aloft Hotel in Homewood. They were also caught on ABC 33/40 news line dancing in the snow!

We wrap up every Kickoff by announcing our Achievers Club winners. This prestigious award is one of Daxko’s top honors, and winners receive recognition, a trophy, and a trip. Due to the inclement weather, we were unable to announce the winners as planned. However, this past Friday, we held the ceremony here at the Daxko Birmingham HQ (with live video feed from both Birmingham and Houston). The winners will be going to the Boulders Resort & Spa in Arizona in April, and they won’t have to use any of their PTO time!

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Congratulations to all of our Achievers Club winners! This is a great group, and we’re proud to have such high-caliber team members working at Daxko.

Although Kickoff 2017 didn’t go quite as planned, we still count it as a success. We are excited about 2017 and ready to do great things in the Daxko Nation!


Ready to see where a career at Daxko could take you? Apply here for one of our current openings!

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How to Impact Your Community in Just One Hour

By | Community, Culture, Healthy Stuff, Talent, Technology | No Comments

Throughout last week, several members of the Daxko Software Engineering team visited five different schools in the Birmingham area to teach an Hour of Code. Code.org organizes this campaign annually to teach students about computer science. The concept is simple – spend one hour doing a fun, engaging activity that educates kids on coding. The Daxko team used several methods to teach kids about how code affects many of their daily activities, including Scratch, a BB-8 robot, and Minecraft.

Hour of Code isn’t only fun for the kids – it is genuinely fun and rewarding for Daxko team members as well.

Daniel V. is a QA Engineer at Daxko, and he enjoyed seeing the kids “genuinely interested in code and excited about technology.” He continues, “Kids are growing up in a time when technology touches all parts of life, so they seem extremely interested in learning how it gets put into motion. Before working at Daxko, I didn’t have much exposure to computer science. I was inspired to help my own children learn about it through my involvement with Hour of Code this year. I hope to be involved in Hour of Code in the future as well.”

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Napo M. facilitating for a classroom full of students

 

Shaun S. is a Software Engineer and has been with Daxko for several months. He says, “I had a great time playing coding games with the students using a BB-8 Sphero robot. We played magic 8-ball together and then programmed the robot to drive around, gesture, and say things to the kiddos. Every class asked me where they could get their own Sphero to program. The Elves will be busy making BB-8 Spheros this year!”

Shaun happened to teach his Hour of Code at the school where his wife Haley is a librarian. She added, “All my kids really loved the Hour of Code presentation! It was such a big hit that Brookville Elementary is buying its own Sphero!”

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Nick M. and Butch M. discussing how code is like Legos

 

Butch M., Daxko’s QA Team Lead pictured above, says, “Seeing kids’ faces light up once they realize they can code is a great feeling. The kids we had the opportunity to share our time with is the next generation. It was great introducing the younger kids to some basic programming concepts and giving the older kids some resources they can use to get started coding. Minecraft + Python Scripting = Kids’ Minds Blown!”

Kelly M. is a QA Engineer at Daxko, and this was her first year to participate in Hour of Code. She enjoyed it, saying, “It was incredibly exciting and inspiring to see so many young girls and boys announce their tech dreams during our brainstorming session. All the kids were very motivated to finish their projects and problem-solve their way through code issues. If the future of technology is in their hands, we’ll be okay!”

The Hour of Code is an easy way to impact your community. The Daxko team will definitely be participating again in the future, and we encourage you to do the same. Get started here! Let’s do our part in paving the way for the Software and QA Engineers of the future.

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Futuristic Management

By | Culture, Employment Brand, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Talent | No Comments

Flashback to two years ago: I’m gathering my thoughts and preparing my team’s presentation in our management class. Nervous energy is evident. We’re moments away from giving an hour-long presentation about a “forward-thinking” company. The clock indicates that class has started, and we dive in… We spend the hour discussing idealistic ways of managing groups of teams and individuals, the qualities of an effective leader, and how all of this actually looks in practice. For what?

Why do we even discuss this in the university setting if it is hardly in practice in the workforce?

Because it is the future, and the future is happening now.

According to the Birmingham Business Journal, young people –people like me– want to make a difference in the world. We want to collaborate and have the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas and creative solutions. Let’s be realistic, though. Daxko was my “shoot for the stars.”

Daxko is a fast-paced, exciting environment where team members are asked to be creative. We’re asked to challenge the status quo. If there is a better way of doing something – why not try it? Daxko reminds me a whole lot of that forward-thinking company my team gave a presentation on two years ago. This job was the dream.

When I came aboard, I was enthralled to be inside the type of environment I previously (idealistically) discussed. This is a management major’s playground.

I see the trust within a team and how that allows for more open communication.

I see the effects of being surrounded by excellent, innovative leaders.

I see the transparency and the free flow of information.

And, for what? The impact it makes on our team is immeasurable. We feel valued and capable. We have a dynamic environment that is open to necessary change. Our ideas become customer solutions which enables them to fulfill their mission.

Every single day I notice how Daxko utilizes those “idealistic” management practices, and I love the opportunity to observe and be a part of those practices. Team members aren’t tied to our desks if we feel that we could be more productive elsewhere. Company, product, team, and individual goals are available on our intranet. This transparency enables us to see what our peers are working towards and allows us to collaborate with them to help accomplish their goals. We even have weekly 1:1s with our team leads to discuss the day-to-day and our professional development.

At the end of the day, I go home looking forward to the contribution I’ll be able to make the next day. I already love what I do after one month!


Emily V. is a proud dog mom, and Netflix connoisseur, and lives on Daxko’s Engagement Solutions Team.

Daxko Turns 18 and Says Goodbye to an Old-Timer

By | Building a Company, Culture, Employment Brand, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko, Talent, Workplace | 2 Comments

Today, Daxko hits a milestone. It’s our 18th birthday! So in a way, we are now “officially” an adult, even though we don’t always act like it.

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We mark our birthday by the start date of our first-ever team member, Wei Jiang on October 14, 1998. Wei remains a key member of our software development team, and he has played a critical role in our success and growth. 

wei-02Wei has seen and done a lot over the past 18 years. Not only was he the creator and keeper of many of our software products, but he’s also experienced the highs and lows of being a part of a growth and change-oriented company. 

One of the inventible changes is the coming and going of team members, and today marks the celebration of one of those departures — a “retirement” if you will.  

Over her 16 years, 8 months and 13 days at Daxko, April Benetollo has led marketing, sales, product management, our People Team, career development, and more “assignments” I’m sure I’m forgetting.

dsc00013april_nationapril02We’ve experienced 14 straight years of double-digit growth, have a dominant position in our market and have built a very strong brand, and April has played an active, key role in all of it. We’re very thankful for her massive contributions and are excited for what lies ahead in her career.

April now joins an impressive alumni group, including Uncle Barry, Britney, JSides, Holly, Jeremy, Keefus, Toby, Susan, Austin, Tony, Anne and so many others. 

But we also have a great group of remaining old-timers such as Wei, Ming, Saranda, Rick, Patrick, Dan Van, Josh, Bryan, Todd, Heather and several Matts to name but a few, as well as newer team members like Moses, Kelly, Emily, Gabby, Colby, Napo, Alex and Mike that are ready and able to keep the momentum going strong and take us into the future. 

As we celebrate these milestones, it acts as a reminder of how the entire team — alumni, old-timers and relative newbies alike — are the reason behind our success. 

Thanks Team Daxko!

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