Hi Everyone! For those of you that do not know me, I’m Matt Zador. Although I’m relatively new to this blog post thing, when the opportunity came for me to write something, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Our team.
Here at Foster Made, we code often, but we also take the time to bond and grow together. This has been something that’s been really important to me over the years and through the ups and downs of life. Especially the downs, of which I’m no stranger. I’ll explain.
About two months ago, I received ACL reconstruction surgery. Even though most of my teammates would identify me as the one who manages to have pretty terrible luck (a few concussions, numerous dental issues, car troubles, etc.), this time was different. For me, this was big. It’s been one of my most challenging personal events to date, and I didn't know how I'd handle it.
Before the surgery, I was trying to complete tasks and make handoffs, feeling very overwhelmed with the potential outcomes and, honestly, scared. Fortunately, the surgery went well, and the doctor did an outstanding job, but the transition back to everyday life was still challenging. Blending in a combination of immobility, insomnia, and pain; coding was difficult at first. Everything took longer. It was frustrating and disheartening.
It’s times like these that we find a greater appreciation for the people that surround us during the week. My teammates have been incredibly helpful and encouraging through this whole process. From giving me rides to technical assistance to just making me laugh –– my co-workers are a support structure that helped me recoup and recover. They helped me keep my spirits up and push forward.
While I was reflecting over this recent experience, I’ve thought back to all the times I’ve felt supported by the Foster Made team. We are kind of like a family, and a growing one at that. Literally (Jim Zador is my brother, can’t you see the resemblance??) and figuratively. Without this family, this post wouldn't be happening. Over the years here, when I've struggled as a developer and beaten myself up over performance; everyone has made the effort to lift me up.
The Foster Made culture is something that should be sought out in small companies. When we’re not working hard building sites and apps, you might find us playing soccer, running in a Tough Mudder, playing a Super Mario Kart tournament, or dishing out food at our team lunch. We have fun together making jokes and catching up. No matter what it is, this team has taken the time to help me grow, professionally and personally.
So, that’s my small simple story that exemplifies our culture and makes me appreciate the camaraderie we share. Shawn has created an environment with flexibility and integrity that we all embody. When I hit my head a few too many times or tore a major ligament in my knee, my work family helped me get back on my feet, even if I couldn't stand. In my experience, this is one of the most important elements of a team. A culture such as this needs to be actively pursued by everyone involved. It’s that level of working relationship that makes Foster Made a one-of-a-kind place.