My three years at Gecko Labs: Everything has changed but the fridge
Our first employee, Lead Backend Developer Malcolm Christie celebrated his three-year Geckoversary this week. We asked him to take a look back at his journey and tell us how things have changed at Gecko Labs over the years.
Three years is a long time in any startup or tech company, but it seems like only yesterday I helped Matt unload a questionably parked van full of old office desks and helped carry a leaky fridge up to our Edinburgh Shandwick place office.
I’d worked with Matt before, but after working in another tech startup for a year Matt had invited me back to work at his new company – Gecko Form. I recognised the tiny white Ikea desks and the fridge from ‘the old swanify office’, it had all the hallmarks of a Matt project – it doesn’t have to be beautiful, as long as it works well.
Within months we were hiring more and more people, our small two roomed office was getting cramped. Luckily our friends and neighbours, xDesign were also growing fast and when they moved on for pastures new, we took over their space too. We also adopted our first table tennis table – complete with Christmas tree stand serving as a missing wheel.
When I started, Gecko ran on a single server and as Matt was the sole developer best practices like code review and documentation weren’t exactly a top priority. We’ve overcome plenty of challenges since then; adding a US region, continuously syncing thousands of contacts in hundreds of events, handling hundreds of call agents concurrently during clearing. Today our EU region alone has a minimum of 10 servers and can scale automatically to over 30 servers within 5 minutes to meet demand!
We’ve had plenty ups and downs over the years, and don’t get me wrong there’s been some arguments along the way, but, the important thing to remember, I think, is that regardless of who wins any particular argument we’re all trying to do our best for the team as a whole.
Looking back over my three years at Gecko Labs we’ve got an office I’d hardly recognise if I’d seen a preview three years ago. We’ve got a table tennis table with all 4 original wheels, a whole office of brand new matching desks and chairs, a fantastic teams of developers, and a team dedicated to business growth. Some things never change though – we still hotly debate the best way to do things, we’re still running out of office space – and we still have the same fridge.
If you would like to find out more about working with Gecko Labs, check out our careers page!