A look back on 2021…
This year was different as was 2020, but we have been resilient. We have expanded our team by 25%, increased our development efforts, and focused on our values. As we move forward into 2022 we can only continue our current efforts to improve Bio::Neos further.
In 2021 we experienced the first full year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The past two years have been a roller coaster for all of humanity. We are lucky to be able to find the good within these years. At the end of 2020, we added two new developers to our team, Joey Cicchese and Kody Petersen. As 2021 began, they both had become comfortable with the team and were getting to be very productive for the projects on which they were contributing. Each of them has different strengths and has been essential to our 2021 developments. They both had big personal achievements as well. This fall, Joey and his wife, Jacqueline, welcomed their first-born daughter, Julia. Congratulations to the Cicchese family! Kody Petersen also had an exciting fall, he got engaged: Congratulations to Kody and Noelle!
This year we experienced many successful new version releases for our clients. One notable release would be Classroom Clinic v1.0. Classroom Clinic provides rural school districts with timely and convenient access to children’s mental health services through the use of telehealth and related technologies. Through major efforts from our development team Classroom Clinic has been able to lend a helping hand to children, their families, and school districts that have been desperately fighting the current mental health crisis. This project is driven by Sue Gehling, founder of Classroom Clinic. In 2022 we are looking forward to the continued development to serve more school districts and students.
Just like 2020, in 2021 our team grew by adding an additional two new team members! Ally Schmidt joined the Bio::Neos team in August as our newest business development assistant. Ally graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Informatics. Throughout the year, she helped to continue the overhaul of some of our business development processes and her efforts have contributed to the remarkable results we have been seeing. Into 2022 as she continues to working closely with myself, Wanjiku, and the rest of the team we are excited to see what else Ally can help us achieve this upcoming year. Also, in October of 2021, Jevon Timmons joined our development team and is our first fully remote employee. Located in Jacksonville, Florida — Jevon is a hard-working father of two with a passion for software development following industry best practices. Thanks to LinkedIn for helping us find Jevon, who has been an exceptional addition to our team.
Over the summer of 2021, we once again ran our internship program, receiving 100+ applicants this year! High school and college student interns had the opportunity to work hands-on with different projects while learning more about programming careers. Despite the busy year, we are glad we were able to continue our ongoing commitment of providing post-secondary opportunities.
In the fall of 2021, we started a new initiative to focus on our shared values through coordinated activities that promote personal and professional growth called "Team Talks" (#teamtalks). On the first Friday of every month, we schedule a team video call that we use for a group activity. This is an opportunity to discuss professional development topics and continue enforcing our team culture despite being a hybrid workplace. Some of our favorite conversations have been regarding Hanlon's Razor and Taking Effective Breaks. Next year we plan to discussing various topics from Inbox Zero Email Handling to even discussing Psychological Safety. Our team has been very involved with these activities and we have seen engaging discussions during these meetings. Additionally, #teamtalks has helped make #WFH a little more social. Let me know if you want specifics about the activities that we have been doing as I would love to share more information with anyone in the community that is interested in doing something similar in their workplace (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To end our year we took some time to step back and celebrate our progress over the past couple of years with tacos and golf! We held the Bio::Neos holiday party at Leaderboard Golf in North Liberty and had it catered by La Regia Taqueria. We celebrated all the efforts that have been put forward this year and were able to be in person, including our advisory board. As we move forward into the new year we are continuing to run a hybrid office environment and limit the number of people in person through a set weekly schedule. This hybrid approach seems to be working well for us as long as we continue to have open communication within the team, flexibility and empathy for each other, and an understanding that situations could change almost weekly.. This approach allows team members to work where they are the most comfortable even though it takes a bit more effort to maintain team cohesion and culture. Well worth it.
As we look into 2022, we hope to continue our remarkable work with existing clients while also taking the opportunity to dive into new projects. We have goals of continuing our internship program this summer, undertaking projects relating to mental health and the life sciences, and continuously supporting and growing our team through our professional development initiatives.