Hello, we’re Brewhouse. We are a group of creative developers who have come together to continue building great products for ourselves and others.

We love building applications. This has made us learn and evolve our techniques to best deliver great software products. Products that deliver value, fun, and are backed by quality code and tests.

I want to expand a little – to those that know us, those that don’t, who we are and what we do.

Full Transparency

When I first started talking about Brewhouse I took everything I learned from working with my friends at GoFreeRange. The one thing I wanted to bring to this business was full transparency internally and with clients. We’ve implemented this and are very happy with the results.

As an example, in the early months, the team proposed to discount their salaries for a month so we could buy nice chairs for the office (yep, those lovely beauties in the picture below). That was important because we sit in them all day. The key learning here was that at the time, I didn’t know this was so important and without the transparency on the decision, this suggestion would not have been made.

Our office chairs

Our team has full visibility on everything. This includes data like our budget, salaries, cashflow, cap table and conversations with potential clients. We really want to continue this as we grow but understand that it is going to be challenging, however, we’re excited to learn more about this.

Staying Creative

Every week we meet for a “weekly brew”. As we work with different clients and internal projects on rotation, we find it important to have a meeting outside of the office to do a roundup and plan things for the weeks ahead.

Weekly brew at Timbertrain, Vancouver

We only charge out 30 hours of development time a week so that leaves a day to work on internal hacks, creative projects or to prepare for the week ahead. It’s very difficult to work for clients and on the company at the same time. Godfrey, for example, contributes his time to the Rails open source project and collects content for a rails weekly roundup.

Community is important to us and we gain value from others all the time. We help organize #vanruby’s meetups and hack nights. This is now baked into what we do at Brewhouse and is no longer something I do on my own. We’re going to brew as much tech here in Vancouver as we can.

Code Curation and Mentorship

With some of our clients-to-date, we’ve trialed the notion of CTO-for-hire, as well as code curation workshops. The results have been interesting and deserves another post.

We are going to continue code curating services in a workshop format and will soon be providing these services part-time for some of our existing clients.

Product & Service

Yep, we do product, as well as service. It’s hard but we’re doing it.

In the past, I’ve worked with clients for long periods of time and then try to buy back time to then work on products – 4 months on service; 1 month on product. This didn’t work. It was very hard to keep momentum and the pace up. To ship Caliper last year, I found momentum helped keep focus and drive the solution to best fit the problem our customers were having.

At Brewhouse, we’ll always be working on product. This has enabled us to start sending out invites to our new service, Goodbits. This time split is working well for our business.

Goodbits

That’s all for now. We’ll be writing about some of the themes I touched on in this post and web development learnings in the future. If this is interesting to you, subscribe to our blog for new articles or our newsletter, where we’ll also be sharing what we read during the week.

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