Shoeboxed Shenanigans: Code Camp Edition

Shoeboxed Shenanigans gives you a glimpse into fun(ny) happenings here at Shoeboxed HQ. In this edition, you’ll learn about our new coding classes for the office!

Shoeboxed Shenanigans is a weekly feature that gives you a glimpse into our lives here at Shoeboxed HQ. Each installment will share a story about our office, the people in it, or something fun we did to take a break from keeping the world organized. Even organized superheroes like us deserve a break every once in a while, right? Anyway, we’re not the most serious group of individuals so read on and enjoy!

Coding is Cool

Shoeboxed is built on a variety of complicated technologies that most people wouldn’t be able to decipher if their lives depended on it. For the most part, the marketing and sales teams here at Shoeboxed are included in that group as well. We didn’t study computer science in college or get our Bachelors degrees in engineering, after all. Most of us studied business or humanities or journalism. We may be relatively tech savvy, but the whole coding thing and making computers talk to one another is way over our heads.

That was the case at least until Shoeboxed Code Camp started two weeks ago.

The goal of Code Camp is to teach those of us who speak English for a living to essentially speak computer. That’s not to say that we need to be able to create the next Google or complete the next round of Shoeboxed web upgrades, but since we work at a tech startup, we should be able to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Enter Code Camp. Our first session involved an introduction by our very own CEO & CTO Taylor Mingos. He laid the groundwork for what we’d be learning in the class, as well as giving us a general overview to coding. After that we started learning at full speed!

From downloading coding programs like Git and typing lines into Terminal (a program that looks like my 90’s computer games came back to life), our brains are getting filled to the brim with new knowledge. Every Tuesday and Thursday our office is converted into a classroom, and developers sit side-by-side with the whole team to guide the way. We work together to expand our skillsets. It’s a win-win on both sides: our sales and marketing teams learn how to code, and the development team learns patience by teaching us newbies without flipping desks over in fits of frustration.

It’s also a welcome change from our normal day to day duties, a chance to step outside of talking to customers or tweeting. But the best part might be that the departmental lines are blurred when it comes to Code Camp. Twice a week we get to hang out with people we don’t get to on a daily basis and learn a thing or two about coding while we’re at it. Maybe one day we’ll be able to build a new product or even just handle technical customer issues without having to ask a developer. Well, a girl can dream.

The Story of the Five Dollar Bill

Here at Shoeboxed, we know that our customers are the best in the world. We do our best to bring you a magical experience every time you interact with Shoeboxed, but sometimes we can’t help but be humbled by how wonderful you all are! This story of one customer’s incredible generosity made our month, and we’re excited to share it with you.

Here at Shoeboxed, we believe know that our customers are the best in the world. We do our best to bring you a magical experience every time you interact with Shoeboxed, but sometimes we can’t help but be humbled by how wonderful you all are!

Last week, we received a Magic Envelope filled with all the usual paper clutter– receipts, bank statements and similar stuff. As one of our operators was scanning the last few papers, a five dollar bill fell out. We did what we always do — write a quick note to let the sender know that they had accidentally included some cash or coins in their envelope, stick it to the offending currency and put it back in the return envelope. No big deal.

A few days later, we got a tweet from Drew Golden, founder and managing director of Golden Capital Partners, thanking us for returning his $5 and starting that he wants to donate the money to a charity of our choice. It was the most original and awesome way to thank us for great customer service that we’ve ever experienced! So, we tweeted back to Drew at @GoldenCapital1 that we had chosen the American Cancer Society as the charitable recipient in a tweet and went on about our day.

Drew Golden TweetOn Wednesday, we got another tweet from Drew letting us know that he had donated $500 instead of just $5 to the American Cancer Society in honor of our honesty and fantastic customer service. We were floored by his generosity and humbled that he did this all because of a five dollar bill.

Drew included the hashtag #payitforward in the tweet, and that got our minds churning here at Shoeboxed about how we can do exactly that here in our local community. Stay tuned to follow our mission to give back in 2014, and of course, a big thank you to Drew for being an awesome customer and for his generosity!

An Ode to Unscannables

At Shoeboxed, we sometimes receive things besides paper clutter in our Magic Envelope– socks, loose change, hair clips and more. We call them unscannables. Here’s the story of one we got last week.

Here at Shoeboxed, we’ve seen it all. Our Magic Envelopes were designed to be large and sturdy enough to handle even the biggest piles of paper, so it’s no surprise that many of our wonderful customers use them as a catchall for cleaning out their desk or filing cabinet. Whether it’s loose change, candy, a spare sock or random office items like pens or blank post-its– you name it, we’ve probably received it in one of our envelopes. We lovingly call these items unscannables. You may remember a very special unscannable item we received back in 2011 (Hint: it’s illegal, at least here in North Carolina!). We take pride in ensuring that these items make it back to their owners every time (well, besides the above example).

The other day, among the hundreds of Magic Envelopes we received, one envelope came in that included $15 cash. So, we clipped the cash to the envelope and ensured it was sent back to the sender when we finished processing their documents. What we didn’t expect was to have the cash sent back to us! Check out the awesome return letter we received from one of our awesome customers, addressed to our Director of Operations, Sam Glover.

user letter

The entire Shoeboxed team feels incredibly honored and proud to serve awesome customers like this one. Needless to say, this letter made our day and gave us a new energy and excitement for all of the awesome things we’re working on. We have a lot of neat features coming out in the next few months, so stay tuned, and thank you all for being loyal Shoeboxers!