On December 27th we celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Around25. Back in 2005 Paul and I were two college freshmen moving to Cluj from a small town 60 km away. We were always passionate about Computer Science even before we even had our first PC. It's this common interest that helped us become best friends in the first place and have similar goals throughout our lives.
When we came to Cluj we were eager to learn more about writing good code, from basic assembly to complex software architectures. We also wanted to support ourselves, no more spending our parents paycheck for the things we needed. Money is always a factor when you are a student, so we started doing freelance work on the most popular platform at the time: RentACoder.
By the middle of our second year it was clear that we had a business we could support from our work. We didn't have any other colleagues and we were working side by side with each other and that made everything awesome. You had 100% trust in the abilities of the person sitting next to you, you knew exactly where their strengths and weaknesses were and more importantly you liked the person you were working with every day, both at a professional level and at a personal level.
For me the first three years were the coolest and at the same time the hardest. At that time we we're living in a 3 room apartment and our biggest worry was to make the next month's rent. All was right with the world!
The reward for good work is more work, so by the fifth year we had repeat customers, a few employees, a solid web presence and a lot of good reviews. At that time we were doing mostly PHP and Adobe Flash work, the two most popular technologies at that time for the web. There was a lot of demand for PHP projects so we focused on building custom web applications in PHP. We even built our own framework at one point, before moving to Zend Framework. At the time that was the only enterprise PHP framework easy to learn and teach to new developers.
We moved a couple more times since then and our roads separated a little. We were no longer living in the "office" or rather the office was no longer in our living room, Paul moved away from coding to management so that we can handle more projects successfully, new people joined the team and we moved away from freelancing websites to customer referrals. Also we are always looking for smart people that we might enjoy working with, so apart from hiring we started the summer internship program that made our team grow even larger.
Three years ago we moved to a 340 square meters open office and we wanted to better define who we are and what are the things we care about as a software development company. We held AngularJs, Docker and Fullstack Meetups, attended local and international conferences, contributed to open source, participated in virtual hackathons, founded a couple of startups and showed what Around25 can do. We realised that we go to work every day to learn something new, to write great code, to care about the projects we are building, to fall and get back up again. We love the struggle of fighting the unknown, of persevering.
So as we end this first chapter of Around25 we look towards the next one and we wonder what other wonderful struggles await, can we keep the enthusiasm and trust we had in the beginning in one another? I sure hope so. We look forward to learning more as we move Around25 away from outsourcing to a Fullstack Product Development Agency and focus more on startups and their needs.
I truly believe that the way people work in the future will change and that startups are going to make a big difference in people's lives. The next generation of young people will no longer think about "Where can I get hired?", and start thinking "What can I build? How am I going to change my world?".
We want to be part of that journey and set the standards to help that thought process move forward.
Enjoy the journey!