In 2008, I was fresh out of school. I had little, to no, experience with web development outside of a couple of easy projects in school. The overwhelming feelings of intimidation, fear, anxiety and failure took over when I was looking for jobs. And those feelings were at the forefront the day I interviewed at The Karcher Group (TKG).
I bombed the interview. I said all the things you shouldn’t say. The interviewer had had enough fun with my ever-increasing nervousness, got up and told me to wait a few moments while she spoke with someone. She never returned. Instead, Geoff Karcher walked in. I thought he was going to pick me up and throw me out like Uncle Phil throwing out DJ Jazzy Jeff in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Instead, he offered me an opportunity at TKG.
I was in over my head and leadership quickly realized I was struggling. The TKG team fully put “people first” into practice by helping me. They allowed me to learn by putting out fires and fixing bugs. This strategy is something I use to this day to help new hires learn the system with my current company, Dancor Solutions.
The projects I received were so difficult at the time that I would frequently reach out to the team with questions. So frequently that I didn’t understand how people had the patience they did. If it wasn’t for this team, I wouldn’t be the developer I am today. I wouldn’t be developing features and enhancements for the level of clients that I am at Dancor Solutions. Back in 2008, I couldn’t have imagined that today I would be in meetings talking to clients like Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, and LG with a high degree of confidence. I couldn’t have imagined that I would help lead a development team on our employee engagement platform, Ignite, and offer the company guidance on best practices and technical advice. It is because of The Karcher Group, who we all came to know as TKG. It is because of Geoff Karcher, Adam Kress, Dan Hall, Colin Brimfield, Jen Geh, Chris Chapman, Curtis Holland and Josh McDermitt along with many more friends I made along the way.
There was a challenging time, when a former member of the executive team was not a culture fit for TKG, causing some of us to move on to other opportunities. We learned things about growth and leadership during that period and those experiences have helped shape my leadership style today.
TKG was a lot of things, definitely imperfect, just like other companies. Interoffice politics, challenges and drama were there during my tenure. However, I always felt valued by leadership, the company and the clients. TKG always gave back to the employees, recognized hard work and hosted summer camping trips with a ton of team-building (for better or worse) where we always came out stronger and closer. TKG exemplified the “work hard, play hard” mentality. They always offered conferences, events, classes and other learning opportunities to advance our knowledge. I can honestly say I am grateful for my experiences gained through TKG.
- Kyle Stanley, former Web Developer at TKG
Connect with Kyle to learn more about his awesome developing endeavors since his time at TKG.