Quick Left – A Web Engineering Company Creating Community
Quick Left is a web engineering company that turns good ideas into great applications. I met with Ryan Cook, one of their software engineers, to talk about Quick Left and its place in the Boulder creative community.
There are a number of Web Design/Application Development companies in Boulder. What is different about Quick Left?
Ryan mentioned that the people at Quick Left loved to get involved in the early stages of a project, product or company and help people get to the next phase in their development. It’s the iterative process to development that appeals to this team of engineers, social media strategists, and web developers. Ryan emphasized that this process is an “agile style of development, meaning that they want as much feedback as possible to drive and inform their development. Our development methodology builds in rapid iterations based on feedback – it’s the way we are organized.”
How important is the Boulder Community?
For Quick Left the Boulder community means to be surrounded by individuals enthusiastically working on projects, plans and goals. This type of environment really “helps you focus on what you should be doing.” It’s the community aspect that has really influenced the growth of Quick Left; in fact, most of their new business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations. They are also helping to nurture new talent by taking on interns and teaching them the ropes of Ruby and project management. By mentoring CU students and offering agile development training, Quick Left hopes to better educate other companies and clients about the importance of feedback-driven development.
Quick Left believes it’s important to give back to the local and global community of developers. They’ve started hosting a monthly HackFest in which they open their shop doors, buy pizza and beer and let devs congregate around a shared love of hacking. This event allows developers to work on pet projects and learn from peers working in similar areas. Additionally, QL has contributed open-source code to the global Ruby on Rails community in an effort to share the knowledge they’ve gained and to highlight their expertise.
How did the company get started and how did the name Quick Left originate?
I asked Ryan about the name – Quick Left – and what it means and how it was chosen. Ryan said one of the founders, Collin Schaafsma, was out riding his bike and took a “quick left” onto Left Hand Canyon.
Having worked in both the start-up realm and interactive agencies, Collin wanted to create a firm that focused on the craftsmanship of innovative software through Agile development practices. “We want to raise our industry to a higher standard,” says Collin. With a little money saved up, a home office and a few small clients, Collin started Quick Left as a bootstrapped venture. He soon partnered up with two other developers, Ingrid Alongi and Sam Breed, as co-founders and Quick Left was off to a running start.