Our blog

How to Go Off the Grid for Two Weeks. For Real.

In modern agency life, it seems impossible to take a vacation without taking work with you, but it can be done. Here’s how I did it.

Meghan Gardner

Flexbox

As a back-end developer, it can be hard to style a web page. CSS is not very intuitive and around every corner there’s a “gotcha.” Flexbox is a fairly new CSS technology that once mastered, can be much easier to use.

Dan Sudenfield

How to (Successfully) Lead Your First Tech Meetup

There are a number of reasons you might want to start a technology meetup. In order to narrow the focus a bit, we’re going to approach this from the standpoint that you work for (or run) a company that is interested in the idea of hosting a meetup.

Brendan Butts

How Do You Fix a $75,000 Mistake?

As a new marketing manager for a practice group within a consulting firm, I had a lot to learn. And a few of those things, I had to learn the hard way, like making an error that cost the company many tens of thousands of dollars.

Meghan Gardner

Reimagined At Work

When done right, something reimagined is almost magical. It’s not just about integrating a product with another one or allowing for internet connectivity, it’s about taking an existing solution and changing the experience that individuals have, ultimately creating a new kind of experience.

Torrey Fazen

Snapchat

Snapchat launched its first ever TV ad campaign to reposition the app as a camera, which begs the question

Kayla King

The Digital Agency is Dead. Long Live the Digital Agency.

The coming wave of digital de-specialization.

Colin Alsheimer

Tomorrow Comes Today

The coming wave of digital de-specialization.

Dan Zarzycki

Your Next Programming Language (Part 1 of 2)

People often ask “what is the best programming language” to the reply “depends on what you’re doing” – an answer which is paradoxically as true as it is unhelpful.

Ryan Taylor

Making Social Media Politics Great Again

Your uncle will probably never stop posting about his crazy conspiracy theories, but at least now you can rest assured that you won’t be bombarded with sponsored content from illegitimate advertisers.

Nasreen Salem

Six Seconds to Advertise

Whether consumers like it or not, the six second commercial format is here to stay.

Dustin McCormick

Useful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for a Windows User

There’s a lot of keyboard shortcuts available to a Mac user. As a primarily Windows user, I’ve found a few shortcuts that are extremely helpful as a programmer and may be useful to you too.

Sonya Chen

Animation Trends

When you think of the word “loop,” different definitions might come to mind. You might think of a simple circle, or a rope that’s made into a circle. Maybe it’s a pattern you make while driving, or something else entirely.

Michael Callahan

Stumbling Upon a Twitter Vulnerability

Reading privacy policies on websites and other legal documents are important. I have read Twitter’s privacy policy before but I wanted to make sure nothing had changed. GDPR was coming and seeing how they structured their page and spelled out the details seemed interesting. Starting on help.twitter.com, I went right to the footer. Mouse over the Privacy link and NO click. It looked funny.

Keith Koslowsky

The Alipes Team Vibe

The Alipes team structure and way of working is the most important aspect of how we deliver great solutions to clients. We thrive, believe, and deliver in team. Our norms are about outspoken creativity, inherent curiosity, and effective listening across departments.

Torrey Fazen

From Maryland to Chicago, Alipes is Boston Strong

Boston Strong represents different meanings for different people. Five years after the Boston Marathon Bombing, Alipes reflects on what it means to us.

Kayla King

None of Their Business

There’s an old expression about how good people staying silent is all it takes for evil to triumph. Burger King made a single video that captured the power of a modern distribution channel to spark mainstream conversation about bullying. It’s a corporation using the tools of an upstart movement to deliver a powerful message that staying silent is destructive.

Meghan Gardner

Alipes Opinions

We polled the majority of Alipians and asked them what their favorite social networks were, and why. Most results fell within the big four (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) but the most interesting thing about the results were the reasons why folks preferred their favorite social network.

Brendan Butts

Blockchain 101

The first in a series of posts covering the Blockchain, key players, trends and how the technology can be applied to a variety of industries, including digital media and marketing.

Colin Alsheimer

#DeleteFacebook – Why it Matters for Brands

Facebook is in trouble. As the social media platform deals with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, #DeleteFacebook has gained steam, prompting many to reexamine the role that social media plays in their lives. But what does this mean for brands?

Colin Alsheimer

Don’t Wait, Learn How to Code Now

Anyone can learn how to code, but often people go about it the wrong way. As an accomplished web developer, here are my suggestions on the best ways to learn how to code.

Dan Sudenfield

Limitations Can Drive Innovations

Limitation of the design systems of yesterday gave rise to the internet technologies of today.

Jason Tennis

Networking

If you’re a Resistant Prisoner like me, but you see the value of networking, rest assured that you’re not the only one. In fact, you’re already taking steps toward improving, just by reading this.

Sonya Chen

A Trick to Clearly Communicate with Developers and in Teams

Communication is key, and software development is no exception. Anyone who has worked with developers knows how tricky communication can be, whether they are talking about bugs, new features or even layout.

Ryan Taylor

Audience Centric Advertising

The best digital advertising remembers who the audience is.

Michael Callahan

One Less App

However, how do you know if program that you just put on your computer is safe? It may be sending information about you out to an unsafe location. The developer may tell you they are collecting this information in their privacy policy. Although, I’m willing to bet you haven’t actually read the privacy policy. Go ahead, admit it.

Keith Koslowsky

When Brands Sell Culture

Advertising is an unavoidable part of life for most people. It’s been with us since we were born, surrounding us on TV, magazines, and billboards—burrowing into our memories. Speaking as an American thirty-something who remembers a time before the internet, ads have always been around.

Dustin McCormick

We’re Honored to be Honored

We believe our work is the hero of our story—and we’re honored to have captured two Davey Awards, awards named for the legendary hero of small stature and big thinking.

Meghan Gardner

Internet Memes

There’s millions of Internet memes, but only the best make it viral. Learn how the concept of natural selection comes into play in the world of memes.

Kayla King

Glad to Meet You

Alipes, the boutique agency reinventing digital for clients large and small, announced today that it has inked new client relationships and established a presence in Chicago.

Meghan Gardner

Pitching Your Employer, Include the Doodles

It’s a random Tuesday and you have a new business idea. It’s just that, an idea. It needs to be fleshed out, nurtured, developed, but it’s a place to start and you are getting excited about the possibilities. Where do you go next? To friends and family for advice? To your business mentor for a brainstorm? What if the next step is even easier, what if you need to look no further than your current employer?

Torrey Fazen

A Coming Change in Traditional Websites

Over the horizon, there is a significant change coming to your web browsing experience. A change that, once it’s pervasive, will seem necessary.

Nathan Lamont

How Not to Make Friends and Influence People

Influencing the people right next to you may be even harder than trying to capture the attention of someone with 500,000 followers. Here’s why.

Meghan Gardner

Developing as a Developer

There are so many solutions that developers accumulate over their careers. Each one of these solutions can be abstracted and potentially applied to a number of situations. The more solutions a developer has come across, the more solutions they have available to them when they encounter a particularly tough problem.

Brendan Butts

Now Hear This

Check out 37 of the best podcasts to help you become a smarter and more informed digital marketer.

Colin Alsheimer

Developing as a Developer

I’m betting most developers didn’t write their first line of code in school, or on the job. It’s more likely than not that they wrote those first lines of code after encountering a problem that their computer couldn’t solve on it’s own. Maybe that problem was making repetitive changes to a large text document, or like me, they wanted to write an AOL chat bot that would talk on their behalf. Whatever the reason, it’s personal projects that help define a developer and refine their skill set.

I love problem solving and I believe this is a trait I share with most developers. Spending an afternoon refining my solution to a complex coding problem feels no different to my brain than if I spent the afternoon playing Sudoku. There is something alluring about the slipping into the flow of coding to solve a problem and coming out hours later with a solution. You might think this would be exhausting but it’s exactly the opposite. It’s invigorating.

I know many developers that spend just as much time, if not more, working on personal projects and open source initiatives as they do at work. You might have heard that contributing to an open source project (or starting one of your own) is a great resume builder. Why is that? These projects have an intrinsic value that goes well beyond the personal satisfaction of building something with your own hands (or well, fingers).

Just like my first experience with writing code was developing a chat bot for AOL in 1993, much of a developer's experience and expertise comes from the time they spend working on personal projects. Bringing a project from the ideation stage all the way through to completion builds an enormous amount of skills that can be applied to other projects.

Have you ever spent a couple hours working on a problem, growing more and more frustrated as you were unable to find a solution? Perhaps you were trying to get fields in a spreadsheet to calculate correctly, or you were trying to put together a piece of Ikea furniture.

Finally, you have an ‘ah ha’ moment and figure it out. If you had to do the same task a week or two later, would it take you the same amount of time? No, of course not. You worked hard to figure out the solution to this problem, and you have that solution ready the next time it’s needed. It’s unlikely you’ll ever totally forget how you managed to get those spreadsheet values to calculate. Even if you do forget the specifics, you’ll have a jumping off point that has you a few google searches away from a solution.

There are so many solutions that developers accumulate over their careers. Each one of these solutions can be abstracted and applied to a number of situations. The more solutions a developer has enacted, the more solutions they have available to them when they encounter a problem.

Just recently I spent several hours working on a new design for a website I created in 2008. It’s a simple game listing website that has fallen woefully behind the times. Opening it on a mobile device results in a cringe worthy presentation of something I spent days making look great. I wanted to make the site responsive, and I wanted to use the same CSS framework we use at Alipes. I don’t do a ton of front end design work, so I knew this would be an excellent chance to bolster those skills.

I got stuck fairly quickly with my CSS not rendering properly. Eventually I figured out that I wasn’t calling a javascript function that the display was relying on. This wasn’t something I had seen us use at Alipes and I had no solution ready. I did however have a good deal of practice reviewing source code and googling. Most of which I have done for personal projects.

The very next day a fellow developer encountered the exact same issue at Alipes and we solved the problem within minutes. Great success!

Personal coding projects remind us why we started coding in the first place. They give us a chance to spread our wings and explore new languages, new possibilities and new solutions. They are incredibly important, and contribute in large part to a developer's overall skill. If you are a developer and you are looking to improve, make sure you have a personal project to help fan the flames of that exploration.

navigate_before navigate_next
Home Approach Focus Case Studies People Careers Blog Contact