Starting at SuperHi

24 July 2019

This has been my first week as a technical content creator at SuperHi 💙, a role I’ve taken on in addition to continuing to run YupGup.

I had written a blog post last month about seeking a part-time, fully remote position and was able to reconnect with long-time Twitter friend Rik Lomas, CEO and founder of SuperHi. While teaching and content creation were not explicitly listed as something I was looking for, mostly because those opportunities are hard to find, I’m very glad that Rik reached out. It’s something that I have always been very passionate about, and brings together all my favorite skills.

Starting a new job, regardless of age or experience, is both terrifying and exciting. There’s a lot to absorb and a lot of things that I want to say and inevitably forget as my mind is racing with ideas and questions. So, I wanted to share a bit about why I see this role at SuperHi as such a good fit and what I’m most pumped about.

But first, a look back at my new mug on the first day:

Joni Trythall holding a very cute sloth mug

Quality Work & Branding

Having watched SuperHi grow tremendously over the years has been very cool. There are few other places where a creative professional can get such a thoughtful, modern, and flexible education. It’s clear that a lot of planning goes into these courses and that there is a solid, deliberate strategy behind what topics are covered and how.

I also find that their visual design and voice and tone foster an approachable, welcoming, and humble feel that stands out in a too-frequently cold and intimidating space. Remembering clearly what it was like transitioning into tech later in my career, this is exactly the type of design and coding resource I would have been drawn to and ultimately wish existed all those years ago.

Back to Teaching

What people do in their free time can be very telling. For me, that has always been learning, writing, and crafting handy teaching materials and curriculum to share. From one-off cheatsheets covered in fruit to full CSS animation workshops for adults and kids to a company-wide crash course on using GitHub, I seem to have always found a way to make knowledge sharing part of everything I do.

I think I ultimately viewed myself as a designer that enjoys teaching and would aim to be a college professor once my age doubles and I start my modest urban farm. Being presented with an opportunity for the teaching and instructional design part to be my consistent job now was something that I just couldn’t get past once I began to consider it. It quickly began to seem like such an obviously excellent choice.

I’m thrilled to be officially moving back into this space at a company that provides such a solid education and support system for their students.

Sincere Flexibility

YupGup was founded in 2017 so I could work with stellar clients doing things that I enjoyed and am good at, but also so I could own my schedule and have real flexibility. Having learned that “flexibility” and “remote” have unfortunately come to frequently be used as empty buzzwords, I have become especially cautious and specific with what my definition of “flexibility” looks like.

More recently I’ve been fairly honest in my personal struggles and why a flexible work environment is necessary. Having a kid with six major food allergies requires a lot of from-scratch meals and baked goods. Developing a mysterious health and chronic pain issue years ago requires a lot of appointments and some days in bed. While these things don’t impact the quality of my work or overall dedication, they do make it difficult for me to be glued to desk at very specific hours. I need to be able to step away if something happens at school. I need to take a daily post-lunch ice cream break 😜

Rik was very understanding and empathetic to these needs and concerns, reassuring me that flexibility at SuperHi was a reality. It’s already evident that the culture here is one that embraces trust and autonomy and it was one of the things that appealed to me most when considering the role.

The People

Aside from my YupGup partner, my clients, and the brief few months we had an intern, I have mostly worked solo the past two years. So while remote work can be fairly isolating at times, not having anyone to share weird internet things with or run ideas by can simply be super sad. Getting to work on a small, talented, and friendly team again is something that I find endlessly thrilling.

The SuperHi team consists of eleven others across eight cities, many of whom have careers I have followed and admired for years. It’s a team of people that have a track record of giving back to the community and making it a better place. They’ve all been exceptionally welcoming so far and I can’t wait to get to know everyone individually.

See You Around?

Halfway through the week I feel justified in saying that SuperHi has been even better than expected and I can’t wait to fully dive in. If you happen to be a current or future student I look forward to getting to know you in Slack 👋