Thinking for Clarity

Update: Thank you to everyone who sent in their details, but we have filled the position

We’re looking for a smart, experienced web developer to help our clients kick ass from day one. Our immediate needs require solid PHP, and in general, LAMP skills. You’ll be talking with clients directly, so you must be able to explain technical things in English.After these first few projects you’ll be branching out a bit more. This is where your experience with some of the following comes in handy:

  • Implement designs using XHTML, CSS and JavaScript by hand.
  • Create and update databases in SQL Server, MySQL & Oracle.
  • Develop sites using the best tools for the project including ASP, VB, VB.NET, C#, CFML, PHP, Ruby & Java.
  • Source code repositories – SVN, Git, Vault, VSS.
  • Half of us are on Macs, half are on PCs. You’ll want to be comfortable on both.

It’s a bonus if you have web design, IA and/or unix admin experience.If you like a challenging job where you are constantly having fun while learning, this is definitely for you. Please send a resume, samples of your work, preferred salary ranges, and other info to Greg Benedict (jobs [at] tgfi.net).

by Greg Benedict · over 9 years ago

Josh, Drew, Ryan and myself want to extend a warm welcome to Mike Retzak (www.mikeretzak.com). Mike is our new interaction designer (web design, xhtml, css, javascript, flash, php, rails) that started with us earlier this week. He’s currently in his last year of grad school at IUPUI earning his Masters in New Media through the nationaly ranked Informatics program at night.

In just the first few days he’s been providing some much needed help for our clients in the Flash realm and will soon be working on front end design and layout for a stealth rails project we are working on. Things are just starting to heat up!

We also want to welcome Justin Ayer. Justin will be interning with us this fall doing a variety of development tasks. Josh and I both got huge starts to our career through internships and we’re doing what we can to help others in similar ways.

Next up we’re looking at some additional network support help and another developer if the upward trend continues. If you have the skills we talk about on the site and love to talk to people, drop us a note.

by Greg Benedict · almost 10 years ago

Earlier this month we signed a lease in the historic Stutz Motorcar Company located in downtown Indianapolis. We originaly looked at this space 2 years ago when we moved into the Majestic Plaza, but felt we would better server our clients on the north side of town.

Things have changed quite a bit since then and we feel the Stutz is now the space for us. It’s full of small companies who are similarly passionate about what they do. After the first full week in the new office, we’ve met a lot of great people we think can be valuable to both our clients and ourselves. This includes technologies like text mesaging, video production, audio production, print design, flash, photography and more.

I can’t even begin to explain how inspiring it is to walk the halls and view the work of numerous artists. If you get the chance, stop by and see us, and we’ll show you around. Did I mention there is a full restaurant and bar with free WIFI? Ouch!

212 W. 10th Street
Studio C460
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(map with directions)

by Greg Benedict · about 10 years ago

We’ve just wrapped up work on www.cripeseniors.com. The site design and complimentary mailing concept were created by Cripe Photography to target high school students interested in thier “senior” portraits.

We worked with them to refine the design for the web and automated several areas including the feedback form and flash gallery. It’s a very unique site for a specific purpose, and I have to say it came together very well. The next step is a similar implementation for thier main site, cripephoto.com.

Various members of my family have been using Bill Cripe’s services for years, and it’s great to help others learn about his incredible work. Next time your at the office, I’ll be showing off the pictures of my son and daughter. You won’t believe what he can do with a 4 week old…

by Greg Benedict · about 10 years ago

Welcome to Ryan Varick, our intern for the summer. You may see Ryan post here once in a while, assuming he gets out from under the tasty bags of beans that he’s been enjoying downtown.

We’d also like to extend a belated thank you to everyone who applied for the job.

by Greg Benedict · about 10 years ago

This last year has just been a whirlwind of excitement for both TGFI and myself personally. With everything that is going on to make the internet a more productive place, I feel a renewed inspiration to build products and tools that help others succeed. It’s that same energy I had when I first started creating websites in the 90’s, those first few years at Web FX Studios (later renamed Sapheo) and at ExactTarget.

TGFI has been a bit different in that respect. I was so head down in getting work done for customers and running the company, that I didn’t have time to reflect on it. Now that we’ve grown a bit, I can finally step back and breathe.

Indianapolis has been a great place to work, and I’ve done so with some incredibly talented people. As a collective, I’ve just never felt we’ve been able to break out and let the rest of the world know about it. Fortunately that seems to be changing as of late.

We’ve picked up some new projects with out of state funding, along with a few national campaigns for locally based companies. As an example, we just very quickly helped launch one for AuthorHouse at http://www.authorsacrossamerica.com/. There’s more coming, but you’ll just have to wait until they are ready!

As we talk around with our friends, this seems to be a trend for others as well that could help put Indy on the map. ExactTarget is probably the most well known web company here in town, but there are several others that are trying to help out. We used to share space with the guys who are working on the new search engine ChaCha. Two of my former co-workers, Chris Baggott (ExactTarget co-founder) and Ali Sales (ExactTarget, ChaCha) just announced that they are starting a new company, Compendium Software, to fix the broken gap with corporate blogging software.

Could this be a sign of changing times for Indy? I hope so. Now if only we can get the local VC’s to help out…

by Greg Benedict · over 10 years ago

Yesterday afternoon we launched the new and improved website for the Project Management Institute Central Indiana Chapter (PMICIC.org). This is our first public Ruby on Rails website, and we are quite thrilled to have joined the wonderful and energetic community of RoR developers. I am sure we will have interesting milestones ahead, as we learn the ins and outs of hosting and improving this site, but at the same time, we are excited to present this website for the PMI community largely located in and around Indianapolis.

Though aimed at the PMICIC membership community – anyone can join, and use, the PMICIC.org website. Stop by today!

Also, we would love to talk to anyone about our experience with developing this website in Ruby on Rails, including our views on Ruby in general, and the learning curve for switching to Rails specifically. Drop me a line at .

by Greg Benedict · over 10 years ago

We are a new company, in the sense that we have been doing this full-time with no other job for barely more than a year. So far, it has mostly been fantastic. I have been doing the same kind of work – and some stuff that is even cooler – that I did for my previous consulting firm… only with more responsibility to the bottom line.

So, what have I learned?
1) Running a business is hard. I knew this coming in. But it is what I continually come back to, when things get tough.
2) Trusting myself isn’t as easy as trusting other people… but it is much more important.
3) At the end of the day, I am responsible for all decisions made by TGFI, regardless of whether Greg or I made them.

Nothing too shocking, I suppose. However, these are the three lessons I focus on, as I strive to make better decisions for TGFI.

by Greg Benedict · almost 11 years ago

Earlier this week we released our latest project into the wild: Floormingo.com Hardwood Floors. It’s been a few months in the making, but we think it’s miles ahead when it comes to buying hardwood flooring online.

We spent quite a bit of time up front on the design and flow to make the shopping experience easier. People go to the internet to save time and money, but all of their competitors have cumbersome sites that don’t help you find what you need. In addition to the resources on the site, the staff of Floormingo is extremely knowledgeable on the products they sell. They encourage you to call with questions 1-866-99-MINGO.

We have numerous ideas that we are working on, but we are launching the site slowly to make sure things run as smoothly as possible for our customers. They currently have about 2700 products online from 3 manufacturers, but will be adding many more lines in the coming months.

Stop over today as they are currently running prices at 5% below their competitors!

by Greg Benedict · almost 11 years ago

Product/Programming certifications have an important place, as long as they are not relied upon as the most important thing.

Greg and I often disagree with each other – but we always try to listen and learn during these disagreements. This small amount of pain usually offers great rewards, in either gaining new perspective or just in having more certainty on a perspective we already see through. This is a large part of what makes our business partnership – and our friendship – work.

Here is one of those times where we disagree, however. Greg feels that Product certifications aren’t important at all. I believe in the opposite.

I understand where he is coming from… I have been passed over for opportunities where I have been highly qualified because of experience, just because I have not taken the time to take a quick test. This is always frustrating, and recruiters are the worst people here, as they are (generally) non-techies just searching for keywords.

However, I am very proud to have a few certifications for Java and ColdFusion. And honestly, taking the time t study for these tests made me focus on all parts of the languages, not just the stuff I use 95% of the time. Studying the other 5% made me think more closely on why I program the way I do.

Joshua Bloch has a great book on Java called Java Puzzlers. In this, he explores some of the pitfalls, traps, and common problems that Java programmers face, often because of a lack of full understanding of the language. As I have read through this book, and others like it, I have found that studying for the Java Programmer’s exam made me a much more thorough programmer. Really simple things like immutability of String objects and Object casting often trip programmers up, but these things are always on my mind while programming now, so I have no issues.

So, does listing a certification on my resume make me a better programmer? No, it does not. But listing it on top of my extensive Java experience *does*, I think, show me perhaps as a more complete programmer.

Disagreeing with my business partner is usually just the first step in coming to agreement on what’s important. I doubt that this little diatribe will much change his opinion. But as this is our website, I thought it important to lay out my opinion.

So long for now.

by Greg Benedict · almost 11 years ago