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Goodbye 2019, here's diff's goals for 2020 Image
diff Blog
9
min

Goodbye 2019, here's diff's goals for 2020

As we wrap up the first month of a new decade here at diff, we want to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments and growth we experienced in 2019, and to discuss what we hope to achieve in 2020. 

Last year was a big one for diff! We completed more projects than ever before, we made the Best Workplaces™ list, including Best Workplaces in Quebec and Best Workplaces for Millennials.

Diff's Montreal office celebrated reaching a new milestone in 2019: Diff Agency now has over 100 staff.

We received a Canadian Business Excellence Award for Private Businesses, and we won several design awards - Davey Awards, W3 Awards, Webby Awards, and Horizon Interactive Awards. 

Behind these awards are an incredible team of dedicated and talented staff. In 2019 our team grew, introducing 33 new hires across our offices in Toronto and Montreal! Throughout the year we enjoyed many opportunities to team build together, learn about each other, and develop our skills, both career wise and for personal development. We enjoyed day trips to local parks, volleyball, and apple picking. 

The goal of diff’s company activities and field trips is to bond with other people in the company and unwind. We also held a series of “Lunch and Learns” that covered everything from understanding finances to how to meditate and reduce stress. 

Reflecting on 2019 and our resolutions in 2020

We sat down with some of the diff team to hear their perspectives on 2019, and what they are looking forward to in 2020 - both personally and career-wise.  

Justine Lapointe - Experience Designer

Justine at diff's 2019 masquerade themed holiday party.

  • What’s something career-wise that you are proud of accomplishing in 2019? 

I am proud to be a part of such a great team at diff and being given the opportunity to work on two very successful brands this past year, Goodee and Anine Bing. 

  • What is your favourite memory from 2019? 

One of my favourite memories was getting to bake authentic croissants, one of my favourite food groups! 

  • Tell us about a favourite book, movie, song, or place you visited in 2019? 

My favourite movie of 2019 has to be Rocketman, the biographical musical of Elton John’s rise to stardom. Taron Ergerton’s portrayal of Elton was outstanding, it gave me goosebumps, made me tear up, and had me singing throughout the entire film - a rollercoaster of emotions.

  • What was your favourite team building activity of 2019? 

I really enjoyed planting shrubs with the UX and Marketing team. The seven of us ended up planting around 20 shrubs. Giving back to the planet is very important to me. I’m doing my best to reduce my consumption of non biodegradable items.

  • What are you most looking forward to in 2020? 

I’m looking forward to continuing my yoga practice and extending my learning through to my personal and professional life. I want to live my healthiest life possible!

  • Do you have any specific career goals for 2020? 

This year I have planned on taking an online course to expand my knowledge of interaction design. 

  • How will you be spending your vacation time in 2020? 

I am in the midst of planning a 3 week trip to Italy with my boyfriend. I’m so excited to be travelling back to Europe and can’t wait to take in all the sights and yummy cuisine.

Amir Sadra Khorrami - Full Stack Software Developer

Sadra visiting the Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.

  • What’s something career-wise that you are proud of accomplishing in 2019?

I’m proud to have been part of the team that launched a very successful re-architectured yet more sophisticated software for PopSockets.

  • What is your favourite memory (personal or work) from 2019? 

This year I visited Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam in British Columbia. I loved Stanley Park, walking in GasTown and exploring downtown Vancouver. The lighthouse park is offering a “wow”ing view! I also enjoyed the astonishing Deer park in Burnaby. I took a short trip to Whistler Mountain and that was also a great experience! The nature of BC is breathtaking!

  • Tell us about a fav book, movie, song, or place you visited in 2019?

I finally had a chance to visit Montreal's Biosphere! It’s a museum dedicated to the environment. In fact, it's the only environment focused museum in North America. It is super recognizable because of the giant dome structure that the museum is inside. 

  • What was your favourite personal development activity of 2019? 

After taking a bit of a break, I’ve gotten back into working out. In 2019 I started taking advantage of diff’s personal trainer, and it's been super motivating.  

  • What are you most looking forward to (personally) in 2020?

In 2020 my goal is to buy my own property. I’m excited to own my own place!

  • Do you have any specific career goals for 2020?

This year I am working towards being a team leader. Eventually I would like to be the lead of one of diff’s developing teams. 

  • How will you be spending your vacation time in 2020?

Cuba, Mexico, or really anywhere in the Caribbean is on my radar. I haven’t yet decided, but it’s going to be somewhere warm!

Debra Weinryb - Content Strategist

Debra on her trip to California's Disneyland.

  • What’s something career-wise that you are proud of accomplishing in 2019?  

I’m proud of leading the content strategy for diff this past year. Most notably developing a calendar for content such as newsletters, blogs, emails, sales collateral and so much more. Also, I’d like to thank everyone who helped create content to make it happen.

  • What is your favourite memory from 2019? 

I really enjoyed the well-deserved holiday break. I travelled with one of my friends to Los Angeles, California to visit her family. I got to experience Disneyland for the first time, and it was a lot of fun to relive our childhood there.

  • Tell us about a favourite book, movie, song, or place you visited in 2019? 

When I went to the diff office for the holiday party, I decided to visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts which was nearby. It was well worth a visit. The museum had a wide variety of classic and contemporary art. I also had no idea at the time that it was the largest art museum in Canada! 

  • What was your favourite team building/personal development activity of 2019? 

In my first few weeks working at diff, I went to Montreal to meet other staff and attend sales training. I remember it as memorable because I got to spend time getting to know the team. We ate meals together and went out for ice cream in the Old Port.

  • What are you most looking forward to in 2020? 

I’m looking forward to eating healthier and learning new recipes this year. 

  • Do you have any specific career goals for 2020? 

I’d like to grow professionally through development courses on writing, analytics and SEO.

  • How will you be spending your vacation time in 2020? 

I want to plan a week to visit my friend who lives in Alberta. If it works out, I’d like to travel to Banff and Lake Louise. I’ve always wanted to see the Canadian Rockies! 

Hai-Long Nguyen - Director, Systems Integrations

Hai-Long on his skiing vacation in Whistler, British Columbia.

  • What’s something career-wise that you are proud of accomplishing in 2019? 

I am proud of developing a capable Project Management team in 2019. Over my past five years at diff, I’ve worked primarily with Software Developers. As we continue to shape and evolve our System Integrations (SI) practice at diff, working with Project Managers has been a new experience for me.

The group of Project Managers was developed by following core Software Engineering principles that I strongly believe in. I'm proud of their accomplishments and what they've been able to deliver in 2019.

  • What is your favourite memory  from 2019?

My ski trip in Whistler, BC. The views were amazing, some of the terrain was something I had never experienced skiing on the east coast. The physical challenge of skiing in Whistler was a definite personal accomplishment!

  • Tell us about a favourite book, movie, song, or place you visited in 2019?

I visited a new place in 2019, Serbia. This was my first time traveling outside of North America!

  • What was your favourite team building activity of 2019? 

At the end of 2019 the S.I. team had a variation of a White Elephant Christmas gift exchange. As we've become such a large (and growing) group, it becomes increasingly difficult to get everyone in the same room. It was great to see the whole family having fun in one place. 

  • What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

I look forward to having more time to myself in 2020. 

  • Do you have any specific career goals for 2020?

I have the same ongoing goal over the last three years of shedding my responsibilities and enabling our SI practice to be more and more autonomous, so that I can spend as much time doing what I enjoy the most: connecting with people, consultation, and creating solutions.

In 2020 I’ll be looking to our teams to continue to learn and evolve, and provide excellent service backed by a professional technical software practice.

  • How will you be spending your vacation time in 2020?

I’ll be going skiing, obviously!

 

From personal development to career accomplishments, there’s been plenty for us at diff to be proud of in 2019. We are looking forward to the rest of 2020, and excited to see what the year has in store for us as diff continues to grow. 

Would you like to join diff’s award-winning culture? Check out our Careers Page to see if you’ve got the diff factor, and to browse current job openings. 

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