For a second year in row, we at diff have been recognized as one of the Best Workplaces in Canada by Great Place to Work. Are you interested in knowing why? Yeah? Yay! But where to begin? Let’s pull our faces away from the screen: a bunch of remarkable people passionately committed to transforming how online retail lives on the internet.
Start with The Cobbler’s Children
Diff began as a single-page website with a single proverb: the cobbler’s children have no shoes. It’s fair to wonder if the lesson of this proverb exists behind the doors of diff. Yes, we all have the finest shoes. Well, most of us are wearing shoes. It’s optional, and more and more feet, shoeless or not, keep making their way into our office. In just a few short years, we’ve grown from four employees to 60+, and have gained a reputation as one of the world’s top Shopify Plus partners, with a roster of clients that include: PopSockets, Psycho Bunny, Ministry of Supply, Yellow Shoes, and Urban Planet.
We’ve got the space to grow
If you were to describe diff in visuals, you could mention the paintings of video game characters, mythical creatures, and superheroes, or our thoughts sketched out on whiteboards, the row of peace lilies and other leafy plants, or employees walking around freely or working together around a coffee table or working solo with headphones on, nose-deep in code. All this speaks to the tremendous amount of freedom and autonomy we’re given. Our space is designed to induce creativity so we can produce great work, from dry erase walls to individual workstations, complete with ergonomic chairs and adjustable height desks.
Paying it forward
Diff is all about giving people the tools they need to work and grow in their roles, and that doesn’t just go for current employees. We also do this for students at Concordia University in Montreal. Concordia is a big part of diff - it’s where so many of us come from - and it’s why we’re always looking for ways to give back. One way we do this is through our summer internship program, which helps Concordia students develop skills, grow professionally, and meet new people. Our interns are valued as part of the team and have the opportunity to collaborate, make things, solve problems, and take advantage of all the perks - an on-site life coach, bagel Fridays, monthly team outings organized by our social committee, and much, much more. We’re happy to say that many of our interns return as full time employees.
Sucking at something
Our success isn’t as straightforward as these developments suggest. We’ve made mistakes along the way, but we won’t get into them here. We’ll let you in on something, though: We own our mistakes, and value them as part of the process. To quote the Adventure Time poster that hangs on our kitchen wall: “Dude, sucking at something is the first step at being sorta good at something.” That’s deep, and it’s totally diff. Failure is exciting; it means we’re on the brink of growth.
We are all differs
Us differs go about our work quietly, but, also, sometimes singing or tapping our feet or laughing. We resist the urge to play it safe, and insist upon doing what makes us happy. Talk to anyone here and you’ll learn that that’s a very long list. We’re a team with a rounded set of interests, ranging from painting to boxing. Stick around, and you’ll find us taking part in our hobbies at the office: practicing yoga, running along the canal, playing chess, video games, ping pong or foosball, or even being part of a hot sauce club. We’re encouraged to meander into experiences that have no direct effect on the bottom line, but allow us to do what we like and be who we are.
But wait, there's more
This is some of it, but not all of it. If you want to know more about what makes diff...diff, you can check out CEO Ben Crudo’s article on office perks. If you’re interested in being part of our team, you can visit our openings here.