Here’s to the Yetis

It’s been a little while since I last posted, and I kind of want to get in the habit of posting more. (How will you know I’m alive if I’m not constantly sharing my opinions?)

Also, today was kind of shitty, and a lot of my posts tend to be about things that make me sad, so I figure it’s about time I just talked about something I love without really having a point. Or having several points. I don’t know.

If you know me, you know where this is going: &yet.

I believe I have the proud distinction of being &yet’s first fanboy. I don’t remember how it happened or when it started. I remember bumping into them, sort-of-kind-of-maybe, when I was investigating NodeJS. I picked that ball up and ran with it for a very short time, but never got very far. And yet (ha!), &yet remained in my life. From the excellent poem on their website, to the brand they’ve created, to the culture they promote.

&yet is not my favourite company. &yet is my favourite group of people that just so happen to build cool things together. And get paid to make stuff. I think what I’m trying to get across is that, yes, they’re a company, but I don’t love them for the things they do as a company. I love them for the people they are. If &yet got bought today and replaced with entirely new people, even if the products stayed exactly the same, I wouldn’t love &yet anymore. I’d still just love those people. Which is not to say I don’t love new people who join the company; I totally do. &yet has had many and varied employees for differing amount of times, and as soon as I become aware of them, I universally end up loving them. But I don’t love them because they’re &yetis. &yet just happens to hire the kind of people I love.

It’s kind of hard to explain how I relate to these people. Of course they’re my heroes, but… that seems too distant, impersonal. I have an &yet hoodie, that I got by simply asking for it. I treasure it. I got to meet Adam and deliver a hug from the team to him. When I was in Philadelphia for training, I met up with Bear, who gave me a hug. For each person on the team, by name, that heard we were meeting up and wanted to pass on a hug. We stood outside a bar embracing, stepping back, embracing, stepping back, over and over for at least five minutes. I got to meet up with Henrik in Chicago because we happened to be in the same city at the same time and he kindly waited to meet up with me, see a giant bean, and chat about HTML5 and JavaScript, even though I have no idea what I’m talking about. I got to meet up with Amy and chat over bagels.

And now they have an entire community of similarly wonderful people.

And I love them all dearly.

Sometimes it’s hard to explain, because I don’t stop loving people when they leave &yet, and sometimes I use “&yeti” to refer to people that don’t even work for &yet and never have, but who I know exclusively through &yet. &yet isn’t a company, to me; it’s just a casual shorthand for “good, loving, compassionate, intentional people”. There is an entire group of people on Twitter that I can’t tell if they work for &yet or worked for &yet or just are always talking to &yet, but they’re decidedly my friends.

In many ways, &yet is what I think of when I say “we can do better”.

I claimed today that you can tell how my day went based on how I react to &yet. Sometimes, it’s a pick-me-up to remember that a group of people like that can exist and work together. Sometimes, it’s a warm fuzzy feeling of remembering that people I respect and like like me, too. Sometimes, it makes me sad and despondent, because the vibe of positivity and creativity and trying to do better is so far removed from my own reality that day.

But I’m always happy to have &yet in my life. So here’s to the yetis.