Twelve Days of Geeky Christmas

By Michelle Lentz On November 14, 2018

Twelve Days of Geeky Christmas
You’re probably here because you received the Christmas card we've rolled out this year and decided to scan that festive QR code on the back. Well firstly, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the card! Secondly, the card promised you more information about each of our twelve days of Christmas, so here they are! 

And for those of you who didn’t receive a card, I’m sure it’s just caught up in the mail system, here’s a photo to enjoy in the meantime. 


12 - K12 Raptor 

Kentico 12 is rolling out late this November and our team is excited to dive in! So, what has us so excited about the newest version of Kentico? Here are a couple of reasons:
  1. It’s a marketer’s dream come true! Marketers can experiment with marketing campaigns more, as they are no longer bound to developers for every content decision. In K12 they have a perfect set of widgets created for them by their development team to meet many of their needs. Once created, the marketers have full rein to create and customize as needed!.
  2. Developers have improved support for MVC projects. K12 provides the maximum flexibility with the introduction of MVC Widgets. Widgets can pretty much become anything that developers allow them to be, allowing for a ton of innovation and flexibility in page building. Building out sites on Kentico using the MVC development model allows us to rapidly deliver cutting-edge solutions to our clients that are future proof.

Read more about the features of the Raptor in Brian McKeiver’s blog post, Kentico 12 Beta 2: Chasing the Raptor.

11 - Happy CIE Clients

We never want our clients to feel abandoned after a project is complete. We take pride in walking alongside them as they continue to improve and expand upon their existing site or application. This year, we have had the pleasure of working with many clients on what we like to call our Continuous Improvement Engagements (CIE). With a CIE we are able to tackle issues, build new features, and consistently improve upon their sites and applications on a month to month basis.

If you are interested in learning more about how we could help make your site even better be sure to contact us!

10 - MVC Projects

MVC is so hot right now, and there are many reasons why. With MVC the development process is much quicker than other development patterns. MVC also allows for parallel development, meaning multiple devs can work on a project all at the same time. That means a much faster outcome for our clients. MVC is also extremely SEO-friendly, allowing devs to easily create SEO-friendly URLs to drive traffic to specific applications or sites. 

We have completed 10 MVC projects, with many more in the pipeline. Unfortunately, most of our MVC projects are on lockdown due to NDA restrictions but here are a couple of sites for you to cruise through:

9 - Academy Students in Tech Jobs

BizStream runs a summer coding bootcamp, BizStream Academy. At BizStream Academy students get to learn useful web development skills such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We’re happy to say that nine of our graduating students have landed jobs in the tech industry, some of them are team members at BizStream! 

Planning for summer 2019 is taking place now but you can pre-register for BizStream Academy today.

8 - New Hires this Year

We’ve happily welcomed 8 new team members this year to help us tackle both project and product growth. Learn more about (most of) them below.

Ben Buurstra - Web Developer
Mike Webb - Web Developer
Nate Graham - Web Developer
Darian Bonnell - Solution Architect
Julie Stanard - Quality Assurance Specialist
Preston Steward - Web Developer
Tyler Stirtz - Web Developer
Tyler Pfohl - Quality Assurance Specialist

7 - Kentico Versions We’ve Developed In

Kentico is our favorite content management system! Our team has been developing in Kentico since 2009. Our obsession with Kentico began with version 3.1a and is still going strong. It’s one of the many reasons why BizStream is one of the most respected Kentico Partners in the world!

6 - Kentico Sites of the Month

We’ve had 6 sites recognized as Kentico Site of the Month winners. These sites were awarded for having development techniques that go above and beyond. Check them out:
  1. Roland Cloud
  2. National Heritage Academies 
  3. Delta Education 
  4. Warner Norcross & Judd
  5. Starmark Inc. 
  6. BendixKing

Fun Fact: Sauder Furniture, BDO, USA. LLP, and Mary Free Bed were all named Kentico Sites of the Month before they were awarded Kentico Sites of the Year! 

5 - Team Building Days

Our team members enjoy eleven paid holidays and up to 20 paid days of personal time. We also have 5 team building days throughout the year! These days are for our team members to kick back and relax with others at the office. Events include our March Madness party, BizStream Golf Outing, Geeky Little Holiday party, Star Wars movie outing, and our annual backpacking trip.

You can read more about all of the fun we had back in 2017 in Amanda’s blog post, Life at BizStream: 2017 Happenings.

4 - Toolkit for Kentico Extensions 

Born out of the frustration from multiple environment Kentico deployments, the team at BizStream decided to solve the problem and develop a tool to make it easier for developers. It’s called ToolKit for Kentico. From ToolKit for Kentico, there are four extensions:
  1. Search for Kentico allows you to easily search for code. Find the source of the problem and eliminate incorrect URLs. The best thing? Search for Kentico is FREE.
  2. Compare for Kentico makes it easy to deploy when working in multiple environments. Try it out with a 90-day free trial. 
  3. Connect for Kentico allows you to Connect Kentico forms to CRM. Connect supports Microsoft Dynamics Online, Marketo, Zoho, and more.
  4. Siteimprove offers seamless integration between Kentico and the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform. Already a Siteimprove user? Download the Siteimprove extension for FREE.

3 - Kentico Sites of the Year

We’ve also been recognized for Site of the Year three times.
  1. BDO USA, LLP - Site of the Year, Global Winner 2015
    • BDO USA, LLP - Site of the Year, Best Financial Services Site 2015
  2. Sauder Furniture - Site of the Year, Winner 2012
  3. Mary Free Bed - Site of the Year, Winner 2012

Read more about our Global Winner award in Kentico’s Press Release, BDO USA, LLP Named 2015 Site of the Year by Kentico!

2 - Fearless Leaders

BizStream was founded back in 2001 by Mark Schmidt, fearless leader #1. Less than a year later his friend Brian McKeiver hopped on board, and about three years after that became fearless leader #2. They’ll take little credit for the amazing company they created, reassuring inquirers that BizStream is what is today because of every single team member. But rest assured that BizStream is where is today because these guys took the time to thoughtfully lay a great foundation for us to build upon. 
“The reason BizStream’s culture is the way it is is because, from the very beginning, I didn't want to work at a typical job. That doesn’t mean I didn't want to work ridiculously hard. I just realized early on that the majority of our lives are spent at work. So why make it something you have to do to? Let's make it something we want to do.”
- Mark Schmidt, BizStream Founder
“I was really attracted to BizStream because of the vision and possibilities Mark had for this new start-up company. I believed in BizStream so much that after 3 and a half years I became a co-owner.”
- Brian McKeiver, BizStream Co-Founder 

1 - Kentico MVP

We proudly tout one of a few Kentico MVPs in the US. As a Kentico MVP since 2012, Brian is an engaged Kentico community advocate who listens and promotes CMS and the latest Microsoft .NET technologies while fostering collaboration and providing guidance to developers. You’ll also find him traveling around the world from time-to-time giving presentations at various Kentico Connection events, Kentico Partner Summits and many tech and digital marketing conferences. 

Not to keep bragging BUT, In 2016 Brian was one of the first people in the world to become a Kentico Certified Digital Marketer. Brian recently became re-certified in 2018. 

Learn more about the Kentico MVP program here.

Wrap Up

So there you have it, all twelve days of our 2018 geeky Christmas! I hope you were able to discover a bit more about what makes BizStream such a great place to be a part of, whether you’re a team member, a client or a friend of BizStream. We have a ton more to look forward to in 2019!

From all of us at BizStream, we wish you the happiest of holidays!
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Photo of the author, Michelle Lentz

About the author

Michelle has an eye for design and aesthetics and enjoys applying these principles to business. Merging her love of all things artisan with her business experience, Michelle joined BizStream in 2013 to take on our marketing efforts. Michelle is skilled in web admin, digital marketing, design, content creation, event planning, driving our unique BizStream culture, and more. In her free time, you'll find her gardening, doing houseplant chores, or exploring nature with her husband and two daughters.

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