4 posts tagged “WOW week”

A Day in the Life of PatientsLikeMe Web Developer Adam Darowski

Posted October 19th, 2012 by

What’s it like to work at PatientsLikeMe?  We are continuing to reveal just that with our monthly blog series “A Day in the Life,” which features PatientsLikeMe employees from different departments.  Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Darowski, a father of three who joined the technology team as a web developer exactly three years ago.  Find out why he had a crush on the company long before he came to work here and more in our interview.

PatientsLikeMe Web Developer Adam Darowski with Each of His Kids

1.  What led you to join PatientsLikeMe in 2009?

I had been a big fan of PatientsLikeMe since late 2006 when I originally met Co-Founders Ben Heywood and Jeff Cole. Over time, it became more and more clear to me that my next position would be with PatientsLikeMe. First the company hired Kate Brigham (who I had known for quite a while), then I met people like Cris Necochea and Rich Thornett. I knew it was a special place with special people.

What ultimately led me here in 2009 was the opportunity to do some things that were very important to me. I want to make PatientsLikeMe an incredible resource not just for patients living chronic conditions, but also for parent caregivers of children with developmental and chromosomal disorders. We’ve made some progress on that front but still have a lot of work to do.

2.  Give us a slice of life as a web developer.  What are you working on currently?

We just finished Wow Week, which is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. [Occurring every six weeks, Wow Week is a week of unstructured time in which the PatientsLikeMe technology team can work on and present their own ideas.]

I worked on some concepts for what PatientsLikeMe could look like if it was focused exclusively on parent caregivers. So, this involved some user research (not a ton, since it was only a concept and I only had a week), user interface design, and a lot of visual design. Since I also love to get in the code, I then worked with Michael Berkowitz to start building it out some of the features. My main focus there was on the home page, building a design that would work well whether you looked at it on a phone or a 24-inch monitor.

During more typical weeks, my time is spent building and improving site features. I’m a “front end” guy, which means I don’t really do any hardcore software engineering. Rather, I build the part that you actually see and interact with. I also like to chip in on the design side of things, whether it is on new features or just adapting an existing design for new requirements or different scenarios.

3.  What would you tell someone who’s considering joining the technology team?

I would tell them that this is a very passionate, bright, motivated and diverse team, and I’m honored to be a part of it. PatientsLikeMe isn’t a place to go if you have a big ego. We work together, we collaborate, we give and receive constructive criticism, we strive to make each other better, and we strive to give our members the best user experience possible. If you want a genuine, honest-to-goodness chance to build something that has a chance to change the world, this is where you want to be.

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Interested in making a difference in patients’ lives?  Check out our Careers page to see our current job openings.  Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, PatientsLikeMe is looking to hire a Senior Ruby on Rails / Web Application Developer, Business Development Manager, Graphic Designer and more at the moment.


2011 “Wow Week” Highlights

Posted January 27th, 2012 by

Last June, we shared how our award-winning Clinical Trials tool was a product of “Wow Week,” which takes place every sixth week here at PatientsLikeMe.  It’s essentially our version of Google’s “20-percent time,” or a period of unstructured time where our engineers have the freedom to work on their own ideas.  We believe it fosters passion, experimentation and risk-taking.  In fact, we know it has given how many other site improvements were conceived during “Wow Week” in 2011.

The list is quite long (kudos, engineering team!), so we singled out three “Wow Week” projects that seemed to really resonate with our 128,000+ members.

MyCycle

Engineering Team Credits: Amy Newell, Doug Martila, Ben Zack and Scott Listfield

For women, your menstrual cycle can be intricately tied to your health condition(s), as well as how you feel. Now, with MyCycle, you can monitor your cycle length, view it next to your other health information and predict the next start date.  (If you’re a female who has not indicated your gender on your basic information, you’ll need to do so in order to receive access to this feature.)

A Look at the MyCycle Feature at PatientsLikeMe

Fuzzy Dates

Engineering Team Credits: Jeffrey Chupp (no longer with the company) and Michael Berkowitz

Are you often fuzzy about your dates?  So are most people.  In recognition of the fact that photographic memory is a rare trait, you can now specify dates with varying levels of accuracy or “fuzziness” – the year (2008), the year and month (May 2008) or the full date (May 22, 2008).  Whatever you can remember is better than no data at all!

Entering Dates at PatientsLikeMe Got a Lot Easier in 2011

Mobile InstantMe

Engineering Team Credits: Steve Hammond, Thomas Mayfield, Joe Rodriguez, Keenan Brock, James Kebinger and Doug Martila

For InstantMe (our daily log of how you’re feeling) to be more instant, we needed an app, right?  This mobile website/application uses HTML5 to support the tracking of your InstantMe scores on your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone.  Learn more about what it can do here.  (Note that this feature is now open to all members, regardless of their star level.)

Feeling Good in the Grocery Store?  Take the InstantMe Survey on your iPhone!

Are we right?  Did these new tools and features add more “Wow” to your PatientsLikeMe experience?  We’ve love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.  And as always, stay tuned to our Release Notes page for the latest technology updates and innovations.

PatientsLikeMe member wpeterson