May 3, 2019No Comments

Table XI tops best Chicago tech companies lists — and a few national

We work closely with our peers, so we know what an honor it is to make any list of best Chicago tech companies. It’s stiff competition — there’s a lot of talent here. That’s why we’re so proud to see several of our practice groups, and our podcast, rank at the top of industry.

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May 2, 2019No Comments

How dot voting can democratize your next big idea

In an ideal world the best ideas would always rise to the top. Anyone who’s done group decision-making knows this is isn’t always the case. Often an idea that comes from a high-level executive will carry much more weight than an idea from someone with less power. Take the status of the idea owner out of the equation, however, and hopefully the ideas can speak for themselves. That is the goal of dot voting.

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March 21, 2019No Comments

How to apply Agile thinking to diverse business problems

Agile thinking is baked into our brains at Table XI. We come up with an idea, we test it, and we pursue it or discard it based on the results. Just like with our products, we avoid going too far down one path before we validate that it’s the right one.

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March 4, 2019No Comments

How Docker and Kubernetes make infrastructure almost instant

When we started experimenting with Docker and Kubernetes, we were just looking for a more efficient way to stand up our applications. Traditionally, it’s an infrastructure or operations team’s responsibility to make sure every dependency an application needs to run is set up the server, and that none of them are in conflict — and then continue to ensure that throughout the life of the system. It’s also their responsibility to figure out which server the application need to go on in the first place.

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January 25, 2019No Comments

Accessible software design always knows its audience

Accessible software design doesn’t happen on accident. If I design based on my own instincts, the software will work great for someone exactly like myself — with all the same abilities and preferences. I can see the difference between red and green, so I wouldn’t think twice about putting those colors next to each other in a layout. It’s only when someone with colorblindness tries to use the site that it doesn’t work at all.

All good design starts with thinking about the audience, and accessible software design is no different. If, instead of assuming everyone would see it like me, I took the time to run my layout through color checkers for different types of colorblindness, we’d skip the problem above and anyone would be able to use the site.

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January 11, 2019No Comments

12 months of innovation, inclusion and introductions at Table XI

Each year, we try to take a look back at what we did the year before. It helps us remember all the things we did accomplish — which can too easily get lost when you’re trying to keep up with the day-to-day. More importantly, it helps us set the bar. By looking back on what we did in 2018, we can decide what we want more of in 2019, and make a plan to get it.

Here are our highlights, month-by-month …

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October 3, 2018No Comments

How a reusable code audit can optimize performance and design

It’s weird to call a process a perk, but our focus on reusable code is one of my favorite things about working at Table XI. Limiting ourselves to the absolute fewest number of components to build software is a challenge, and it’s one that’s made me a better developer.

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September 28, 2018No Comments

An infrastructure audit that tests the health of your whole system

Infrastructure is the framework running under your entire business — so it only makes sense that an infrastructure audit would look at the whole picture. If your infrastructure touches your email, applications, timesheets, employee communication and anything else, the audit should as well.

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June 20, 2018No Comments

To tackle diversity recruiting honestly, we had to rethink each step

No one puts a system for diversity recruiting in place when they start their business. We all just try to do our best to hire talented people we’ll get along with, and hire them fast. It’s only later that so many companies realize with a shock that all their colleagues look alike.

We always made an effort to include many voices at Table XI so we never had a totally homogenous team. But as we grew, we realized we needed an actual strategy for recruiting diverse candidates, not just good intentions.

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June 20, 2018No Comments

Creating a more inclusive workplace by improving these 3 areas

Everyone deserves an inclusive workplace. To be seen for who you are and made to feel a part of something is a fundamental courtesy every business should extend to each team member. And most want to — even a business entirely motivated by profit can recognize the statistics that show employees perform better when they buy into a shared sense of mission.

So, why are so many companies terrible at creating an inclusive culture?

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