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It’s been just over one week and two feet of snow since we moved to 66 Long Wharf in Boston. Despite Nemo’s fury, the Oomph team is hard at work and renovation of the new space is officially underway. In fact, I’m writing to the hum of a distant drill. The question now is: How will we make our mark at Custom House Block?
Obviously, we’d be crazy to do anything that obstructs our sprawling harbor views or tarnishes the exposed brick walls that practically bleed history. Instead, we want to recreate the interior so that it pays tribute to our location and at the same time reflects our personality.
We see the future Oomph Boston as a creative space that‘s open and welcoming, with a touch of modern cool. Interior walls will be knocked down, new flooring will be installed and all-new amenities will be added. That’s just the half of it. We’ll also need to add the Oomph. Patrick, our creative director, jokingly calls our design vision “antique-frat house-colonial- techno-chic.” You’ve heard of it, right?
So as we await the first phase of construction, which will begin on the second floor, we want to hear from you. What are the must-haves in your dream office?
NBC Sports and Oomph, Inc., teamed up yet again on the expansive, cutting edge media portal NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com. This large-scale WordPress project was based on the success of the NBC Sports Olympic PressBox site Oomph crafted to meet NBC’s media coverage needs during the summer games. Pleased with the result, NBC tasked our team with rolling out a new media portal site to serve the entire NBC Sports Group–from special event coverage to regularly featured programming.
Responsive design was a key part of this highly sophisticated, extensive WordPress.com VIP project. Considering site traffic and the nature of busy media professionals, the PressBox site needed to represent flawlessly across all media devices with the same efficiency expected from a laptop. Our team welcomed the opportunity to showcase their talents, and deliver an amazing result.
Additionally the Oomph team incorporated a number of tools such as an easy uploader for handling PDF media guides and a tool that allows media outlets to readily download assets like logos and headshots. But, we also added many new custom capabilities, like the homepage’s slideshow which is designed to intuitively refresh featured items added by NBC staff. Finally, we added a custom “Shows” taxonomy allowing press releases, bios, photos, videos, logos, and contacts to be associated with a particular show and be viewed together when navigating to an individual show page.
It’s always a pleasure working with NBC Sports and this project showed that design and development really is a team sport.
To be a successful web developer, you need to have the skills, the experience and, well, you need to have the x-factor. Today we’d like to introduce our newest developer, Alex Vallejo, who brings with him a number of x-factors.
Not only has Alex recently completed a development project with the Dell Storage Competitive Knowledge Base (a worldwide tech marketing tool), but in his former life he was a financial whiz for EPM, the second largest moneymaking company in Colombia. This is the creative, smart, technical mind that will be managing front- and back-end implementation, maintenance and support for our clients and their sites.
Alex says he is most looking forward to mastering the end-to-end implementation process for large-scale WordPress integrations. “It’s important to understand the underlying architecture and methodology of a successful website, the engine under the hood,” he says. His favorite thing? Coding plug-ins. He loves uncovering what’s possible, because to him everything is possible.
Oh, and then there’s that final x-factor. In his free time, Alex produces and mixes music. He’s the co-organizer of Digital Musicians Boston, a meetup designed to connect producers, music enthusiasts and even professors from the Berklee College of Music, and give them a place to collaborate on music production. “This, along with web development, provides a nice blend of technology and art—something I think holds true for many areas of Boston itself,” he says.
Please join us in welcoming Alex to our Boston team.
Now that we are settling into our new office at the edge of Long Wharf in Boston, we’ve noticed a few pictures adorning the walls of the entry into our space. You can’t help but be overwhelmed by the exposed brick and beams, the smell of the sea and all the history that has come before us. Boston is rich with history, and the story of Long Wharf is—you guessed it—a long one, but it’s definitely one worth telling.
Construction of Long Wharf started over 300 years ago in 1710 when a plan was initiated to build a dock that would cover the old Barricado, a 2,200-foot defensive wall that wrapped around Boston Harbor. The project would take years to complete, but when the last 600 feet were finished in 1715, Long Wharf would boast 1,586 feet of docking extending nearly a third of a mile into the harbor, with room to house up to 50 vessels. With these credentials it quickly became Boston’s leading colonial port.
This long wharf ended at what is now State Street and allowed for quick access to the center of commercial Boston. Out of 80 wharves, Long Wharf dominated the harbor not only in length, but also in function. It served both public and private merchants and its warehouses sat directly atop the wharf, which made for easy loading and unloading of goods. In fact, Long Wharf established itself as a marketplace long before Faneuil Hall came to be (in the 1820s) and essentially paved the way for the commercial culture that would follow.
Over the course of history, increased construction and infill would take place along the landside of the wharf, encroaching on the dock facilities and eventually shortening the actual wharf. Many of the warehouses that had been built during the wharf’s heyday gave way to new construction, but the Custom Block House—now home to Oomph Boston—is one of the few historic buildings that would remain. In the 1950s, the wharf was dealt another blow when Rte. 93 (the Central Artery) was completed, and the wharf was physically cut off from the very city center to which it had given rise.
It would take 40 years before the Big Dig would again restore access to Long Wharf and revitalize the area, setting a new course. Oomph is one of many companies who’ve come to Long Wharf, celebrating its modern renaissance, where industry and culture are again booming at this beautiful, prime location along Boston Harbor.
Discovery is something our team both enjoys and excels at, and through our analysis for The Foundation Center we were able to identify WordPress as the platform that would best meet the their needs. As part of the migration, which was one of our largest, we also gave them a fresh visual design that was flexible enough to meet the needs of all sites regardless of size or scope—and work the same way across all mobile devices. We even customized backend functionality to meet some of The Foundation Center’s unique needs, like grant calculation, as well as the ability to upload documents to a secure platform for use by limited-audience access. Now, the center’s team is working from one platform and a single core code base (insert collective “ahh …”), and everything is running smoothly. On a final note, our greatest pleasure was training their team to move forward with a new, streamlined workflow inside this single platform—and giving them the ability to provide their valuable service to more and more organizations. Find out more about The Foundation Center project in our Portfolio.
Last week we left Harvard Square and headed east toward our new Boston home. Today, we’re excited to welcome you to our new Boston office located at 66 Long Wharf, a place where history runs deep and the views stretch wide across Boston Harbor, as well as the Innovation and Financial Districts. Our new digital digs include 3,500-square-feet of creative space located on three levels of the Custom House Block on Long Wharf—a Registered National Historic Landmark and treasured piece of Americana.
As we look out on our majestic 360-degree views of Boston Harbor, we see our future dancing along the horizon right along with the boats. Here in our new home, we intend to continue the legacy of Long Wharf. We will meet new challenges and guide future innovation for a dynamic digital industry. To achieve all this, we must hire the best. We have the space. Now the search is on for top talent.
Join our team! Apply today for one of our open positions:
PHP MySQL Developers (WordPress & Drupal)
Finally, we offer special thanks to all who’ve followed our journey on the road to Long Wharf. In the weeks ahead, you can continue to track our adventures here as we embark on a little redesign of the space. We think it needs some Oomph.
We hope you’ve been following our progress as Oomph has started the journey relocating our offices from Harvard Square to Downtown Boston. We’ve sent clues in the form of postcards from our Facebook and Twitter accounts along the way.
Can you guess where our new offices are located?
If not, tune in Monday for the big reveal.