Cloud Hosting Technology

5 Years in Hosting: Reflections on the Intangible Culture and My Five Hoodies

After spending the past two decades in the web industry, I spent the last five years working in corporate web hosting, all I have to show for it are five hoodies. It may sound strange, but it’s the truth. While working for various web hosting companies, I accumulated five hoodies as my only tangible mementos. It’s a strange feeling to look back on five years of work and realize that I have virtually nothing to show for it.

Of course, there were other benefits to working in the web hosting industry. I gained valuable experience, made great connections, and earned a good salary. However, in many ways, the web hosting industry can be a culture of intangibles. We work on digital products and services essential to the functioning of websites and online businesses. The only tangible evidence of our work may be lines of code, abandoned support tickets, a WordCamp lanyard, or some custom server configurations.

One of the unique aspects of the web hosting industry is that it is both a B2B (business-to-business) and a B2C (business-to-consumer) industry. This means that web hosting companies must provide high-quality services to large corporations and small business owners. This requires a great deal of expertise and flexibility, as the needs of each client can vary greatly.

Challenges and Rewards:

During my time in the web hosting industry, I worked with various clients, from small mom-and-pop shops to large corporations with complex web infrastructures. Each client had their own needs and challenges, making my job both exciting and challenging.

Despite the many challenges of the web hosting industry, it can also be a rewarding and fulfilling career. Knowing that the work you do is helping to power websites and online businesses all over the world is a great feeling. It’s also a constantly evolving industry with new technologies and emerging trends.

In addition, working in community marketing allowed me to make a real difference in people’s lives. By creating engaging content, delivering targeted messaging, and building relationships with customers online and during field marketing events, you can help solve real problems and address real needs.

The Intangibility of the Industry:

However, the intangibility of the work can also be frustrating at times. Unlike other industries where physical products can be held and displayed, the work of web hosting is largely invisible to the end-user. This can make it challenging to explain the value of the work to others, which can be a challenge when seeking recognition or advancement within the industry.

Ultimately, the five hoodies that I accumulated during my time in the web hosting industry serve as a reminder of the intangible nature of the work. The hoodie, in many ways, has become a symbol of this culture of intangibility. Hoodies are a staple of the tech industry, often given out as swag at conferences or events. They are comfortable, practical, and stylish, but they are ultimately a badge of honor that shows we are part of a larger community.

At the end of the day, it’s easy to feel like we’re just a small cog in a massive machine. We may have worked on a project for months or even years, but once it’s launched, it quickly becomes old news. There’s always something new and exciting to focus on.

Finding a Sense of Pride and Accomplishment:

While it may be difficult to directly see the impact of our work in the tech industry, there are often ways to connect our projects to real-world outcomes. For example, a product manager working on a new e-commerce platform could focus on how their product will improve the lives of small business owners, rather than just the technical features of the platform.

Ultimately, it’s important to find a way to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in our work, even if it’s not always tangible. We may not be able to hold our code or data points in our hands, but we can still take pride in the impact our work has on the world around us.

As for my five hoodies, they may not seem like much, but they serve as a reminder of the hard work and the lasting friendships I have made along the way.

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