Hey, I am Shelby! 👋🏻

This might be the first time seeing someone create a readme about themselves you are likely not alone! When I was introduced to it the first time I was curious and puzzled about the idea. I thought to myself I am not a piece of software on GitHub that needs a manual, but I can attest that it is helpful and something I am going to continue to continuously update and improve.

What is this?

  • It’s a quick way for you to get to know me.
  • I hope to answer some questions that you may have that led you to this page.
  • Set expectations about what you can expect from me, and what I expect from you.
  • Here is the best way to communicate with me.

So who am I anyway?

My name is Shelby DeNike, and as you might think initially; my name is not pronounced like Nike the shoe company, but more so like SHEL-bee de-NYK. I currently reside in Okemos, Michigan, the same city where I was born and raised. I did move around for 11 years and had the opportunity to live in Los Angeles, California, Las Vegas, Nevada,  and Boulder/Denver, Colorado, before returning home.

I live with my girlfriend Nicole who I have known since 6th grade (And was the reason I moved back to my home town from Denver, Colorado) and her two sons Ryan (8 yrs), and Cole (6 yrs) and our dog Bebe who while only weighing 9lbs seems to think that she is an attack dog.

When I am not working as a Sales Engineer with Kinsta I enjoy trying out new recipes, I tend to go too far sometimes just ask me about my quest for a great deli pickle and how I started producing pickles for myself, then eventually for resale on a larger scale.

Want to know more?

How did I become a Sales Engineer at Kinsta? My background is not originally in sales, rather I have a strong tech support background as well as a Sr. Systems Administrator. After graduating High School I started working for Casio computers in their handheld division. I advanced to being one of only two Level Two Support Agents in all North America. 

After I had experienced all that there was with Casio, and honed in on my support skills I moved to an ISP (Dial-up at that) where I continued to hone my skills and developer many more, including using WordPress.

I then had the opportunity to move to an up and coming hosting company Liquid Web, which at the time had only a handful of employees. I was one of the dozen early staff members to be hired and Liquid Web, and they have since grown to over 500 employees to date. I moved to California and started working at InMotion Hosting as their only System Administrator where I helped to build out the internal processes for the Jr. System Administrators while also maintaining and growing our datacenter footprint. After which I started at Laughing Squid as a System Administrator in 2010 which was my first taste of an entirely distributed workforce.

After that, I took a role with Pressed (Created by the previous owner of Site5). Pressed was later acquired by Envato. This is where I met Tom Sepper, which you have likely spoken with a handful of times already and if not, make sure to let him know that Dominos has superior 🍕 to Pizza Hut.

He eventually reached out to me with the idea of joining Kinsta and starting up a new sales team. it was a new and challenging adventure and it was one of the best things I could have done.

Wait, what about WordPress?

slow down wait GIF by Shark Tank

I have pretty extensive knowledge about WordPress since beginning to use it in 2004 after switching from Moveable Type. I have fallen in love with the WordPress ecosystem. In my time using WordPress I have created a handful of plugins and a couple of themes!

Expectations for both you and I

When it comes to expectations I think that we are all adults, and we know what we need to do and how we do it on a daily basis I try my hardest to remove any unneeded stress or burden from your workday and I expect the same. We will set clear goals and the paths to accomplish them.

I am here to listen and hope that when needed you can also be a second pair of eyes and ears on an issue I might come across. I try to always have my door open as well!

If you are not sure, ask! Humans are always learning and neither you or I am excluded from this no one knows all the answers. 

And when being distributed, whether your first time or a veteran, communication is key. We are not in an office with a break room where we can chat, let one another know about any issues, when we may be gone, etc., so we have to utilize Slack to its fullest by making use of away mode, status messages, and with as much communication as possible.

Also, do not be afraid to be yourself! You can ask Nathan Bliss, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, that I am the first to talk, and likely keep talking while adding images from Giphy or emojis (Which is evident in this) to most conversations. I want you to wake up wanting to get to work to say hi, hear my random jokes, rants, or findings and I want the same of you!

Communication Methods

I am almost always available on Slack, even when I might show away, I receive alerts to my phone and often times check-in after hours to see what is going on. While on Slack I always try to keep my status updated so you will know if I am present, busy, or running to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee.

Outside of Slack, I am always available for a call, both audio or video, but oftentimes it is best to check my available schedule via Calendly to make sure I don’t have a call already booked. Feel free to book a call if it does not require immediate attention. In case of an emergency and I am showing free just message me on Slack and we can hop on a quick call 🙂. 

Final thoughts …

I hope that this gives you some insight into who I am, how I got to where I am today, and how I work. I look forward to the days, months, and years of working with one another! And please do not hesitate to come to me with any technical questions that you may have because if I don’t know it I love to dig in and figure it out together!