Zaengleverse in 2021

Written By Emily Kassmeier
Posted on

Did 2021 completely fly by for anyone else? Surely I’m not the only one who feels that way.

As I type these words, I’m sitting here, still wondering how we’re already at the end of another year. Was it not March 2020 just last week? What even is time anymore? I think I need a moment for my brain to catch up.

However confusing the concept of time is these days, Zaengle had a momentous year. We shipped a ton of work for our clients and internal projects. I’m proud of the work the Zaengsters delivered this year, and how we’ve grown together as a team. It’s been a year to remember.

Let’s take a look back at some highlights from the Zaengleverse this year.

Zaengstats for 2021

  • 1 new Zaengster
  • 1 new Zaengster baby (on the way!)
  • 146 team standups
  • 2 SaaS products rebuilt and relaunched
  • 14 client projects
  • 11.9 million sessions on a client site
  • 61 music recommendations shared
  • 20 blog posts
  • 59 dad jokes told
  • 86 fun questions asked
  • 116,696 Slack messages sent
  • 33 memes created by David
  • 591 meetings on Patrick’s calendar
  • 65 readings/watchings of Harry Potter by Rachel
  • 91 books discussed for book club

Word of the Year

As we wrapped up the year, we asked each team member to pick one word that best encapsulated 2021 for them. Here’s what the Zaengsters had to say.



Phil Zaengle

Word: Launch

We said we need to ship work more frequently at the beginning of the year. And we did. Launching creates momentum, pride, and confidence as we get to see the results of work out in the world.

Patrick Sheffield

Word: Fulfilling

2021 has been the most fulfilling of my career. I had the opportunity to work on an important project seen by millions of people, to do work that stretched me to the outer limits of my experience, to partner with a lot of new people that are great at what they do and learn from them in the process, and to be part of a team that shipped a ton of high-quality work.


Jesse Schutt

Word: Principle

"Focus on Principle" has been a bit of a mantra for me this past year. Identifying what's important and pursuing it both in my programming as well as non-work life has brought a much-needed focus for 2021.


Rachel Opperman

Word: Persistence

I faced quite a few challenging code problems this year, and persistence was key to getting them figured out.


AJ Penninga

Word: Flurry

A flurry. A sudden commotion, excitement or confusion. Nervous hurry. This year flew by and simultaneously took forever. 


Logan Fox

Word: Persistence

I have tackled quite a few seemingly daunting projects this year and accomplished them only through persistence.


David Lindahl

Word: Impact

No, no not the font. But rather I chose impact because this year was impactful for me and I felt like my code impacted the world. I greatly enjoyed being a part of some projects that led to a positive impact on the world, and literally saved lives. Also I felt as our team chemistry grew that I was able to make a greater impact as part of our great team, putting out some really high quality websites and projects.

Emily Kassmeier

Word: Progress

While 2021 was still far from “normal,” it’s been a year of progress in many ways. Our world is (slightly) less messy than it was last year. Our team pushed forward plenty of solid work. I learned a bunch and grew my own skills along the way. My dog got new pajamas and he looks really cute in them. It’s all progress.



John Anderson

Word: Persistence

As it goes with most years, how 2021 started is not how it ended. Much has changed: new career path, new employer, new city, new apartment and new friends. With change, comes growth, and with growth comes the need for persistence. Whenever something grows, it reshapes and pushes off old forms and learns to fill in and move as a new shape. There is a decision point on whether to stay in the comfortable familiar form or discover what the new has to offer. Without persistence, it’s very difficult to move to the next stage and the new shape that enables undiscovered adventures and further growth.

. . . and that’s a wrap!

Here’s to a safe, joy-filled new year. See you in 2022. 👋