Welcome to the Space Volcano: Touring Skookum Digital Works

Welcome to the Space Volcano: Touring Skookum Digital Works
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Skookum Digital Works is probably the hottest tech company in Charlotte, yes, but they’re also a pretty big deal across the country, picking up clients from Fortune 500s to some of the biggest players in Silicon Valley. The 10-year-old digital innovation company (founded by two UNC-Charlotte alums) is approaching its two-year anniversary in its 15th-floor office Uptown Charlotte, lovingly named the Space Volcano.

I nerded out hard at their inaugural Nightshift final presentation a couple weeks ago and this week I took a deeper dive with a tour around the office to see what it’s like working at Skookum. Here’s what I found…

Fast facts about Skookum’s Charlotte office:

  • 49 employees (with space to double occupancy)
  • Nap room with a giant sleep sack (that people really do use for naps)
  • Killer custom wall murals
  • Unprecedented bird’s eye view of Michael Jordan’s penthouse rooftop patio (he never goes out there, apparently)
  • Weekly BREWPUBLIK beer deliveries, fancy Starbucks coffee machine and a fully stocked kitchen
  • Giant slab of wood for the conference room table had to be placed on top of the service elevator and hoisted up to the 15th floor (dedication)
  • Home to Charlotte’s largest tech meetup group (1,400 members strong) with regular tech talks and Space Volcano tours

Tons of space

The Skookum office is enormous with a mix of public open work spaces, private offices and quiet rooms. As one who is vehemently opposed to open office plans, this one didn’t really anger me because it’s divided up into nice little chunks with plenty of space to breathe (and also escape your coworkers, hello nap room). I barged in on a video conference with their Denver office and everyone on both sides of the screen waved. Awesome.

Skookum office CLT

Skookum teleconference

Skookum office Charlotte

Skookum conference room

Snack game level: expert

Skookum’s bright, airy corner kitchen is fully stocked with healthy snacks, weekly BREWPUBLIK beer deliveries and some pretty ridiculous coffee mugs (including a unicorn, T-rex and cat… I approve).

Skookum snacks

Skookum kitchen

Skookum snacks

Skookum mugs

Skookum Brewpublik

Killer custom art

Skookum went for a “digital-organic” vibe in their office decor, mixing sleek white furniture, bright custom art and wooden accents throughout the space. Their one-of-a-kind North Carolina wall mural is particularly awesome, as is the Skookum-branded Charlotte cityscape created by one of their in-house designers.

Skookum NC mural

IMG_1429

Nerdy little nuances

From naming the office the “Space Volcano” to replacing all the door signs with movie character quotes, Skookum put their mark on every inch of the office. Things to nerd out on: a 3D printer used for work and play (I got a branded iPhone stand), an old school Sega Genesis, and the coolest ever custom-built case for every electronic device on the market so they can test what they develop across multiple products and screen sizes. (I was caught staring at the Apple Watch and they were like, “Yeah it’s an Apple Watch; you can touch it.”)

Skookum door sign

Skookum 3D printer

Skookum Sega

Skookum QA

When they’re not building software, mobile apps and other tech tools, they’re supporting the local community with a series of events, including Tech Talks every other Friday and Nightshift, a 14-week coding camp taking digital products from concept to creation. For the Skookum-curious, they also offer Space Volcano Tours (like the one I did here) once a month.

Connect with Skookum

Twitter
Facebook
Meetup

Oh, and here’s that shot of Michael Jordan’s patio because that’s the closest I’ll ever get to him.

Michael Jordan patio

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