Table of content
- Daily meeting? No, thanks
- Weekly team meeting
- Flexible remote work? No problem!
- Cooperation with companies from all over the world
- Projects from A to Z
- Fuckup – how to solve a problem
- Chillout? Always!
Are there weeks when you dream of a weekend since Monday? Do you tick off task after task and can’t wait until 5 pm? Can’t you relax on Sunday thinking about all those tasks waiting for you the next day? Work doesn’t have to look that way. How do I know – you may ask. From my over two years of experience.
Daily meeting? No, thanks
Let me guess – after you come to work, you make a coffee, and then you waste your time on a daily meeting. Quite a big team, dozens of people, tell what they did the day before and what they will do today. You’ve just lost half an hour of productive work (at least!). In the meantime, you are trying to do something. Still, we both perfectly know that you have to eavesdrop in case you are unexpectedly engaged in conversation.
The main idea behind daily meetings is reasonable. Each of us informs the rest on what we are currently working on and how projects go. We get the point, but do we have to waste time on meetings? In TeaCode, we update each other differently.
I turn my laptop on and open Slack when I get my coffee. We’ve created a dedicated channel called “daily” that we use instead of meetings. Every morning we write what we’ve planned for today. In the afternoon, we update our messages by striking off tasks we completed. This solution is highly beneficial: when I work remotely with flexible working time, I don’t have to remember about the meeting, I don’t waste time joining it, and I can check at any time what is the rest of the team currently working on. Why it’s so important?
A few weeks ago, I had an issue with Google Tag Manager. It’s not my area of expertise. I had to set a custom conversion for one of our clients. My code was working correctly, but I didn’t know how to set the GTM to obtain the result. When I was thinking about it, I got a notification that someone had published a daily plan. We had a new colleague, Kasia, who that day was about to define our conversions in GTM. I thought that she might help me, so I wrote to her. We both resolved the case efficiently.
Do I return to the daily meetings? Definitely not. Now I have the information I need in one place, at my fingertips.
Weekly team meeting
The lack of daily meetings doesn’t mean we don’t organise team meetings. Every Monday, we gather in the conference room and call all of us who work remotely. Jakub and Michał tell us about projects we are about to start or finish. We are updated on how the team is expanding and who will join us. We meet new people and discuss current and integration cases. We talk and exchange ideas. It doesn’t always take the planned 30 minutes; sometimes, several minutes is enough. Strict to the point, without unnecessary beating around the bush. It doesn’t matter how long it takes; a weekly team meeting allows us to feel the part of the team.
Flexible remote work? No problem!
Our office is spacious, and everyone can find a place for themselves, but it’s not the point. Some of us prefer remote work because it saves time (and money, since petrol prices have risen), and others have commitments (e.g. combine work with childcare). Sometimes I choose to work from home, too. Everyone gets that. Nobody requires us to show up in the office at 9 am.
The flexible work model is closely related to our daily routine. We work with clients from all over the world, which means different time zones. On the one hand, we adjust working hours to our needs, and on the other hand, we are available to our clients exactly when they need us. Win-win situation.
Cooperation with companies from all over the world
Our clients are primarily foreign companies. We’ve worked with companies in the USA, Australia, Germany, England, Belgium, Sweden and Norway. We’ve done a project for a Saudi Arabia company. Clients choose us because of our skills, but it makes the expectations of the results grow. Clients are demanding, but the cooperation is usually well.
We are engaged in projects that mean something – they facilitate everyday life and communication, help maintain good physical condition and support internal work in an organisation. I currently work on a project whose main aim is to facilitate the dream home design. With every code line, I know it makes sense. It’s not art for art’s sake. That was the goal of Michał (CEO) and Jakub (CTO) when they founded TeaCode: do things that matter.
Our clients are demanding but open to new ideas. It’s good. Together we look for the best solutions. Here in TeaCode, we don’t do exactly what clients say to do. We have knowledge and experience that clients lack. It’s our responsibility to support them and guide the project in the right direction to succeed. Clients are in our team, so their successes are our successes, and their failures are our own.
Projects from A to Z
Our main Project Manager, Gabriela, watches over the projects. She is the one who links us with a client since a project starts. It significantly improves communication and takes off from developers many time-consuming duties.
Sometimes there is only one person on a project, but we usually work in small teams. We take care of the whole process – from designing an app to launching it to market (and even then, we add new features). To create good software, we need in our project team not only developers but also testers. Sometimes a designer or marketer joins the team if a client needs support in those areas. The whole process is supervised by Team Leaders and Project Managers who are ready to help whenever we need them. Our CTO and CEO oversee the projects from the top, provide advice, and sometimes (maybe out of nostalgia or because they love to code) jump on board and face the tasks from backlog.
We help our clients to develop an app from the very beginning. It doesn’t matter whether they have only an idea or a complete plan of an app. We don’t finish cooperation after deployment, but we offer maintenance and ongoing support. We care about friendly relations with our clients. Don’t be surprised if you receive an email from one of them asking how are you and what he can visit in Warsaw.
Fuckup – how to solve a problem
Cooperation. This word is often overused and rarely really means something. In many cases, it means that when everything goes smooth, it’s also my success, but when things go wrong, I’m out. As they say: success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not in here.
Fackups were, are and will be. The case is how we handle them. We as a team admit to both successes and failures. Success should be celebrated; fackups need to be immediately fixed. No one is alone. My problem is a problem of the whole team. When I have a bug or am stuck, Robson is the one who helps me most, but he’s not the only one. Even Michał (CEO) and Jakub (CTO) offer help when facing a severe issue. We are a team, for better and for worse.
Usually, it’s a terrifying moment – a one-on-one meeting with your boss. Probably you are wondering whether you won’t be blamed for the fuckup in a launched app and have to work through the weekend to fix it.
It’s not our reality. Michał calls it a culture of feedback, but it’s simple: we do not blame each other and don’t look for the guilty one. We are looking for solutions. We discuss problems and investigate possible ways of dealing with them permanently. We learn how to avoid them in future. If we can’t cope with something, we can ask for help. Our projects are sophisticated. We have to integrate many solutions and technologies to meet our clients’ needs. If we lack knowledge in some area – we talk about it and learn. We don’t fire people because they don’t know everything. No one knows. We educate and boost our skills instead.
One to one is a dialogue. Michał and Jakub share their observations with us, suggest changes, and then we can do the same. The conversation is essential. Always.
We help each other. When I had a severe issue for the first time, Michał (CEO) offered his help. I won’t say I was surprised – I already knew the atmosphere and culture of TeaCode. I wondered how many times any of my former bosses offered to give me a hand?
Work is… not only work. It’s about people in the first place. To work effectively as one organism, we have to like each other. We can’t become friends looking at screens and typing. We can’t do this in one weekly meeting. There are different ways, though.
There is nothing that integrates better than sport. Although sometimes it’s hard to wake up early morning, we meet before work on squash and swim every Tuesday and Wednesday. We are competing and getting to know each other better.
During the day we don’t forget about doing something together too. We eat dinner together and just talk – not only about projects but everything. We know who is expecting a baby, getting married or moved out lately. We like each other. In the meantime, we can play table football.
We like to play CS in the evenings and at weekends. Everybody, even girls. If we don’t have time to play, we can watch a movie that someone has recently recommended (we’ll discuss it at lunchtime).
It’s easy to integrate when we’re in the office. Still, those teammates who work remotely are deprived of this possibility. We do our best to remember them and organise online meetings. Last time we tasted whisky. Now we are considering an online escape room for the future.
However, what we wait for the most is an integration trip – a few days just for us. We choose a destination together and then have fun out there. There are three rules on such a trip: go sightseeing, relax and have fun with teammates. We are planning to introduce the fourth: make a great picture.
To the team album.
Read the article in Polish on Just Geek IT