At the end of 2017, our colleague Wessel started as a Medior Software Engineer. The first time he heard of Ibuildings he was at a meet-up for various companies in Zeeland. After an inspiring presentation at a conference and later after seeing an advertisement, everything fell into place: this is where he wanted to work! Meanwhile, 4 years later, Wessel is Senior Software Engineer and still happy with his choice:
“I have only worked at one other company before this. There we really worked in a hierarchy. When I later started working with a Holacracy method at Ibuildings, where everyone is actually equal, I soon found it much nicer to work there than before. You get a lot of say. Whether your job title is Medior or Senior, they really listen to you and take you seriously. It took some getting used to, but my colleagues really did their best to teach me. There were also courses and training procedures for this.”
What is the most enjoyable thing about your work at Ibuildings?
“The projects we are looking for are not exactly those of the corner bakery (by way of course!), but really the challenging ones. These are, for example, projects where we use techniques that are still unknown to us. I find it particularly interesting to find out about this together. We are not afraid to choose the unknown path, especially if it is better for the customer. This does mean that you have to be a little more creative, but that’s the fun part for me!”
So in this way you are actually never done learning?
“Actually, at Ibuildings you are never out of practice. We try to teach each other a lot of things so that we can always offer the highest achievable quality to the customer. In the project I am currently working on, I am in a team with colleagues who have been with Ibuildings for more than 15 years and who have a great deal of knowledge in various fields. That works extremely well together and I learn a lot from it. I’ve also had various roles alongside my current one. I am now a Security Researcher, for instance. This means that I check the security of applications and how I can improve it. I also find this very interesting!”
Does Ibuildings also offer opportunities if you want to follow a course or training, for example?
“Yes it does! Every year you get a number of hours and a budget for this. For instance, my PHP exam was financed by Ibuildings. Various training courses are also given during working hours. There are still many things I would like to learn, but I often learn them on the way, during projects or from my colleagues. But if I have the ambition, I can discuss this with my mentor and/or Tech Coach.”
Can you tell us a bit more about the collaboration with mentors and Tech coaches within Ibuildings?
“Every year you have goals meetings with your mentor and Tech Coach. Your skill set is divided into 2 categories: soft skills (for example, your communication skills) and tech skills. You have a mentor who looks with you at your soft skills and for example how you want to progress in your profile. With your Tech Coach you deal with the same question, but with regard to your technical skills. Your role in the project, for example, can then be adjusted to this, so that you can achieve your ambitions. The title Junior, Medior or Senior is determined on the basis of these soft and tech skills, not on the basis of years of experience. We even have a tool to help you develop these skills. Here you can give a grade together with your mentor and Tech Coach, so you can always see how far you’ve come. So this is easy to test.”
What do your teams within such a project look like?
The project team often consists of a Tech Lead who is responsible for all the technical choices in the project. Then you have the Architect who determines the architecture and the Project Managers who oversee the project planning and take care of most of the communication with the customer. Last but not least: the developers, who carry out this planning. You learn a great deal from each other’s roles and you also advise each other on these.
The mentality within Ibuildings is very young and within our field you could call us a hip company.
You are still looking for reinforcements. What does your ideal colleague look like?
“Flexible and motivated to learn new things. You have to be looking for a real challenge in your work and be okay with going down an unknown road and finding your way in it together. Furthermore, there is an informal atmosphere with us, so we like it when you can laugh a little with your colleagues.