COEX's Highlights of 2014
It's end of the year so let's recap the most important stuff brought by 2014. We have a couple of perspectives we can meditate about.
The year we’ve moved
In the beginning of the year we moved to new offices in beautiful PORT#58 where we are sharing the whole floor with Bioport. Besides comfy developer rooms we have a big shared hall and although its equipment, it’s still not fully finished but it’s a great place for working breakfasts (each Tuesday with different cuisine), techtalks, workshops and table soccer of course. Some photos from our new premises can be found here.
Fresh talents onboarded, hiring process improved
Although some of our colleagues started their own journey, COEX staff is growing significantly and now we are on 19 full time employees and a couple of regular externalists. One of the most important advice we got from our Silicon Valley trip and numerous tech companies we met, is that the wisdom beside tech skills, it might be more important to hire people tuned in the same frequency. So we invested some time and energy into little different hiring campaigns and came up with something that we hope should captivate the right ones:
You can see all our visuals on the hiring page (Czech only). To save time on interviews we have also upgraded the hiring process - applicants need to go through a hiring questionnaire, if they pass it there is a one-to-one interview, a conference call and finally there is a team-to-one interview.
Since 2011 we cooperate with MODX LLC on amazing open source CMS development and during 2014 we also did a couple of custom development projects for USA clients together. This is what brings a lot of fun as we are building awesome web apps together and many times a component being done for the client is later released for the community.
We also started to work as an external team for a Canadian award winning agency, JOI Media Inc. and in the first part of the year we cooperated on an innovative crowd sourcing software as a service platform. Currently we are helping to upgrade the whole thing to a white labeled private equity investing system. You can check out more at Katipult.com.
Professional associacions and know-how sharing
As entering members of the presigious group of the top Czech digital agencies called Asociace.biz we were invited to speak at digital agencies workshop and panel discussion with a main topic of Management and Organizaction of extensive software projects. The workshop was organized by eBrana.cz and more than 30 managers and senior developers from the best Czech agencies attended.
We prepared a presentation about best practices in the preparation and analysis phase (can be found on Slideshare, Czech only) and during the half day event a lot of experiences and tips were shared among extra-league companies such as Symbio, Onlio, Unicorn, Lundegaard and others. It was highly inspiring to talk about projects methodics, agile company leadership, kaizens etc. Workshop schedule, topics and photos from the workshop are at the eBrana.cz website.
On the developers’ portal Zdrojak.cz we have published a technical article about saving time during front-end development while working with our favorite SAAS frameworks. As every year we have organized the official Czech MODX meetup and while a couple of our Syrian friends attended too, we are happy to help with starting MODX in Syria. And yes, since December we are officially accredited as a Google Apps Reseller.
Strenghtening the company culture
As described in one of the other blogposts about Talent management sessions we started to focus on company life tweaks and providing our people with an inspiring environment and atmosphere where people can grow professionally and personally too. We continue doing tech talks among the dev teams and also support people to go to conferences and IT events - and if it’s possible always make a presentation and share it with rest of the team.
At the end of the year we had a Christmas party and organized a little Curling tournament. In the evening we held a funny gift session where everyone brought one present to be redistributed by a special voting and dice throwing algorithm. And as every year we’ve invited friends and ex-coexers to enjoy the party evening with a keg of beer and home cooked food. And because we were good the whole year, everyone got a brand new COEX t-shirts.
Outlooks of 2015
There are a couple of highly interesting projects in the pipeline for Q1 and Q2 of the next year. Actually there are more projects than our capacities are and the tough thing will be to decide what to do and what to drop. For this reason, we will definitely continue to look for new developers. Also we need to push further the equipment of our offices - tech corner and relax zone are high on the list. We want to continue with the process of opening to the world through conferences, network events, share know-how and publish more tech articles.
Beside custom development we are permanently in the “own-product-seeking” mode and we will definitely reserve some resources for interesting startups. Currently we are up to some of Internet of Things nice ideas and will stay open to any challenges or approaches aiming to make the world a little nicer place to live with the advance of digital technology.
Thanks for reading and have an awesome year 2015!