by Martin Mazur
For us tretton37 knowledge and knowledge sharing has always been top priority. Our business model hinges on sharing knowledge, not only with our clients but also with the community and each other. This makes experimenting with different ways of learning key to our success.
As we have grown we have also recognized that what once was easy — satisfying everyone’s knowledge thirst — has grown more complicated. We recognized that not everyone accumulates knowledge in the same way and what might work for a certain individual is pure hell for another.
This is why we decided to launch the Ninja Budget last year — simply put this is a part of the company’s knowledge budget distributed and put in every employees hands to leverage the knowledge activity that they think will give them the best personal growth.
Ninja Budget was a great step towards autonomy, and this year we wanted to see if we could take it even further. In January we complemented the budget with time meaning that not only does everyone have money to spend on knowledge they now also have paid time to use for developing themselves.
In order to facilitate this and still maintain a sense of us learning together we have a concept called Tribes. The simplest way to view a Tribe is as an internal user group or meet-up; it’s a way to create structure in the autonomy.
We have Tribes formed around single events such as such as JSConf, SharePoint Evolution and BuildStuff. We also have Tribes focusing on modern technology such as machine learning, virtual reality and not one but two different IoT tribes.
I myself recently started a Tribe focused on learning from other programming languages and we are currently exploring Elixir. I am really excited to see what other things can grow from this – the best things start at the grass roots.
by Enrico Campidoglio
“So, how is it like to work as a programmer?”
The burning question came from one of the youngest members in the audience. As I gathered my thoughts, I noticed how the rest of the group was looking at me with the eagerness and impatience typical of someone whose thirst for knowledge is inversely proportional to their age. I felt the energy in the air. And so I began to give my answer.
It was the fall of 2013 and I was giving a presentation at a CoderDojo meeting in Lund. CoderDojo is a worldwide community of young programmers and their parents. The group welcomes anyone between the age of 7 and 17 who wants to learn to express their creativity through computers.
To be honest, I had never heard of CoderDojo until one day I was asked to give a short presentation on how life is like as a professional programmer during one of their weekly gatherings in Lund. How many times do you get the opportunity to inspire the next generation of programming talents? I was thrilled.
At the end of the presentation, I asked if anyone had any questions. One of them sitting in the front row, maybe around 10 years old, quickly raised her hand:
“I noticed that in Chrome you can open up a window that shows you the HTML code for the page among other things. Do you use it in your daily job and how?”
10 years old. Needless to say I was blown away. The curiosity and fresh perspective of these young people was energizing to say the least. So there I was, all focused on giving them the best pep talk I could and they were inspiring me back tenfold with their skill and perspicacity. At that age, there are a million things they could spend their time and energy on and they chose to learn programming. Now, that’s true passion.
In that moment I realized what an honor it is to have a chance to be there and help them learn. Sometimes it means answering a very specific question. Other times it’s simply enough to give them a gentle nudge towards the right direction and watch them go off to figure out the rest on their own.
It was a pleasure to see these young minds at work once again and we already can’t wait to see them next time.
At tretton37 we have a big weekend coming up – we are combining a conference trip to Höllviken with two of our company wide competence days, or Knowabunga days as they are known.
During these days people tend to tweet about what we are doing, who’s presenting what, sharing stuff they created, fun things that were said and so on. While most of these tweets are interesting only to us, they do generate some questions from our followers. So, let me pre-empt the most common questions – what are we doing? and how did we plan it?
I’m going to make it easy for myself and just share exactly what we wrote to our ninjas a couple of months ago;
The planning for the double Knowabunga is on the way and we need your help. For one of the days we intend to create a conference-like schedule with tracks and everything. We need you to share your knowledge by offering to host one or more the sessions throughout the day.So, let me go into more detail about what each of these tracks should contain. If you are interested in contributing then contact the person responsible for that track.
The day may look something like this:
Cinema track is just what it sounds like: Pre-recorded talks that run all day on a big screen (and I’m hoping we can arrange some popcorn).
Since this pretty much takes care of itself, all we need is for you to suggest videos or potential speakers and topics.
Track responsible: email@example.com
Code labs are hands-on sessions where you can go to get help getting started with a particular technology. Code labs are hosted by a person who is knowledgeable in a particular technology. It doesn’t require a lot to host a session; if you stayed up a few nights fiddling with ElasticSearch or are using Octopus deploy at a client then chances are your more knowledgeable than most of your colleagues. Preparation can and should be minimal.
A code lab could, for example, involve;
Labs are 90 minutes but you can continue coding by going Ronin (a special track where you can do what you want). If you’re interested in being a host, then e-mail/talk to the person responsible for the track.
Track responsible: Roger Wilson
We want to make the Talks track very dynamic with lots of variety and no dead spots.
To achieve this we are dividing each 1,5 hour slot into 6 x 15 minute micro slots. In doing this, we can increase variety and flexibility to allow different types of talks.
If you think that you only need 1 micro slot (15 minutes) then go for it! However, if you have a more complex topic to discuss and require 3 micro slots (45 minutes) then this is also possible.
We have 4 (big) slots, which leaves us with 24 micro slots, so we have lots of flexibility to talk about many different cool topics.
Some ideas for tracks:
You should see this track as a massive shot of knowledge! How far do you think that we can take this? :D
We can also bring in external speakers, so you may suggest that too!
Feel free to start sending ideas and topics, we will try to make this as public as possible so that we can get inspiration shared between one another.
Track responsible: Bernardo Antunes
Imagine a gathering of people that share the same interest. For example, you could have a “lean” meet-up where you discuss experiences with the lean methodology, or a Sharepoint meet-up to discuss vNext. You could also discuss matters related to tretton37, for example “how do we take Knowabunga days to the next level?” (and be sure to share the results).
The format is up to the attendees to decide; you could do a fishbowl, brainstorm or have open discussions. The only requirement is that someone acts as a moderator and makes sure that the session ends on time.
Track responsible: Anders Persson
As always, we want you to have the flexibility to do what is best for you. Therefore, there will be a room ready where you can work on whatever you like (as long as it qualifies as competence development). One example to go Ronin is if you want to continue a code lab after the session has ended, or if you want to work on your open source framework. You get the idea. This, however, is not a place to sit and talk about your mad WoW skills or other non-work related stuff.
Track responsible: you
That’s about it. We now have around 22 sessions and the whole thing is pretty much organising itself. Of course, we couldn’t have pulled this off without the ninja’s inherent desire to contribute what they know. That’s what makes tretton37 a great place to work – especially if you are the organiser :)
Open source and the open source community are, and always will be, an important part of our company culture. It was not too long ago that we spent a full day contributing to various open source projects, as a small way for us to show our appreciation for the projects and all the hard work that goes into them.
Of course, we like to write code as well and many of us share out work in the form of open source projects. I have compiled a short list of some of the many projects that are being shared by my fellow ninjas. Who knows, maybe you will find something in the list that will help you with your work or solve a problem you have been struggling with?
HTML5 templating framework that helps you build web applications using HTML, CSS, and Jaavascript!
Unit Grid System
A simple localstorage extender for the Knockout.JS project
Scrapin’ lunch menues because everyone are too lazy to surf for lunches. Feel free to fork to add new sites to scrape!
Because npm was lacking a magic 8-ball package
A simple library for uni-directional dataflow application architecture inspired by ReactJS Flux
A configure in code LALR(1) parser generator for C#
An in-browser game that is controlled by the gyro and accelerometer of your smartphone.
by Victoria Lodge
I started at tretton37 just about a year ago. My first couple of weeks at tretton37 involved a lot of mug posting to the far corners of the globe. I couldn’t quite understand why requests were coming in from all over the world for a mug that had something about France being bacon on it. I just didn’t get it. So, I bought in about 900km of bubblewrap, thought “computer nerds are a funny bunch” and posted them off. Job done.
The weeks went by, and over the past year I’ve managed to find my way amongst the numerous computer cables, ‘Game of Thrones’ quotes and the other day I even understood a Sharepoint joke (well, ok ‘understood’ was perhaps overkill, but I knew when I should laugh). Anyway, slowly but surely, the talk of Leetspeak began to surface more and more frequently. Dates were set, it was to be in Gothenburg, and the speakers were going to be awesome. As the 4th of October drew closer, the organisers were an omnipresent force at the Lund office. Hush hush phone calls were made, plans were laid and Leetspeak became more and more present in daily vocabulary.
The weeks prior to Leetspeak were a haze of late nights, long days and giveaways. The awesome giveaway idea that had been concocted was visual and metaphoric perfection – a seed of knowledge that once planted was to be nurtured and in time it would give great rewards. How very Yoda. And so I set about spraying 400 plant pots with the Leetspeak logo (remember that haze I spoke of? I think it was the paint), seeds were individually counted and placed in hand stamped envelopes, our resident gardening expert advised on the purchasing of plant nutrients, care leaflets were printed and the other assembly parts were organised. I saw the vast amount of time, energy and love that was put into the giveaways and know that this amount effort, time and care was put tenfold into every decision made in relation to Leetspeak.
The next thing I knew it was time to jump on the bus and head for Gothenburg. Upon arrival we got stuck into all the pre-Leetspeak jobs that needed doing. As I stood there at 2am, up to my elbows in plant soil, I admit that I asked myself – is it worth this? Just over 4 hours later I would get my answer. Stifling a yawn, the first happy Leetspeaker made their way to the registration, and ‘boom’ it was show time. The day flew by from there, I heard snippets of “awesome”, “brilliant”, “…an amazing talk”, “they always have the best stuff” and (my personal favourite) “can you take soil on a plane?”. The atmosphere was buzzing, discussions were animated and the word of Leetspeak was tweeted like no other. I stood back and took it all in. Holy cow. This is where I work. This company, right here, that does all of this amazing stuff with such attention to detail. This is how it is to work for the most admired company. The sense of camaraderie, the family spirit, was burning bright for all to see.
So, I asked myself again, was it worth it? A resounding ‘Yes’. Totally. 100%. Just maybe next year a simpler giveaway perhaps ;)
About this blog
We at tretton37 believe in having a strong company culture that promotes craftsmanship, professionalism and knowledge sharing.
We want to use this blog to share what we know and give everyone insight into our thoughts.
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