About half a year ago I felt it would be a good time to start looking for a new job. Initially the general criteria were rather simple: a medium-sized enterprise, diversified tasks, some customer contact and nice colleagues. Now, there are many companies which are describing themselves exactly like that but whether their interpretations are matching up with yours won’t be revealed before working there for a while. After six months I’m still glad that I have chosen Scandio as my new employer, this is why I want to provide an insight into how things work around here.
Even though the current number of employees doesn’t exceed 40, there is still a wide variety of tasks available. These can range from software development and web design to content management duties and consulting including training and administration. Programmers can choose between e.g. Java, PHP and NodeJS. Depending on your team, you will only have to deal with some of these tasks primarily but you can also easily try new things determined by your individual interests.
Right after joining the Atlassian team, I was part of larger migrations, customer meetings and the development of several plugins. Even as a newcomer you don’t only get the leftover tasks but instead you may take over a lot of responsibility at an early stage.
Surprise, fun and chocolate
To me it is very important not to have the same tasks waiting for me at work day by day. This doesn’t necessarily result in chaotic daily routines or the ominous uncertainty of what the next day will come up with.
However, being well organized can be quite beneficial for staying on top of multiple projects and keeping track of their individual release dates. There are cases where you’re currently working on a project for customer A and a meeting is scheduled with customer B later that day while customer C is contacting you via JIRA or the phone with a critical problem.
Despite regularly switching your fields of duty, you still have enough time to get to grips with the technologies in use and gain experience since the work packages are usually quite large. Work is split up among the team as a healthy mix of old and new topics in order to foster previous experience and distribute existing knowledge. Members are also associated with certain customers to avoid too many context switches between assignments.
Of course every now and then there are also some repetitive and time consuming tasks but these are welcome fillers to clear one’s mind from the larger and more complex ones. When you’re stuck with your current assignment, you can either take on one of these relaxing tasks and return to the problem with a fresh perspective later or simply call it a day a bit earlier.
Working hours are pretty relaxed in general. You can easily work from home because of an upcoming appointment or simply adapt your working hours as needed. The only limiting factor to this is your meeting calendar or the next deadline.
Fun at work is definitely not on the short side when your colleagues - including the bosses - are coming by every once in a while playing small pranks or sending around funny videos in HipChat. In the evenings there are often spontaneous get-togethers in order to let the day fade away with a nice cool beer or by playing some games. User groups or other meetings in the local communities of interest are usually attended by small groups in case they are not held at Scandio anyway.
This uncomplicated way of dealing with colleagues is surprisingly similar with clients. Aside from trainings and workshops, work is mostly done within the Scandio office. Customer meetings are often taking place here as well and are in a pleasant atmosphere on a first-name basis and with casual wear. You will also get to know some customers better through informal conversations outside of the project scope when visiting the local beer garden together for example.
Outside of projects, you are also on familiar terms with all colleagues of Scandio. Every age range is represented within the company, starting from the young student up to the “old hand” with lots of experience. Because of this, conversations during lunch breaks are rather diverse with topics like current technologies, sports or politics. Having a good sense of humour and eloquence certainly helps when discussing about sports clubs or the newest top-smartphone, though.
The many local restaurants offer a lot of different dishes for everyone’s taste at fair prices but you can also save some money by joining the cooking group or storing groceries in the refrigerator. Those with the need for a small meal later on can fetch the leftovers from the cooking group or simply get something from the snack bar. With a bit of luck a colleague will come by each room with large boxes full of chocolate bars.
Thank you for travelling with Deutsche Bahn
For me as a commuter from Augsburg, I was quite uncertain at first whether the long way to the Scandio office in Neuperlach wouldn’t take too long, potentially getting on my nerves quickly.
Ultimately, everyone has to decide for themselves whether commuting is worth the time but for me this is my first try with it and I already had several ups and downs during the first six months. The theoretical duration of around 1.5 hours from door to door quickly turns into 2 hours or more because of missed subways, delays or other disturbing factors.
However, in this case I perceive the commute as rather positive because of its simplicity. Being able to reach the office by only switching the means of transport once at Munich central station makes it all more relaxing. A short walk from the subway station “Neuperlach Zentrum” to the Scandio office is rounding out the commute, making it relatively hassle-free overall.
I hope I could give a small but descriptive glimpse of the inner workings here at Scandio. Some of the above mentioned aspects are, of course, a matter of opinion and also partially dependent on your team and project situation but as far as I’m concerned I will stay here for a while longer.