The Scandio Report of the Month August has arrived! The next candidate is one of our two co-founders Christian. He is responsible for the operative business of the company and is an outstanding expert on Atlassian products.
Please tell us something about yourself first!
My name is Christian Koch and I studied computer science in Munich. I founded Scandio with Christoph Köberle in 2003. I am married, have four children and was a school dropout.
How has your area of responsibility changed since the company was founded?
My current tasks are much more sales-oriented than before. I am no longer allowed to code something because my colleagues forbid me to do so ;). Except at the ShipIt Days, where once a year I have the chance to win the first prize (last time in 2015) with my programming skills. Back to the tasks: One of my main tasks is also recruiting and maybe the wording “strategy” fits too.
How was Scandio founded? How has it changed?
That explanation is much longer than a single blog post… Scandio is a growth out of a bankruptcy caused by the “New Market”. At that time, Christoph, me and six other people from the old company, supported by two large customers, decided to continue.
What has changed? I think we have changed from a technical „Think Tank” to a very professional and innovative project house.
What’s keeping the Scandio concept working for you?
The people! Scandio is a company that looks for employees who go to work with an extremely high level of self-responsibility and self-organisation. Through the self-organized teams, this should be a construct that keeps itself running and promotes innovation.
What do you look out for in potential employees?
As I just said: self-responsibility, self-organization and the ability to work in a team. Grades are of secondary importance. We always smile a lot about the maths grades in the Abitur. But that’s more of a fun fact. Otherwise, we use clever questions to check how the applicants feel about IT and software development. Those who are not in the mood for IT will not get far here.
How important are group activities at Scandio?
I think it’s cool as long as it’s voluntary. I don’t think it’s good to say that the separation of work and private life is mandatory. I think that’s wrong. But in my opinion, it’s a bit worse if you say I have to go to a pub every Thursday night with my colleagues because that’s the way it should be. You do it when you feel like it and when you don’t, the world doesn’t end either.
Where do you think IT is going? What are exciting new technologies for you?
The cloud will massively change and accompany us over the next few years, perhaps even a whole decade. What’s actually a much cooler example: Companies are going to dissolve IT departments because nowadays everything is IT. A marketing department is IT, a sales department is IT, production, depending on the company, up to 70% IT. Everything is IT, so you don’t need IT departments anymore. Great for us!
A question about self-organized teams: What does this mean for the employees and for you as managing director?
First of all it means a lot of work for both sides. For the employees who have come from a hierarchical company, it feels like an additional task at the beginning (“I have to take care of something that is not part of my job”). But most of them are great with it and quickly recognize the potential. For the two founders this means: Cut off your old pigtails and write a few to-do lists about what you still doing wrong, so that in 10 years it is still awesome.
What is your favorite nerve food? Or do you have other tips to cope with stressful moments?
My body is not a friend of nerve food, so I shouldn’t do that. But when it gets really stressful, I go for a run to clear my head.
Your biggest mistake at Scandio?
When I was programming, I deleted a few databases. But my biggest mistake was before woking at Scandio. At that time I sold our first company with my current co-founder Christoph insanely unsuccessfully. But that won’t happen again! :D
Thank you very much for your time Christian!