At OmbuLabs we have many values that have been key to our success. This is an article about the values that differentiate our company from the rest. We truly live and breathe our values throughout every part of our organization.
Every team member is expected to follow these values, especially when things get tough. This is a living document. We have been tweaking these values ever since starting the company.
We can’t run a successful consultancy if we don’t value and respect every team member. There are a number of ways we work on this value as a company.
We believe that creating an excellent workplace culture is at the forefront of a happy and productive team. We create spaces and conversations for support, respect and inclusion.
We expect any egos to be left at the door.
Our Slack is lively and filled with jokes, musings, and discussions around many topics ranging from very technical to what kinds of plants we have been growing.
We don’t want people who “live to work”. Workaholism is toxic and often leads to burnout. We strive to maintain a healthy work/life balance, to “work to live” a great life, and to grow as professionals within the company.
Creating personal connections is essential to having a safe space full of support and empathy for teammates.
In terms of our communication, we adhere to the contributor covenant v2.0, not just for our open source projects, but also for any interaction we have with team members: CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md
Challenging Projects over Profitable Projects
We value interesting challenges more than high-paying contracts. We are in the problem-solving business for real companies. We won’t work on cool-sounding solutions looking for a problem that doesn’t exist.
We will only work with businesses and entrepreneurs who have real problems. The only way to be great problem solvers is to understand and believe in our clients’ businesses.
This leads to satisfying work and a sustainable environment. It helps everyone on our team increase their knowledge and share their knowledge. We aim to be a team led by passion. This, in turn, relates to one of our other main values; continuous improvement.
Talent is Everywhere
The value of our team will always be higher than the sum of the value of each team member. There is value in team synergy and our interactions. In sports, team work beats raw talent every time. This applies equally in our work environment.
We don’t let geographical boundaries stop us from hiring the best person for the job. As long as our team members can communicate properly during client hours, distance shouldn’t be an issue.
The remarkable aspect of being a fully remote team is that we can foster talent from all over the world which allows us to see projects and each other with a global perspective.
We believe that diverse teams are smarter teams . There is value in all types of diversity, it is the best way to stay competitive in our industry. Problem solving with minds from different backgrounds leads to more creative and better thought out solutions.
We also value diversity in our team’s expertise and professional background. A team member with less experience gives us the opportunity to coach and mentor them into becoming better professionals by following our values.
Teaching shall always be considered a great way to become better professionals. On the flip-side, someone with less experience can often provide a unique perspective and point out things a more seasoned team member might overlook.
Open by Default
Everything we do should strive to be open by default. We want to have open communication, contribute to open source projects, give back to our communities, and become thought leaders in our industry.
Openness is key to our leadership.
When starting a project, we should ask ourselves: “Is there any reason to make this a closed source project?”
There must be a solid reason to start a new closed source project. Otherwise, our projects should be open by default.
Being open by default allows us to share our knowledge, create trust with our clients and team, and gradually become an authority in our industry. We truly believe in being a part of the wider community, because overall we are always a part of something that is bigger than ourselves.
To live this value we have contribution goals for all of our developers to get involved in the broader community, to contribute to open source projects , to visit and speak at conferences, to participate and organize meetups and to share our knowledge in a transparent and meaningful way.
We are here to pay off technical debt and invest in our clients’ assets. We will always strive to leave legacy systems in better shape than when we started working on them.
This does not simply apply to code. It also applies to our clients’ culture, processes, dependencies, code coverage, documentation, best practices, and anything that will make our clients’ lives easier in the long term.
We are here to learn from our mistakes. The only unforgivable mistake is to not learn from our mistakes.
Continuous improvement applies to our internal workings as well. We use many techniques to continuously work on ourselves, and the company.
We encourage learning through the use of a yearly stipend, paid open source time, we use 1:1’s to check in with everyone, we use retrospectives to learn from our experiences.
We pair program as much as we need, learning from each other, and even learning techniques that each of us uses in our own environments leads to continuous improvement for everyone at the company.
In general we work using agile methodologies, some projects might require SCRUM while others might be better suited for XP. As an agile team we are always keeping individuals and interactions over processes and tools in mind.
These values are not written in stone. They will continue to evolve as our culture, people, and leadership evolves.
When confronted with uncertainty or seemingly insurmountable obstacles come back to this page to understand why we do things the way we do.