Did you know that “teamwork” is in the TOP 5 of the most valued soft skills? And that in 2020 it will be even more relevant than it is today? The Future Work Skills 2020 study establishes that “quality management, teamwork skills and the ability to adapt to new technologies” will be the skills most valued in 2020 by companies.
Do you work well in a team? Do you like it? In the workplace, the so-called “hard skills” can be learned (for example, a new program to develop your work, or a specific methodology), while soft skills (personal attributes that help people to interact effectively with others) are more difficult to learn, but not impossible. Therefore, learning to work in a team is essential in multidisciplinary and transversal work environments where many departments or profiles come into play. In addition, teamwork promotes happiness in your position and thus avoids a bad work environment and its disastrous consequences. Did you know that feeling happy at work as well as increasing personal satisfaction, self-esteem and productivity, favours creativity and interest in innovation? We spend a third of each day working (imagine what it means in a lifetime), don’t you think being happy at work and transferring that happiness to all the people around can only help?
And this is how the IT Solutions team of BETWEEN Technology lives, where teamwork is essential and a characteristic feature of their DNA. Do you want to know what a working day is like on the BETWEEN IT team? To do this you must first meet Ricardo Alonso, Project Development Manager, who manages a team of 14 computer engineers with varied profiles: junior, senior, interns, project managers … who manage multiple technologies, although most dominate .NET.
His team has been growing year after year to face the new technical challenges that have presented themselves. In fact, the tech family at BETWEEN continues to grow with new projects. Ricardo says that “to be part of this family, the most important thing is attitude. Knowledge and experience add up, but attitude multiplies.” It is possible that when you enter the working world you don’t have much experience, but believe us, attitude is everything, and that is demonstrated in the first interview.
Ricardo explains that he feels fortunate to have a team made up of:
“so much human quality [as] it’s a group that welcomes new members who are are incorporated, providing them with all the possible support from the very beginning. Everyone goes out of their way to integrate them and we spend the first week training the person so that they adapt to the methodologies we use.”
Can you imagine how IT Solutions’ betweeners are organised?
As soon as you start a new project, which can be from a client or in house, the entire team meets in order to find out the details. They talk about the skills required for the project itself and the technical requirements posed by the client. Together they all comment on the issues that may arise in this regard and, most importantly, how to carry it out or the paths that should NOT be taken for that particular project. The client makes their requests, but in the end, it is the whole team who decides how they are going to execute the project in order to reach a good conclusion.
“At BETWEEN we are very fortunate in that they give us the freedom to use the technology we want in order to achieve the solution required by the client. The freedom that we have to develop the project as we believe appropriate, according to our experience and the needs of the market, is the same freedom that is applied internally.” That is, “everyone has a voice and a vote. When projects or day-to-day issues are laid out, everyone can offer their opinion and contribute to find a solution,” says Ricardo Alonso. This fact goes even further. The Project Development Manager explains that it is very important for him to receive feedback and, for this, he send out an anonymous questionnaire to find out how they see him and what they think his strengths and weaknesses are. This is then used to help him “to continue improving as a manager with real first hand feedback”. Can you imagine being able to value your manager?
In BETWEEN, we use Agile methodology and the Scrum process framework. This methodology promotes project management that encourages the constant revision of the code and its adaptation. The IT team works because it facilitates teamwork, personal organisation and favours the performance of development time. Thus, they feel more comfortable with a methodology that encourages cooperation and teamwork.
A typical day for the BETWEEN IT team
On a practical level, the IT Solutions team meets for 15 minutes so as to know how each member is getting on and whether they have any questions or have run aground due to whatever obstacle. Cooperation and group problem solving is vital in order to find new, creative solutions. Another important point are the value deliveries. Approximately every two weeks, a part of the project is delivered to the client, which ensures that they are very involved from the beginning. The customer tests what has been created and gives feedback.
Positive points of working in this way
Whilst this test is being carried out by the client, the team continues to develop the project, but as soon as there is feedback, there is scope to go in one direction or another. A complete package is not delivered at the end of the process, instead, partial deliveries are made, which allows for tweaking and a better end result.
In addition, having delivered the project, an analysis is always done (known as a retrospective) in order to analyse points of improvement and those that worked well. This methodology is adapted to the BETWEEN IT team because it is not long term, instead, it looks at the short term and allows the team to foresee the direction to be taken two weeks ahead of time.
What do the team members say?
Eduard Esteban, Full Stack Developer (two and a half years at BETWEEN Tech) highlights the “humane treatment” as something that characterises this company. In addition, he assures that although they work on different projects, they are aware that if they have any issues they can count on a colleague to solve it.
Alex Barro (a year and a half in BETWEEN) says that the best thing is “the camaraderie and that people get along”.
In fact, the cohesion of the team is not only encouraged within the office, but also outside, with the team going to the movies and eating all together once a month. It is vital to cultivate personal relationships between colleagues and interact outside the work environment in order to have a cohesive team.