About the Value Months initiative
The Value Months initiative was born from the aspiration to raise awareness of our core values, as well as give us a platform to try out new and interesting ideas, learn from them, and refine the habits that make us exceptional. At Cloudflight, every employee can actively shape the environment and contribute to our culture by speaking up and sharing ideas. Our goal is that we build on traditions and at the same time find new ways of living our values in the daily project routine, both internally and with our customers and partners, as our project work only becomes successful if we co-create it together with our clients.
We also wanted that every colleague knows our values and what we do to enhance them. Since we spread initiatives across locations, we can benefit from different perspectives.
We’re focusing on six values, out of which the first one is expressed as “we constantly experiment and learn”. The target month for this first value was July.
We began the preparations in June, gathered a team of motivated people who volunteered to be the drivers along our journey and then started tinkering with ideas. Our goals were clear: choose only ideas themed around learning and experimentation as well as broadcast those ideas to everyone. So we did. We came up with several activities, intended not only for July but as recurring events for the future.
Some ideas survived our lengthy deliberation process, so we proceeded to implement them:
Every week, someone is presenting their project in a company-wide meeting, for ten to fifteen minutes. This is called Present Your Project and is held on a global level, thanks to this initiative.
We also have our own version of technical talks, once every three weeks. During the last month, we had two special editions in the spirit of this value. We organized Fuck-Up Nights, where some courageous colleagues shared their failures and also the learnings they acquired as a consequence. Since we every week share our successes with everyone, via success stories, it’s a huge step to have fuck-up stories too.
Another unique presentation developed during this month is Present Your Personal Project, where a round of enthusiasts talked about their own projects and what they learned from building them. Besides these events, we had shorter technical presentations about a large suite of tools and practices that we use in our everyday life.
At the same time, both inspired by this month’s events and also independently, other groups organized more activities and learning opportunities. Driven by the passion towards Machine Learning and general software development, one group met for an introductory workshop in Natural Language Processing, another group discussed foundational papers about Computer Vision, and the last group discussed what it means to write clean code and how to write even cleaner code than we already do. Backed up with valuable input by our experts, the meetings were very informative and useful.
The other side of the coin
Don’t get me wrong, learning and experimenting can be awfully hard and at times, perhaps even frustrating, like every difficult thing. It’s no joke figuring out that nondeterministic application behavior, or orchestrating those requirements in an elegant and easily understandable manner, or optimizing the performance of software ever so slightly, or even managing to explain to the world the actions we value and seek, in a concise but also interesting way. All the previous situations are difficult, but for the same reason, tackling and solving them is tremendously empowering. We like challenges that force us to experiment in new and unexpected ways, and at the same time to develop and learn.
The Cloudflight Way
The first month has been an absolute success, we managed to engage many peers in our continuous pursuit for improvement through constant experimentation and learning. This is what we’ve done and we’ll continue doing. This is the Cloudflight Way.