For us developers, the hackfest is more about hacking. My projects were always simple. I didn’t want to be involved in projects that took all my time there. I just like to go there, create a simple project, have a sauna and a few beers. But there were really ambitious projects being implemented at hackfests.
Last year there were a couple of guys who created a doll with a motor rotating head which had a camera inside one of the eyes. They implemented a motion detection and a pattern recognition which recognises people walking by, and the doll followed them and would shout out stuff like “Idiot". It was a really interesting project. And a scary looking doll! It actually looked like a Chucky doll.
One funny thing about the trip to Iceland was the Silver Kuitunen Cross. During our foreign trips we usually have a couple of planned events for everyone and the rest of the time is free for adventurous discovery. That time, some people wanted to explore the places around so they rented a car and one person had to be a driver. It was Toni Mikkola who drove for a whole day.
He actually sacrificed himself as a driver. Not only was it quite a long drive, but the passengers were also a bit challenging. Afterwards, he was given a Silver Cross of Honour, called Kuitunen Cross, with a great diploma and everything. I guess as it was given once now, it may be given to another person later if the person achieves something great. That person should really put himself or herself on the line for a bunch of colleagues.
Several months ago there was a person who needed to be introduced to the end customer, a German company.
I was working on that project with Kyösti, who is one of our employees. And I was puzzled, “How am I going to introduce him to the customer?” It promised to be difficult with our randomly selected titles.
I had been working for some time at Nokia and I thought, “Ok, the toughest guys in Nokia are called principal architects”. So I introduced Kyösti to the customer as a principal architect. And the German employee said that he was an executive architect.
Next time, Kyösti will be an executive architect.
During the interview one thing which impressed me was language the folks used. Our intentions and behaviour are reflected in and shaped by our words. Dream is an everyday word at Vincit.
Mikko spoke about dreams when he was describing the purpose of the company. Johanna spoke about dreams when she was discussing the hiring process. Pasi spoke about dreams while explaining how they form project teams. It is inspiring to hear the leaders of the company talking this way. It is even more inspiring to see that the company lives this way.
Every month we have a roof-top sauna rented. People can go there to eat pizza, drink beer and visit the sauna. Being very popular in the beginning, fewer amounts of people participate these days. It’s not bad at all. The sauna is not big enough to accommodate more than 150 Vincitizens.
Once per month we get together at the office to discuss how the things are going, listen to the leaders and share food. During the event, the Helsinki office joins via a video call and we talk about a range of issues.
Afternoon Tea is a time for us to know how the company did in the previous months and praise the colleagues who showed high commitment to our values. The leaders share information about sales, upcoming gigs, new initiatives. Mikko, our CEO, answered any questions he received via email or during the event.
Every year the whole team go abroad for several days. We call it a team-building seminar. Of course, it’s not a seminar at all. It’s a short trip full of adventures to get to know each other better. Check a couple of photos from our latest trip to Iceland.
During the coldest time of the year, the teams compete with each other in multiple outdoor winter activities to win a noble trophy which they hold till the next Games. After all the snow battles are over and the hot chocolate is done, the participants move indoors to enjoy a traditional sauna, hot food, board and monitor games.
In the fall we have a whole weekend hackfest. We rent several cabins in the forest, split into groups of 4-5 persons and spend hours coding and making whatever products we want. It’s the event for sharpening our skills and showing off our creativity.
Different teams choose different approaches. Someone decides to hack a little bit and try as many new options as possible. Others prefer to stick to one project and complete it within 48 hours. Anssi shared an amazing story about a Chukky doll. If you missed it, it’s time to go back and read.
Once in a while we go to the cinema and watch a shitty movie with a whole company. Afterwards, we invade the nearest pub and talk about it. We usually have many quite opposing opinions, and hot discussions are required and the most fun part of the event.
You could make any decision that makes our working life better: no budget, no regulations
You could easily change a project if you find it not aligning with your goals.
We try to be as transparent as possible including salaries. However it's your choice if you want to show your salary to the colleagues or not.
We have mentors and external life coaches who help you to grow personally and professionally.
We have a competence development bonus. If you write a blog or participate in open source projects, we compensate up to 10 hours per month.
Started as a private project by Juha Paananen, an employee at Reaktor, Koodikoulu became popular very fast.
We supported this fantastic initiative without a doubt and hosted the school in our Tampere office. We deliver the knowledge mixed with Vincit’s spirit by spicing the process up with our famous black ducks, running around and helping kids to find solutions for the most challenging problems.
Being software enthusiasts ourselves we understand the importance of continuous growth and how a dev community helps us with it. We try to do as much as possible to pay back, and Teatime is our way to say thank you to others and help them to thrive.
Teatime is a tech conference organised and run by Vincit. The conference is open for students and tech specialists. We invite great experts to share their knowledge in different areas from continuous deployment to high load.