Recall: At the end of May 2017, around 100 adventurous codecentricers from four European countries embarked on an expedition to distant Soltau in northern Germany. The reason for the journey into the unknown: The first codecentric-internal Unconf was on. And no one could tell exactly what would he expect. Four days later, all these experimental pioneers scattered back to their locations. And the cc Unconf should lead their reputation in the course of the following year.
A year later, it is March 15th 2018, and we find ourselves again in the Hotel Park Soltau and see many new faces. For in the course of a year, the good word of mouth of the pioneers had meant that the number of participants in the 2nd cc Unconf has doubled. Board members, site managers and even more colleagues from the Netherlands, Bosnia, Serbia and nine German locations – they all wanted to get an idea of this meeting, which had inspired everyone who was there in 2017.
Whether it was for some the first or the second internal conference: no one should be disappointed in the next four days.
Maintain the cooperation and the exchange
codecentric AG has been around for 13 years. It developed culture and values at a time when staff and location numbers were still relatively manageable. Now there are over 450 people in 15 locations. So it is in the nature of things that it has become difficult, if not impossible, to know all your colleagues. Even the teams find it difficult to keep in touch after completing a project. While one is always very focused on the common goal of daily business and corporate events offer only a very limited scope to discuss extensively, an unconf fills this gap: every participant can propose any topic. And anyone suggesting a topic can be sure that those who come to the session will be interested.
What are the actual use cases of Blockchain? Kotlin goes beyond his basics, an introduction to AWS IoT Services or the question “What exactly does our new subsidiary cc cloud do?” – Technology is our daily business and continues to be a topic for many even after work. The desire to have a good exchange and to share knowledge with each other was remarkably high.
How do I become a good conference speaker? How do I learn to write texts? How can I produce video material or start my own podcast? Many codecentricers are actively involved in the community by producing content in any form – spoken, written, filmed, etc. They willingly pass on their experiences, and who knows: Maybe one or two new conference speakers or blog authors have been motivated in Soltau.
Who are we and if so, how many?
Finally, the cultural topics of the codecentric provided a great deal of potential for discussion. In four days, they questioned it critically and turned it upside down: what does quality mean to us, and do our values still work? Is what we communicate to the outside really what we live inside? Here, the open space proved in a sense as a “safe space”, because everyone could freely make his assessment. Everyone shared their knowledge and thoughts with those who wanted to participate. Anyone could supplement, have a different opinion, or in case of doubt just go, if he did not find the suggestions he had hoped for. Junior and senior also discussed at eye level.
The consensus after four conference days
Where there are 180 people, there are 180 different points of view. But even if we do not always agree on all points, we have once again experienced first-hand that even 13 years later we still have a common understanding of our culture: we want to share knowledge internally and externally, we want to continue to learn (from each other), and we want to stay closely connected. The way we do that can vary: in coding, in a round of cards against humanity, in French at lunch. It does not matter how. All that matters is that each of us ended up returning home, knowing that somewhere in Germany, Bosnia, Serbia and Netherlands, colleagues are no longer just a name or a photo on our website.
Alexander from Stuttgart can explain in his sleep what Blockchain is capable of. Dominik from Münster likes to listen to hip-hop, Michael from Hamburg prefers modern classical music. Sebastian from Frankfurt has told us that he always feels like the stupidest person in the room at codecentric – “in the best imaginable way”. We spoke French with Stéphane from Berlin and meditated with Steffi from Munich. Aleksandar from Doboj can play guitar even better than Nick from Solingen and Bojan from Novi Sad recently worked on a project for which Carsten from Frankfurt wrote lines of code ten years ago.
Is this important information for our daily work? – For us at codecentric yes!