Jun 16 2016
Deeson are hiring experienced Drupal developers across the EU. Ronald Ashri, a long time member of the European Drupal community reflects on why he recently chose to join Deeson and his experiences with us so far.
A few weeks ago I took a trip to Canterbury in the UK. I was about to start the next chapter of my working life as a Solutions Architect at Deeson. First impressions of Canterbury? The word “picturesque” was probably invented to describe this place. A lovely English town, steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful countryside. The two universities based here and scores of tourists make for a lively place with people from all over the world. Don’t get the wrong impression though. I am not planning on living in Canterbury; I was simply visiting. Every new member of Deeson is invited to visit the Canterbury and London offices to get some face-to-face time with (most of) the team. This focus on building relationships is just one of the reasons that I chose to work for the agency. In the following post I’ll go through some more.
Flexible EU working
I live in South East Sicily and that is where I will work from. You see, Deeson has adopted a work-from-where-you-work-best policy (which is a step up from remote working in my book). Team members can decide whether to work in the Canterbury office, the London office, from home or a beach in South East Sicily - I heartily recommend the last one, by the way. This is possible because each of us takes responsibility for ensuring our clients and colleagues are happy.
A leading European agency
The ability to choose where to work from is great. Nevertheless, on its own it is not enough to make a great digital agency. What really convinced me to join was not only listening to Tim Deeson and Simon Wakeman (the agency’s founder and Managing Director respectively) describe their vision of a leading European open source agency but also seeing how many of these concepts are already in place. You can find out more about how we work here and here - and soon the entire Deeson team handbook that is used internally to describe our process will be made public.
A flat organisational structure
On joining Deeson I discovered a thriving agency full of talented, friendly and intelligent people. Hierarchies are shunned and independent thinking is encouraged. Nothing is done because “that is how everyone else does it” or “this is how we always did it”. Due to the flat organisational structure, everyone is encouraged to offer ideas and the operating models evolve to reflect lessons learned along the way.
Challenging the status quo
In just the short time I have been here a new 5-week sabbatical for all was introduced. I sat in discussions where we challenged the purpose of job titles, and I got to propose and get backing for exploring new technologies that Deeson could work on. Deeson is able to evolve and grow and challenge the status quo not because of a lack of structure though. It is the very opposite - the structure in place guarantees that multiple ideas can be tested concurrently and knowledge can spread through the organization.
Smarter team structures
Deeson delivers work through “pods”. When you join Deeson you also join a Pod. This is a self-contained group of up to 10 experts (from development to design, UX and account management). Pods self-organize and take on projects from start to end. The objective is to form long-term relationships with clients and clients can communicate with anyone within a pod. Working in small, long-term teams means you are never reduced to just another “resource”. You are a person working with your very capable colleagues to build beautiful solutions to digital problems your clients are facing. Knowledge is shared across Pods through “chapters”. People with the same role (whether it is development, UX or design) belong to the same chapter and share information across pods and ensure that all pods are challenging their own assumptions about how to deliver projects. If new skills are needed, well the unlimited training budget (yes you read that right) comes in handy.
Rethinking the digital agency
Deeson is breaking down old conventions and rethinking what it means to be a digital agency and do digital work. The structures and processes I’ve mentioned here are just the beginning. As I left Canterbury to spend a couple of days in the London office and then catch a flight back to Sicily, I couldn’t help but feel genuinely excited about what we are doing.
If you would like to see how it feels to work for a new kind of agency, you can join us. We are hiring! I’ll also be speaking at Drupal Development Days for those of you who want to have a chat about working with us.
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