A fast-growing company should take many aspects into account in order to maintain a solid balance. Growing up means adding complexity to a system which is sizing up and searching for stability.
Unlike companies that are already structured and well-known, those in continuous growth should necessarily ask themselves questions every day to create that system that can be the basis for new changes.
Mia-Platform, which went from 5 to 80 employees in about 4 years, has set an ambitious goal for 2021: to reach 130 people.
In this article we will see on which pillars Mia-Platform was based and which aspects it has been able to evolve and change over time to maintain the stability that will be a useful tool to achieve this goal.
We will then see what the concrete hiring plan is for 2021 and what are the roles and skills that a tech company seeks, to evolve its product and culture.
A winning method
To tell what it means to set milestones during a path of strong growth, we want to mention some of the moments of the corporate life that are most structured following the needs of the people who live the company values every day. Particularly, we will see what happens when you start working at Mia-Platform.
The first day of work in a new company is always very delicate and, as a matter of fact, the onboarding plan starts earlier. When the date of entry is set, the new hire and the related team receive information and plan the first activities together.
Furthermore, the first period is dedicated to the culture and working methods. This phase involves different areas that share their own aspects. Therefore, the Administration and People & Culture areas follow the very first moments, coordinating with the team that the new hire will join. Subsequently, the new entry spends some time with the CEO and the CTO who respectively tell the company manifesto and the history of the company with its working methods.
To explore more about the onboarding process at Mia-Platform, we have written a proper guide on our onboarding and how to do it remotely.
Training and continuous improvement activities
Continuous improvement is fundamental for the values and culture system of Mia-Platform, and it is a solid pillar to grow too.
The concept of continuous improvement comes from afar, namely from Japanese Kaizen: bringing continuous gradual changes to all areas of the organization so that they lead to profound innovation over time.
At Mia-Platform, the continuous improvement is declined in different forms: Kata and Mob Programming for the development teams, cross-team meetings and comparisons between Scrum Masters and Product Owners, research and development on the product collaborating in an open-source perspective with all the teams of the company, and much more.
To investigate further our training moments and how to manage them remotely, read our guide here.
The Agile approach, and in particular the Scrum framework that we have adopted, offers many opportunities for continuous improvement. One of the most interesting and important Scrum moments is the Retrospective.
The retrospective is a very important moment within the Scrum framework. This is a precious moment to discuss a project that has just ended or the progress of the team on a periodic basis.
The Agile Manifesto dedicates one of its principles to the retrospective, the twelfth: “At regular intervals the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly”.
Retrospectives enable change, because they bring out unexpressed difficulties as well as good practices to reinforce. Retrospectives allow you to quickly adapt to changes coming from the outside and to question existing practices in order to improve them as the team grows.
At Mia-Platform, each team carries out retrospectives regularly: both at the end of a project and periodically. The Scrum Master is the person in charge of guiding the retrospectives, and it may happen that the Scrum Master of one team “is loaned” to another team to guide it through the retrospective in the most neutral way possible, to make the moment even more effective.
To learn more about all the retrospective’s phases and adopt a useful tool to guide it even remotely, you can read the article at this link.
The unconference is a very special moment, which unhinges the classic conference concepts to turn them into an event co-organized by the participants themselves.
It is based on the Open Space Technology principles which require that the agenda of the day is set at the beginning of the day with the participants’ contribution. There is no call for paper, so there is no selection of content prior to the event. The environment hosting the event must also be carefully chosen to facilitate the free creation of working and discussion groups.
The unconference, apparently without rules, is however guided by 4 principles - and a law - that are very important for the management of the sessions:
- Whoever comes is the right people
- Whenever it starts is the right time
- Whatever happens, is the only thing that could have
- When it is over, it’s over
At Mia-Platform we organize the unconference twice a year, and we combine this moment with a plenary in which we take stock of growth and communicate the most important company information.
Remote work support
2020 was a challenging year: one of the most important challenges was going from an everyday face-to-face job to a totally remote job.
The Agile manifesto we are inspired by says that “the most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation” and at Mia-Platform, where we often have new people joining the team, we firmly believe in this principle. Despite this, finding the right measure between working in person and remotely was necessary and will be for the future too. We wrote a guide to support all the people in managing their days during a period of strong change from the very beginning
The fundamental aspects to be taken into consideration are: time management and day logistics; communication within the team and among people from different teams; tools to support remote work, and other rules and best practices to be shared among teams.
Sustainability projects and their communication have also strongly evolved over time, as the company and its impact have grown.
In the early stages of a company's life, sustainability is expressed through the sensitivity of the founders and the first employees on certain issues and it is quite simple to have a little impact on the environment and the community. When the company grows and begins to have a larger office, many people who frequent it, a lot of equipment and many new choices to make, then it is necessary to deepen and study which actions can have a better impact.
At Mia-Platform the sensitivity towards environmental issues has been integrated, in particular in the office life and in the equipment that is gifted to everyone as soon as they enter the company: the office is totally plastic free and all the company gadgets (water bottle, backpack, t-shirts, etc.) have been produced respecting the environment.
Each year, we dedicate time and resources to a corporate responsibility project that also involves the entire company population. This is why we partnered with PlayMore! in 2020 - an association that takes care of organizing integrated sport activities for people with disability: we played together in tournaments of different sports.
This year we have started a collaboration with Rete Clima for a reforestation project which will allow us to plant a tree for each person at Mia-Platform and for every new entry.
Furthermore, an ethical manifesto of 5 points is the basis of the entire corporate culture and the inspiration for the company's choices, which must comply with these criteria.
A certified growth
Growing quickly, integrating new people and new skills, means taking into account many factors that can undermine the equilibrium of the company.
All the good practices seen above have made it possible to achieve important results. The most important is having welcomed more than 80 people into the team in 4 years, with the consequent need to change offices 3 times: much more than what we might have expected.
Growing up while maintaining a good internal climate is a challenge. For this reason, we welcomed many new figures over time, to manage all the phases of change with the utmost care: People & Culture Manager, Office Manager, Internal Communication Manager and other supporting profiles who could be points of references for people in the company.
All of this has led Mia-Platform to acquire various certifications and awards over the years.
As regards the corporate environment, the company has introduced an analysis process, carried out through employees questionnaires. For three years in a row, Mia-Platform has obtained the Great Place to Work® certification and it has also entered the Best Workplaces Italy ranking, all the three times.
In 2021 Mia-Platform competed for the first time with companies in the 50-149 employees category and obtained the 6th place.
In 2020 Mia-Platform entered the Sole 24 Ore Leader della crescita ranging, obtaining the 8th place.
In 2021 Mia-Platform entered the FT 1.000: Europe's Fastest Growing Companies ranking of the Financial Times with the 68th place in the global ranking, and placing 2nd among Italian tech companies and 8th among all the Italian companies.
2021 goal: reaching 130 people
We said it at the beginning of this article and we talked about our strategies and our pillars to maintain solidity and sustainability: we have set the goal of reaching 130 people by the end of 2021.
We have several open positions but we also evaluate spontaneous applications.
Our technological product is constantly evolving and today we are listed among the 4 suppliers in the world of Digital Integration Hub solutions (Gartner 2020), which is why many open positions are for tech figures, but the other teams also keep growing: communications, business development, people & culture, administration, finance and much more.
Here are our open positions:
The Tech Leader is the guarantor of our product and responsible for the technical choices of our teams. We are looking for experienced Software Developers who can become profound experts of Mia-Platform products and their configuration and customization. The Tech Leader is responsible for the technological choices during the implementation of Mia-Platform in customers’ projects. He/she must have strong experience as a back-end developer and a good knowledge of web front-end and native mobile app development; he/she must have an in-depth knowledge of Google, AWS, Azure and OpenShift Cloud solutions and the main SQL and NoSQL DBs, in particular mySQL and MongoDB, and a natural aptitude to manage the team and encourage people to grow both professionally and personally. If you are ready for new challenges and are looking for a young, dynamic, and stimulating working environment, send us your application!
iOS Developer Specialist
We are looking for mobile technology enthusiasts with skills in the design and development of native iOS apps: someone who wants to face new challenges. We search for a young and talented person to include in our team, who loves to try his/her hand at Swift, UIKit and Objective-C development and who wants to be involved in our customers' projects. We always like to experiment and try out new technologies like Combine and SwiftUI. If you are looking for a young, dynamic, and stimulating work environment and you want to grow and innovate, this is the right place. Apply to be part of the team!
>Cloud and Infrastructure Engineer
We are looking for DevOps enthusiasts who are willing to join our Operations team. The keywords are CI/CD and knowledge of the main Clouds (Google, AWS, Azure). Docker, Kubernetes Jenkins, GitLab runner, ELK, Kafka, MongoDB are just some of the technologies with which you can express your talent. Our team works in cross-functional Agile teams alongside developers, designers and Product Owners, to accelerate and consolidate the continuous development of Mia-Platform clusters. If you are looking for a young, dynamic, and stimulating work environment, you are in the right place. Apply to be part of the team!
Product Owner Specialist
We are looking for a Product Owner Specialist: a management engineer or a business graduate who speaks the language of business and who, with the help of a Tech Leader and a development team, translates it into an IT solution tailored for the customer. We are looking for people who love technology and digital, who can't wait to face new challenges in the management of medium-large IT projects in enterprise contexts and who have a passion and predisposition for managing their team and motivating people to grow. If you are looking for a young, dynamic, and stimulating team, then send us your application.
SRE - Site Reliability Engineer
We are looking for a Site Reliability Engineer, who will work with our POs, Full Stack Dev, UX Designer, and IT Operations, with the mission of creating an increasingly rich and performing Platform as Service.
We are looking for someone who knows the main IaaS and PaaS features of at least one of the following Cloud vendors, Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure; we search for someone who knows a Linux distro at both the user and admin level and who has experience of at least two of the following IaC: Ansible, Terraform, Puppet, Chef. He/she must know Docker and Kubernetes and be passionate about our CI / CD technologies: Jenkins, GitLab Runner, Bamboo, Circle CI, GitHub Actions. Our SRE will be an important part of the continuous improvement cycles (Lean and Agile) of the R&D and Customer Implementation teams. If you are looking for a young, dynamic, and stimulating work environment, you are in the right place. Apply to be part of the team!