We are live or How to start a developer blog

Why culture is my most important focus as CTO

Posted by Holger Reinhardt    on November 11, 2015 in Dev tagged with Development, General, Culture

So how does one start a developer blog? It is pretty intimidating to look at blank editor (BTW, I use Mou to write this post ;) and think about some witty content, some heading which would rope you in and make you want to read what we have to say. But why should you? And who are we anyhow?

So lets start with first things first. Welcome to our Haufe Developer Blog. We - that is our development and design community at Haufe. And we are having a problem. No, it is not that we are sitting in Freiburg on the edge of the beautiful Black Forest in Germany. It is neither that we are a software company with close to 300 million EUR in yearly revenue you probably never heard of (you might have heard of Lexware though).

No, our problem is that we are actually doing quite some cool stuff (and planning even more in the future) and no one in the developer community knows about it. When I joined Haufe-Lexware as CTO back in March of this year the first thing I did was that I searched for Haufe on my usual (developer) channels: Github (nope), Twitter (nope), SlideShare (nope). Well, you see - I think that is a problem. If a tree falls in the forest but no one sees it - did the tree fall in the forest? How are you ever going to find out about us and get so excited that you want to join us - right now! (And yes - we do have plenty of dev openings if you are interested).

During the ‘Meet the new guy’ meeting with my team I drew a triangle with the three areas I would like to focus on first: Architecture, Technology and Developer Culture. I figured developing Developer Culture was the easiest - and boy was I naive (and wrong). Fast forward 6 month and I think that developer culture is the number one factor which will determine if we as a team and as company will succeed or fail. No matter what technology or architecture we use, it is the culture which permeates every decision we make at work day in and day out. It is culture which incluences if we go left or if we go right, if we speak up or if we remain silent. Without the right kind of culture, everything else is just band-aid.

You see, I am a pretty opiniated guy. I can probably talk for hours about Microservices, API’s, Docker and so on. But if you ask me today what I think my biggest lever to affect lasting change will be, then shaping and influencing the direction of our dev culture will be my answer. Technoloy and architecure are just manifestations of that culture. Sure they need to be aligned, but culture eats strategy for breakfast. And how we share our stories, how we talk about what we learned and what worked and what not, are important first steps of this cultural journey.

I would like to invite you to listen in to our stories and hopefully find a few nuggets which are helpful for your own journey. Hopefully we can return a bit of knowledge to the community in as much as we are learning from the stories of so many other great teams out there who share their struggles, triumphs and learnings. So here is the beginning of our story ..