Team Insights: Why Nordics? We answer why we focus on one type of client

A lot is in a name. Sure, website domain availability matters, but, when we were looking to distinguish our offering from other software outsourcing companies, we had to think of what we do and who we do it for. We are first and foremost a development company — delivering “code” to solve problems for customers. But who are we delivering it “for” (4)? Today’s blogpost will look to explain the “Nord” part of our name and why we’ve spent over seven years focussing on serving Nordic customers — including from Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway.

It all began in 2011 when our co-founder Thordur Hoskuldsson was outsourcing several innovative software processes to Romania. Based in Iceland, Thordur developed a nearshoring relationship with our other co-founder George Toman. After two years collaborating over various Web projects, the pair decided to found a software outsourcing company, so they could allow other companies to take advantage of this sleek offering.

We enjoy the fair Nordic ways of working

Reads "When you wanna go viking, but nobody around you is Norse enough" with a sad loney viking pictured with a mohawk and beard.

So, yes, our roots are in the Nordics anyway, but there were certain attributes the pair generally found working with Nordic clients that led to the name and a specific purpose.

“Since 2012 we have participated in projects with Nordic partners and gotten used to their work ethics. What we have experienced are approaches and management styles we really like. We like accuracy, professionalism and that we are expected to use all our knowledge and be responsible for what we deliver,” George said.

Basically, we don’t want code monkeys on our teams and we don’t want to be treated like code monkeys. We find the best way to get the best results out of any software collaboration is to approach it like a mutually beneficial partnership. We aren’t just providing an outsourced service — near shoring allows us to communicate in similar timezones and act just as any other remote colleague might.

‘Our teammates can and are expected to say what is on our minds and have opinions on the projects we take on. Us being pro-active at nature and willing to learn new things, our coworkers in the north are likeminded which makes a good match. Still in a sensible way,” George said.

See? We integrate with teams so much — even offering white label services — that we call our customers “our coworkers”!

Reads "Norse Assemble" with the Anchorman Will Ferrell shouting into a conk shell.

Continuing to talk about our Nordic clients, George said, “Furthermore the people are informal and accept us as equals, both men and women, which creates good work environment and allows us as persons and professionals to actively take part in projects as if they were our own.  Through informal communication, our colleagues and project owners have in many cases become our friends. We are co-workers, just remote ones. Many of us have had the opportunity to visit both Scandinavia and Iceland and we have had good times there.”

In the header image above, you can even see a photo of our colleague Florin who visited a client in Iceland last year. And since we believe this experience is so important for our colleagues — and we want them to have fun! — we also pay for them to spend extra time not working, enjoying the culture. (Are you in Cluj-Napoca and want to join our team?)

What are Nordic work ethics?

Text reads "I am a warrior not because I always win but because I always fight. Nordic Sisterhood." with a woman with braided hair.Now there’s no doubt that human beings are different, but there’s a general belief in the benefits of the so-called Northern European work ethic — you are rewarded for hard work and efficiency — and the healthy focus on the Nords have on work-life balance. We as a team look at our jobs as our sort of callings — or, better put, we want to create an environment that people look forward to coming to work!

We find our customer coworkers similarly share our values including:

  • Open and honest, two-way communication. We like to clarify challenges and objectives up front and then follow agile rapid feedback cycles throughout. It’s all about balancing technical expertise with soft skills.
  • Client collaboration. We actively involve clients at every stage. Like we said, we act as remote employees, and we want their opinion early and often so we are building the best solution.
  • A strive for excellence. Why bother building it if it isn’t the best available at the current time? We as a team believe in always striving to do better, which affects decision-making — from tools to roadmaps to processes — throughout.
  • A love of innovation. We look to balance low technical debt with innovation. We encourage our teammates to work toward technical proficiency while experimenting with new, yet stable solutions.
  • Taking ownership of delivering. We take responsibility as individuals and as a team. And we are committed both in delivering great code and in being good teammates.

Furthermore, we are also proud that our company aligns with our Northern clients on more forward-thinking values like gender equality, pay equity and empowering the working parent. Our team is a family and we want everyone to feel welcome and equally valued! And we expect everyone to feel confident work as creatively and innovatively to solve interesting technical problems.

In the end, we didn’t share this story to make generalizations about cultures, but to shine what we appreciate, share and value in our clients and in ourselves.

As George said, “We are not all alike on this planet, which is very good, and for sure every corner of the world has its pros and cons. Still we happen to like the Nordics.”

Interested in working with us? Click Contact Us to set up a first phone call. Interesting in joining our team? Click Careers because we’re in high demand and are looking for some new work family members!

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