Employees about Hyarchis
On this page, some of our employees share their stories about working for Hyarchis.
Michael Hodde – projectmanager/business consultant
Time flies when you’re having fun. I have been working as a project manager/business consultant at Hyarchis for five and a half years now and I love my job. The company gives you plenty of responsibility and freedom in your work. My role is very varied and can best be described as a bridging role between the customer and the developers. No one day is the same. Sometimes the focus is on management-related tasks where I need to arrange lots of things. At other times, I work on more technical tasks. In this blog, I will explain what all the different activities involve. Roughly speaking, my work can be divided into two main categories:
- Writing user stories
- Implementing user stories
This aspect of my work involves creating user stories that the development team will be working on soon. A user story can be defined as a customer’s request for a particular functionality. This may involve automation of a particular function, creation of a new data model or something else entirely. To create a user story, I talk to the customer first. What do they want exactly? From which need did this request originate? What are the minimum requirements? These are a few of the questions I ask to find out what the customer needs exactly. During the process, we also look at some potential improvement areas together. We work together to shape the user story and detail the wishes, requirements and criteria.
Implementing user stories
A second aspect of my work involves implementing current user stories. In short cycles, the development team builds and tests the systems before they are made available as a new release. I help with the implementation where I can and test parts of the functionality that has been added. In addition, I represent the customer’s interests in the process and ensure that their requests are translated accurately during the development phase. During the process, I maintain an overview and keep the customer up to date. I am in regular contact with people, both within Hyarchis and at the customer’s end. The short lines of communication and open atmosphere mean that it is great working with people at Hyarchis. Everybody is extremely helpful and will always try to assist you. This creates a strong feeling of solidarity, which in turn benefits the working atmosphere.
When the product enters the test phase, the customer can click through the system in an acceptance environment and communicate their findings to us. If I find something myself that does not work quite as it should, I try to find a solution together with a developer. This way, I sometimes also get to work on the technical side of things. The organisation and interaction with the customer during the process are also part of my role. Whenever a product is ready for testing, for example, I contact the customer in order to make the necessary arrangements. When a new release is ready, I visit the customer to present the demo or I assist with the installation.
As I mentioned before, there is plenty of variety in my job. Collaborating with different people and liaising between the customer and the developers makes my work at Hyarchis really fun.
Frank van Beek – Developer
Frank van Beek is a developer at Hyarchis. He started working in 2002 for Waxtrapp which was taken over by Hyarchis in 2012. An acquaintance told him about Waxtrapp and Frank decided to visit their website. “In the contact details, it was explained on which train station you had to simulate a severed artery for the ambulance to bring you to the office on the way to the hospital. The cheek of it and the sense of humour really appealed to me,” says Frank. This humour is now still evident at Hyarchis.
In recent years, Frank has been busy parallelising the solution taken over by Hyarchis. Initially, this had to be done within a few months but has in the meantime become an integral part of the Hyarchis product range. In addition, he is working on a range of projects. Frank: “As a programmer, you have to like solving puzzles. Yet this is not always rewarding. Sometimes you develop something really great that is then not used. Or you build something that doesn’t work as it should so that you need to do it differently. But fortunately this does not happen often.” Frank is genuinely passionate about his trade and loves developing Hyarchis products and new applications. “Every day, there is a new puzzle to solve.”
In Frank’s view, it is the team and the company culture that make Hyarchis different from other companies. “We work with a team of people that are really good at what they do. And everybody is prepared to come to your help if you cannot solve something on your own.” Besides the various projects, Frank will continue working in the future on the web application platform which, together with document management and document composition features, will form the heart of Hyarchis Digital Business. Parallelising the solution is a long process which requires new techniques. “These new techniques need to become part of the DNA of my colleagues in development. This means phasing out old techniques and replacing them with quicker and simpler options.” The team follows training programmes and courses to keep up with these developments. “You no longer need to worry about a stagnating learning curve. There are always opportunities to grow and develop.”
Justinas Kabasinkas – Lead Developer
A few months ago, Hyarchis opened a new office in Lithuania and since then I have been working there as Lead Developer. In my role, I supervise all projects on a daily basis, act as Scrum Master on some of them. I am also responsible for recruitment. At the moment, I am focusing on this last responsibility. We started with a small team but are set to grow to a comprehensive team of specialists in the near future. At the moment, we are working with a team of 7 and the objective is to have a team of 15 to 20 developers at the start of 2019. Hyarchis is growing and is keen to find developers willing to work together to grow the company. The Hyarchis culture is about being supportive and open, which makes it really great place to work. Attention is paid to individuals’ needs and management is placing a lot of trust in us to set up this office. I think it is really great working on setting up the office in Lithuania and contributing to the development of Hyarchis. In this blog, I will explain what this looks like in practice.
8.45am Between 8.30 and 9.00am, I come into the office and start on my emails. I answer some emails from the recruitment agency we are working with and save the CVs they have sent so that I can look at them later. I then check my schedule for the day, the current projects and their respective deadlines.
9.30am I start my tour round the developers to discuss the ongoing projects. During these short meetings, we discuss the status and any difficulties the developers are experiencing. I look at the projects from both a technical and a business perspective so as to have a good overview. I then facilitate the processes so that developers can work without any problems. When developers do encounter a problem, I provide them with the guidance they need to carry on working.
12.30pm Lunchtime. Our current office is in a co-working space with several other companies. As a result, we are at the heart of a working community which suits us well. We regularly have lunch with people from other companies and are therefore part of a great network.
1pm After lunch, a number of recruitment items are on the agenda. I look at the CVs that the recruiter has sent that morning. I ask the recruiter to organise interviews with the candidates whose CVs interest me. Then it is time for a job interview with a candidate for a role as developer. After the interview, I send the candidate’s profile to the office in the Netherlands for a second opinion.
3.15pm I have weekly meetings with the product owner in the Netherlands to discuss the project schedule and the progress of current projects. The meetings take place via Skype or a similar platform. In addition to projects, we also focus on aligning roadmaps or setting up product expertise sessions. These sessions allow us to gather as much knowledge as possible about Hyarchis’ products so that we get to know them well.
5.30pm At the end of the day, I answer my last emails and prepare my schedule for the next day.
At Hyarchis, you are really part of the company, even if there is quite a physical distance from the other offices. Everyone is committed to helping each other and our regular Skype meetings enable us to stay in close contact. This is only reinforced by our visits to the Netherlands every two months and the monthly visits by the Dutch colleagues to the office in Lithuania. This ensures a dynamic and educational work environment. Atsiprasau! Or ‘See you soon!’ in Lithuanian.
Benny van den Heuvel – Software Development Manager
Throughout the 8 years that I have been working for Hyarchis, I have never been bored. During that time, the company has evolved and experienced several phases of rapid growth. We have gone from 15 to 40 employees and now have three offices: in Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Lithuania. And there is no slowdown in sight – indeed, we are looking for even more people to come and work for us. There are many reasons why it is great to work for Hyarchis, but in this blog, I am going to tell you about the top three.
- Good career opportunities
- Company culture
When I started working as a consultant for Hyarchis, I was managing projects at many different customers with different issues. As my projects were very varied, I was able to develop a strong knowledge of Hyarchis products. It then seemed like a logical step to take on the role of product manager alongside my work as a consultant. I recently advanced from my role as consultant and product manager to that of software development manager, which will enable me to get involved with another part of the business. As Hyarchis continues to grow, new roles develop that we need to shape together as a company. There is always room for personal development and career opportunities. Hyarchis provides good guidance here. If you grow as an employee, you will help boost the company’s growth as well.
At Hyarchis, we avoid micro-management and there is nobody who checks whether you are working enough hours. You can work in whichever way you want as long as you perform well. We have a flat organisational structure in which everyone takes his or her own responsibility. If you want to work from 8 until 4 on one day and from 10 until 6.30 on the next, that is absolutely possible. In addition, working from home is not a problem and there is also some flexibility as to the location where you work. Consultants, product managers, project planners and the support department staff travel, for example, a lot between the offices in Eindhoven and Amsterdam, depending on where it suits them to work on that particular day. Hyarchis is happy to help you work in a way that is ideal for you.
In my view, one of Hyarchis’ distinctive features is also its pleasant company culture. It is an informal company where people are committed and helpful. People always make time for you. Even if you call at 6pm with a question, somebody will step in to help you. And if some specific knowledge is required, we take the time to explain things to each other. In addition to the fact that everybody is very helpful, we get together every month for drinks and we enjoy some great company outings.
Growing from a small company to one with three offices has only changed the company culture in a positive way: there are more great people with whom we can work to develop and grow the business. Newcomers feel instantly at ease at Hyarchis. With such a great team, how could they not be?
Arvydas Sciukas – UI/UX Designer
A few months ago, I became the proud holder of the job title UI/UX Designer at Hyarchis. Based at Hyarchis’ Lithuania office, I work on a wide range of different projects that allow me to make the most of my design skills and expertise. What I like about working for a Dutch company is the open internal culture; everyone is very friendly and helpful. When I was at the Hyarchis office in Eindhoven a while back, it immediately became clear to me that there is little hierarchy at the company. No matter what position they hold, everyone sits together at lunch. This is very different in Lithuania, so it came as a pleasant surprise to me. My work as a UI/UX Designer is varied, which makes it very enjoyable. In this blog post, I will give you an impression of what a typical working day in my life as a designer looks like.
9.00am I arrive at the office and check my email to see if I’ve missed anything. I take about 30 minutes to reply to emails and check my schedule for the day, and then I get to work on the scheduled tasks.
9.30am I’m working on various projects at the moment, and that means I work together with different teams. I communicate with the team back in the Netherlands by phone or Skype. We have weekly meetings and we schedule additional meetings as and when needed. I receive UI/UX Design job orders for each project, and get to work. For each job order, I go through the following steps:
- Wireframes. Each project starts with a wireframe. This is the basis of the project and determines the direction of the design process. I either make these wireframes myself or receive them from the project lead, and they consist of a specification of the desired features of the project. After approval, I move on to the visual part in step two.
- Visual aspect. At this stage, I delve into the visual side of the wireframe. I always start by choosing a colour scheme and shapes, taking my lead from the purpose of the system and the desired look. I also make designs for the buttons, frames and other visual aspects. Next, I work all of this out in the wireframe.
- Review round and adjustment. The final step is the review by the project lead, following which I make any required adjustments. After that, the wireframe is ready and the development team can get down to building the system.
12.30pm Lunch time. In Lithuania, we have a hot meal at lunchtime, not a quick sandwich like in the Netherlands. This took some getting used to for me when I visited the Hyarchis office in Eindhoven.
1pm Back to work on another project, such as a Microsoft document editing plugin. As part of this project, I liaise with project leads Erwin and Benny, who supplied the wireframe for which I am currently designing the visuals.
4.30pm As a UI/UX Designer, the use of colour in your designs is very important, which is why it is handy to have a style guide to refer to. For Hyarchis, I am currently in the process of compiling a style guide containing various fixed colour schemes. This will ultimately help me save time in future projects.
5.30pm As the day draws to a close, I quickly check my email again and prepare my schedule for tomorrow.