#theTIQQEcode

SUP – interview


In November last year I was contacted by Mathias and Oskar who attend their last year of the Information technology program at Örebro University. They wondered if they could do their SUP (System Development Project) at TIQQE during this semester.

In late January we kicked their project off, so now a couple of weeks in I interviewed them to get a feeling of their experience of us so far.

1. What did you know about TIQQE before you contacted us, and why did you choose TIQQE?

Mathias – I knew that TIQQE was a company focused on AWS. But I had also heard that TIQQE is a modern company that values both employees and customers highly.

When I was searching for a place for the system development project, I searched for a company who could offer me more than just a challenging project. For me, the company’s culture, values and the opportunity for personal and professional growth were at least as important. After Oskar and I had an interview with TIQQE, I think we realized that TIQQE could offer what both of us were looking for.

Oskar – An employee on TIQQE told us about TIQQE and the way the company values its employees. She also told us what programming languages are mainly used. This made TIQQE attractive for us. I’ve got the feeling that Örebro is kind of a C# hotspot and as a preference, I would much rather work with some other programming language and cloud services. Which TIQQE offers. 

2. What was your first impression when you met your first TIQQE:r?

Mathias – They gave a professional impression, provided a welcoming atmosphere and made us feel like a part of their team. We got the feeling that we were valuable to them and that our project are important for the business.

Oskar – Professionalism. Even though we had not begun our project yet at the time, We were met with respect and the staff made us feel like a valuable resource.  

3. How has your first time been at TIQQE?

Mathias – It’s been great. The people here are nice and we have been introduced to a lot of new concepts that we have to learn, which is fun.

Oskar – It has been good. Both me and Mathias are eager to start the Project. We have gotten the feeling that the project is of high value for the company, so it is exciting. 

4. What will be your actual work while doing your ”SUP – System Utvecklings Projekt” at TIQQE?

Mathias – In short, we will review the current time reporting- and billing system to identify unnecessary time-consuming processes and then investigate what can be done smarter and what can be automated. We have to come up with a new design and then implement it. Which means we need to integrate systems and automate processes. 

Oskar – The Project is about refactoring and remake the current salary and time reporting systems. We need to integrate systems and automate processes to save time for the employees, which then creates business value for the company.   

5. What are you looking forward to in the nearest future?

Mathias – It’s exciting to be a part of a real system development project, where I will be involved in all parts from analysis to implementation. Come up with a solution that will hopefully make everyday work a bit easier for someone else. But also gain a deeper understanding about cloud computing, learn all the cool AWS features and get to know more TIQQE:rs.
However, I’m also looking forward to getting my bachelor’s degree and starting my career.

Oskar – For this project, I am looking forward to starting developing the solution because it can make a difference for the company.
In life in general, I am looking forward to taking my bachelor’s degree in information technology so I can start my career. 

A warm welcome and we’re very happy to have you with us!! We look forward to what you will accomplish at TIQQE during this spring semester.

#theTIQQEcode

How we keep up #theTIQQEcode in a pandemic


On January 31 2020 the first Covid-19 case was reported in Sweden. After that very little has remained the same. Successively the restrictions have increased and as an employer it’s really hard to navigate in all Do’s and Don’ts, and if you like me sets great value in the personal interactions and building relations it has been a challenge. Except the fact that we usually interact in the office that we now don’t, we also used to do fun stuff together after office hours – that we now don’t do. Most of us are also friends in different constellations, which has made it natural for us to stay after we closed our laptops and just hang out in the office playing board games or meet up outdoors for a AW. 

So how do we keep up the feeling that it is us together that are doing things? Well, we keep on doing things. A little adjusted execution and not as spontaneous but we still do them in a way that allows us to follow all restrictions. So during last spring, summer and autumn we went downhill biking, golfing, stand up paddle boarding, frisbee-golfing, and we closed 2020 with a christmas-cheering online which actually worked since me and Jacob drove around delivering sparkling drinks to all employees.

Then we started 2021 with an online workshop where all could come up with online activities, or onsite if we can make it with the restrictions. The goal for us was to have one activity per month until June (where we hope to be vaccinated and actually meet). So far we’ve had wine tasting online and one italian-dinner where we cooked together and upcoming is Crossfit, Baking Pastries and Outside training. We record the events so anyone can “join” afterwards. 

And my experiences around setting these team-activities up is that it isn’t that hard. 

A few tips on what we’ve done to make it easier for everyone to join:

  • Every employee has an account with our local food delivery service – connected to our corporate one, and the ones that live in places that haven’t got the simular buy their food and take it as outlays. The account is used for every event where we in a normal day would sit together and eat for example lunch. Such as monthly meetings, lunch’n learns etc.
  • If we have joint celebrations or online-parties, we drive around and deliver the things that we think are mandatory for the occasion.
    And Yes – it takes time, but since time is all we have it’s worth it.
  • We have workshops to decide what to do, where everyone has a say, just to make sure that the things that we actually do are things that most of us want to do and find interesting.

I think the key here is that we make up all things together. Everyone is not interested in participating in planning or execution but the ones that are must have a chance to do so.
My feeling is that we still, after a year of pandemic, have a community where we all want to be. Where we find joy in hanging out together.
Regardless of a pandemic or not, we work hard. And since we do, it’s even more important to also have fun together and share laughters every now and then. And there is one thing that I’m pretty sure of. When the restrictions ring off, we will not be strangers to one another from being apart for + one year. I think that more of us have gone from colleagues to friends.

Development

My experience with a coding bootcamp


It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grow up. Thinking back on the things I have considered, the common thing seems to be that I want to create. I have studied textile design and packaging design and at some point I wanted to be a baker or work with movies, you get the picture. Then two years ago I had to really rethink my working life and decided I needed a new challenge, a new start. That’s when I surprised both myself and the people around me with realising I wanted to become a developer. 

After a rigorous application process with tests, two interviews and a letter of motivation, I got accepted to a 12 week bootcamp in C#, with the promise of a job after graduation. It was a scary step to take, but I’m so glad I took it.

The bootcamp

The first three weeks were dedicated to the basics, like if-statements, loops, data types and classes, in a very high tempo. For each concept we would get a short lecture followed by related coding tasks. In those first days we could run through 5-6 new things every day. At the end of the third week we got our first group assignment, build a console app and of course all six groups decided to make some kind of game. My group did an ASCII Battleship game and even though it wasn’t pretty, it was so gratifying to make something that worked! 

After that every week we tackled a new subject, like SQL, Entity Framework and MVC. Now and then we would have a one-day focus on something like UX, Scrum or RegEx, along with lunch and learn sessions about softer skills, like communication and consultant behavior. One day we got to build a simple html site in pairs as an intro to git (with the goal to solve as many merge conflicts as possible).

Every week ended with a checkpoint, a test to make sure that everybody kept up with the pace. For some that sounds scary, but to me they were a great confirmation that I took in the knowledge for that week and could spend the weekend getting ready for a new week of information bombardment. 

During the last two weeks we did our final graduation project to tie all our new knowledge together in an actual product and at the end we had to present it to a panel of industry people. The project was just as much about working in a team and trying to work within Scrum as it was about the code. After that, we got to toast as graduated developers.

Now over a year later, these are some of the things I find myself reflecting over. 

Lifelong learning

I knew from the start that I would not know everything at graduation, rather I would know enough to get started as a junior developer and continue learning on the job. For me one of the greatest things I took away was the knowledge that I can learn anything. Even though the bootcamp was mainly in C# I could confidently say “not a problem, I pick up things quickly” in an interview for a position that was not C#. 

Peer-to-peer

We practiced pair-programming and were always encouraged to help each other out. For me explaining something to someone else will help me cement the knowledge in a much better way. It also created a great team-feeling where we all wanted success for each other, and no one was afraid to raise their hand and say they didn’t understand something.

Soft skills

Like I mentioned we were also coached in other areas needed to be a successful developer today. For a junior developer it can be those other skills that are going to set you apart from other developers with more experience than you. Because in the end it’s not always enough to know the technical part, speaking with customers (in a way they understand) or being a good teammate can be just as important.

Is it better than a university degree?

No – it’s just a different way to become a developer.

For me it’s two completely different things. In pursuing a computer science degree you gain deeper knowledge on the theoretical and high-level concept, and a bootcamp focuses on the practical skills you need to be a productive programmer. It all depends on who you are and why you want to become a developer.

#theTIQQEcode

Welcome Kevin, our new Business lead!

Who is Kevin?

My name is Kevin and I currently live in Stockholm. I have three citizenships (Canada, U.K and Swedish) but consider myself a Canadian at heart. I grew up in a little town called Alexandria (google it😊) but have lived in many places around the world, like New York, Venezuela, Korea, Glasgow, Vancouver, Halifax and Toronto. I enjoy being in new cultures as much as I can be. I have a Sambo, a dog named Seven, and am expecting my first baby in early March. I enjoy reminding my Swedish colleagues of which country is ‘actually’ the greatest hockey hotbed on the planet (yes, its Canada).

What did you know about TIQQE before you started?

I knew that they were a young, fast-growing company focused on AWS.   I have also worked with Tiqqe peoples in the past who were all high performers.

Why did you want to join TIQQE?

Tiqqe has a wide variety of skills, experience and cultures.  Whether I am working on an IoT initiative with a Senior Architect or mentoring a ‘newbie’ in how to run an agile project, I enjoy these different types of challenges that will inevitably come my way with such a dynamic group. 

Getting more experience in AWS and Cloud was a big factor and I also like the simplicity of Tiqqe’s offering. Everyone knows what Tiqqe does, what they are good at, and what they don’t do. This transparency with clients and aligned focus internally was compelling. 

What is your role at TIQQE?

Towards customers, my skills are generally used earlier on in the project lifecycle than most of my Tiqqe teammates.  Whether it’s process, policy, people or systems analysis, I analyze the as-is and identify a to-be state that addresses our client needs.  You could think of me as a Business Process Analyst, Data Scientist and/or wearing the traditional Project Management hat during implementation.  When its time to develop the solution (the hard part) I hand that over to the Tiqqe wizards and help ensure that the projects run smoothly.

Internally, I will be a part of the strategy team and am entrusted to mentor and coach in analysis and project management best practices.

What are you looking forward to in the nearest future?

Number 1 is for Corona to be over. From a work perspective, just to meet my team, get started on projects and learn as much as I can in AWS and from my teammates and customers.

Thank you Kevin and welcome to TIQQE!

AWS

The introduction of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

The introduction of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams in the structure of an organization, is becoming more and more popular in the IT industry and in the DevOps domains.
Let’s discover in this article the reason for SRE popularity and what are the differences and the common points between DevOps and SRE. 


In the last two decades we have witnessed a huge transformation in the way of building and delivering software. The Agile culture first and the DevOps revolution later, have transformed the structure of the tech organizations and they can be seen as a de facto standard in the IT industry.

As everyone knows, IT is a constantly evolving sector and recently we are seeing an increasing popularity of Site Reliability Engineering discipline, especially in the DevOps domains. But what is SRE? And what are the differences and the common points between SRE and DevOps? 

DevOps

DevOps culture has contributed to tearing down the wall between software development and the software operation, providing a set of ideas and practices that has led several benefits:

  • Better collaboration and communication between the parts;
  • Shorter release cycles;
  • Faster innovation;
  • Better systems reliability;
  • Reduced IT costs;
  • Higher software delivery performance.

Even though this sounds amazing, there are still quite a lot of companies that struggle with bringing the DevOps culture in their organization. The reason for this is that DevOps is an ideology and not a methodology or technology, which means it doesn’t say anything about how to successfully implement a good DevOps strategy. 

SRE 

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a discipline that was born at Google in early 2000s to reduce the gap between software development and operations and that was completely independent by the DevOps movement. SRE uses software engineering approaches to solve operational problems.
SRE teams have main focus on:

  • Reliability;
  • Automation.

Let’s deepen these aspects.

Reliability

One of the main goals of the SRE is making and keeping systems up and running “no matter what”. In order to achieve this, it is important to keep in mind that failures and faults can happen. SRE discipline embraces them by focusing on:

  • observability;
  • system performance;
  • High availability (HA);
  • emergency response and disaster recovery; 
  • incidents management;
  • Learning from the past problems;
  • disaster mitigation and prevention.

Automation

Automating all the activities that are traditionally performed manually is another of the main goals of SRE.
Automation and software engineering are used to solve operational problems. 

Automation plays a fundamental role in SRE: it allows us to get rid of human errors present in the processes and the activities that regard the system. One could argue that automation introduces bugs in the system anyway and well, that is true but there is one big difference: one can test automated processes but cannot test processes that involve human activities. 

DevOps vs. SRE

As we have understood, both DevOps culture and SRE discipline aim to reduce the gap between software development and operations. Below we summarize them, describing their common goal first and where they differ the most. 

class SRE implements DevOps

As mentioned earlier DevOps doesn’t say anything about how to successfully bring the culture in the organization since it is an ideology. On the other hand, SRE can be seen as implementation of the DevOps philosophy. 
In fact, even though the origins of SRE are completely independent from DevOps, and the discipline provides additional practices that are not part of DevOps, SRE implements DevOps ideas.

Responsibility and Code ownership

SRE can be considered the next stage of DevOps because of the focus on code ownership: the SRE engineer accepts the responsibility of owning the code they develop, in production. A bit different from DevOps where the responsibilities are shared to achieve a shorter release cycle and to improve the collaborations.

Conclusions

The introduction of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams in the structure of an organization, is becoming more and more popular in the IT industry and in the DevOps domains. 
The reason for its popularity can be found in the benefits that the discipline brings: 

  • Better collaboration and communication between the parts;
  • Shorter release cycles;
  • Faster innovation;
  • Better systems reliability;
  • Reduced IT costs;
  • Higher software delivery performance;
  • Reducing incidents in production;
  • Code ownership;
  • Automation of the processes;

As you could notice some of these benefits are exactly the same that you will experience bringing DevOps in your organization.

SRE can be considered an implementation of DevOps culture that has the goal of making and keeping services reliable.

People

Small interview with Fanny

– What did you know about TIQQE before you started your full-time employment?
I knew that TIQQE is a company with years of experience in cloud computing. I also knew about the great community in the company that makes TIQQE a phenomenal workplace. Everyone is incredibly kind and caring of each other and that is something I really appreciate. 


– Why did you want to join TIQQE?
Since I worked on a project at TIQQE as an intern last spring and worked as a SysOps Tech over the summer, I’ve gotten to know the ways of TIQQE and all our friendly colleagues. I never thought about looking elsewhere for my first full time job as a developer. I already was a part of the TIQQE family and I’m happy I’ve been given the opportunity to stay and grow as a developer in a new role. 


– What was your first impression of TIQQE?
My first impression of TIQQE was how friendly everyone was and it felt like I was cheered on by everyone from day one. All my expectations of the company were confirmed to be true.


– What is your role at TIQQE now?
Today I’m working as a site reliability engineer in a team working with PostNord.


– How has your first month been at TIQQE in this role?
The first month I was on-boarding, getting to know the team and the system. There’s a lot to learn so I’ve been focusing on expanding my knowledge of AWS and the workflow of the team.


– What are you looking forward to in the nearest future?
I look forward to learning new skills and being a great asset to the team as a reliability engineer. I can’t wait to get to know my colleagues even better and be a part of the journey and growth of this company.  


– What do you know about TIQQE now?
TIQQE provide customers with great knowledge and experience of everything within cloud computing. I know that TIQQE is a company with amazing and skilled people who value their customers and colleagues. Everyone at TIQQE will support each other to become their best selves and to keep growing together

Thank you Fanny for sharing your thoughts about TIQQE!

#theTIQQEcode

Finally 2020 is coming to its end!


This year has not been as we planned. We sat together for the first time on the 2d of January in Örebro and made big visions of how this year would be. We had a great Kick-off in mid January where all employees of TIQQE set the scene for the year. We had workshops, made dinner together and it felt great! A lot of laughter, warmth and forward-thinking. February went on as planned and then came March.


In March we were heading for the Philippines. We had planned this trip thoroughly, meeting up with the team, having a kick-off in Cebu, talking about leadership and getting to know eachother better. 
A few weeks earlier we started to hear about a mystic flu that spread across asia. The afternoon and night before our departure we started to wonder if it was smart or not. The bags were packed, passports ready and movies downloaded to the iPads. Then it started. COVID.
The 13th of March we communicated to all our customers that we intended to keep our employees safe and that we would stop travel to meetings and assignments.
From that day we also started to encourage our employees to work from home.

With that said, we’ve had a fantastic year. Strange but great. When we realized that this wasn’t anything that would pass quickly we made some guiding decisions:

  • We wouldn’t back on anyone that we’ve signed up to work with us
  • If we had to do economic cuts, we would take us in the Supportgroup ( our leadership team ) first.
  • At all cost, keep our employees safe as far as we can control

So, this year we’ve employed 12 more TIQQE friends in Sweden (three starts Q1 2021) and we engaged 7 new friends in the Philippines. 
We have done a lot online. Lunches, monthly meetings, a summer party with an online escape room, and year-end meeting with reflection. We drove around Sweden walking and talking one-on-one and delivering prosecco so we could celebrate later online.
TOGETHER
All the things we’ve done with our employees and customers have been successful because we do it together. No one has been in this pandemic-year alone.
So when we sum this year up, we want to THANK YOU ALL. All customers for feeling TRUST in us, so we have been able to keep collaborating and develop AWESOME stuff without physical meetings & all TIQQErs for putting up with us and having the COURAGE to have faith in our way of working. Ùbúntù – we are because We are. Let’s make 2021 better than 2020 together!
Have a wonderful Christmas & a Happy New Year  

Jacob & Sofia

#theTIQQEcode

#theTIQQEcode

Our Vision at TIQQE is Vision Zero when it comes to employee and customer turnover. What do we do when one of our employees decides to leave us? 


Well, we make sure that we’ve checked the following boxes

  • We’ve explored every possible way
  • It’s been a really really hard decision to make
  • It’s what’s best for the employee

In this blog we would like to share a story about our employee #5 Benjamin Bandy  who has decided to leave TIQQE. With that being said, he’s leaving us in person but never in our hearts.

Benjamin joined TIQQE just when we were starting up as a company, it was the first of september 2018.

Benjamin has been an employee and a friend who has always lived the values which are so important, he is nice, caring, sees the potential in everyone and always a pleasure to be around.

He is also a kickass techlead and developer who has always been highly appreciated by our customers. 

So why does someone that lives and breathes our values want to leave? Well, two years ago Benjamin met the love of his life. Unfortunately for us she lives overseas, in the US. For some unknown reason she doesn’t think that Sweden is a fantastic place to be (coming from Silicon Valley and working for Roblox), so in a couple of weeks Benjamin will take his belongings and move 7.921 kilometers away. 

Benjamin has been an amazing colleague for everyone at TIQQE, he has been a great friend and will be hugely missed by us all. However he has promised us to keep his Slack account so we can still frequently be in contact with him and not to forget that every friday morning at 4am he will wake up and join us for our weekly Quake tournament.

And we’ve created a mini-Benjy that we’ll keep in the office until you come back.

Even though he will be a few more kilometers away from us he will always have a special place in all our hearts. We wish you all the best Benjamin and hope that you come home soon! 

Jacob & Sofia

People

Joakim Akterhall joining TIQQE!


We want to welcome yet another awesome developer to our TIQQE family

Joakim Akterhall a.k.a Akke will be joining us at TIQQE early January. He’s not only known as one of the world’s best players in Dota 2, he’s also a recognized developer. Of course one might be curious on why Akke wants to join us, so we asked him exactly that. 


How come that you wanted to start at TIQQE?

  • I’ve been working as a private consultant the past 1,5 years but I missed being a part of a company for a longer time, to be able to see and help the company grow and build relationships with both co-workers, partners and customers. I looked for a company with an interesting product that I believe in and that I can be proud of saying that I work with and where people seemed very friendly. And it looks like TIQQE has all this which makes me very excited to start working here!

What are your expectations?

  • The expectations are mostly on myself, to get familiar with AWS and be able to perform and give value to the company. In the long run I’m looking forward to extending my knowledge about AWS and learning more programming languages and frameworks.

We all look forward to Akke’s start!

People

Justine Valmores just joined TIQQE!

We’re excited to welcome Justine Valmores to our growing family at TIQQE. 

Justine is an experienced full-stack developer with a passion in developing single-page applications and mobile-responsive websites.
When at work, he develop in ReactJs, AngularJS, TypeScript, jQuery and ActionScript.
With that said, he has a great experience in front-end development as well as in back-end design. 
Outside work Justine keeps learning new web-technologies, but he also enjoys playing video games, watching TV series and anime.

Justine is part of our team for PostNord – Common Solutions.

Welcome Justine!