If, as in my particular case, you switch to IT as the marketing director of a leading global branded goods company, then it’s like Mickey Mouse climbing out of Disney Castle to take part in a light race on the TRON grid. Stretchy and flexible limbs are replaced by a high-tech vehicle that moves on fixed paths. It’s best to turn off all emotion to follow the automatisms that are supposed to make survival possible?

Realities are known to be always relative, depending on experiences and perspectives. Like the figures in the artificial world, developers seem to be trapped in zeros and ones, technology always sets the direction, one’s own creativity is a hindrance to finding the fastest way.

So where is the human factor in the world of code? How do you prove to a developer who has to deal with the core of a backend monster on a daily basis, that there is still a “world out there” in his working environment? That he – like the heroes of TRON – should allow creativity and gut feeling, to at least occasionally emerge from the grid.

Many IT companies make it their goal, even attach it to their mission statement flags, that their developers do not mutate into codemonkeys, that they let them participate in decisions. Armies of consultants develop organizational structures and project strategies to give software development space for creative freedom, giving developers the opportunity to realize their own goals. But how much does the developer actually participate in the agile process, gets insight into the requirements of the customers or users and can thus help to shape them? After a few years as part of a family-run business dedicated to the development of custom software, I realized that it’s all about culture!

Here it is worth recalling the definition of this term: The indispensable prerequisite is the human being as the creator and designer of a system that normatively influences the lives of other people through rules and habits. So, a (corporate) culture does not fall from the sky, a human individual or a group of people must produce it. It can not be easily gained and installed anywhere, just as a plant cannot be planted sometimes here, sometimes there, in order to grow it vigorously and with solid roots. In order for a culture to manifest itself in a company, it needs to be nurtured on a daily basis, sometimes adapted to external conditions – but most importantly – to be lived.

EBCONT, despite its current size of more than 600 employees, has achieved its family origins (Rupert Weissenlehner founded the company in 2000 and has since become the principal owner, members of the immediate family occupy senior positions), which express in a strong social conscience, respect for the needs of its employees on and off the job, and always organic, meaningful growth, to maintain and strengthen it every day. The corporate culture is thus expressed in a value system that can not help but to “be human”.

This human factor in the development of an application, a web portal, a big data solution, etc. includes one of the most human features, even supports it: to err, to commit mistakes. A young developer can play it safe and adopt the working methods of his mentor unrefracting and rely on existing solutions. But embedded in an open culture of error, he can look for even better ways, knowing that he is not in danger of being taken out of the team on his first rough cut.

In order to have the necessary freedom to learn from their own mistakes and thereby to develop themselves further, it requires a commitment of the management and the resources based thereon. Making mistakes costs time and therefore money, short-term losses in quality want to be cushioned. Here, too, this can only succeed in the long term if this commitment is reflected in the corporate structure and – yes! – manifested in the culture.

EBCONT, despite its current size of more than 600 employees, has achieved its family origins (Rupert Weissenlehner founded the company in 2000 and has since become the principal owner, members of the immediate family occupy senior positions), who are in a strong social conscience, Respect for the needs of their employees on and off the job, and always express organic, meaningful growth, maintain and strengthen it every day. The corporate culture is thus expressed in a value system that can not help but to “humanize”.
This human factor in the development of an application, a web portal, a Big Data solution, etc. includes one of the most human features, even supports them: to err, to commit mistakes. A young developer can play it safe and adopt the working methods of his mentor unreflected and rely on existing solutions. But embedded in an open culture of error, he can look for even better ways, knowing that he is not in danger of being taken out of the team on his first rough cut.

In order to have the necessary freedom to learn from their own mistakes and thereby to develop themselves further, it requires a commitment of the management and the resources based thereon. Making mistakes costs time and therefore money, short-term losses in quality want to be cushioned. Here, too, this can only succeed in the long term if this commitment is reflected in the corporate structure and – yes! – manifested in the culture.

To sustainably establish such an employee-centered, value-based culture, it takes time for the entire company to be pervaded by it. To that effect being also needs the necessary multipliers, EBCONT company founder Rupert Weissenlehner soon recognized and were gradually leadership responsibility and business interests from at young management, he knew that this had absorbed his philosophy to her as his ambassador, both within the company as well as in dealing with customers and partners carry on and reinforce. And it came to a real snowball effect: through the daily life of this culture, this quickly gained breadth and established itself as the informal norm for cooperation on all levels of the hierarchy.

For the individual employee, this means that they not only enjoy freedom but are encouraged to contribute their own ideas, critically question guidelines and identify the potential for optimization, thereby quickly gaining a critical wealth of experience that enables them, even externally to be able to act as a competent consultant.

And what if a light fighter from the strictly geometric TRON universe does not get to the mountain air of the colorful castle? What if, without a grid, without ones and zeros, he runs the risk of losing his orientation and not finding his way in the colorful world of ideas? Then he retains his familiar surroundings, where he can calmly follow his tracks, knowing that he can immerse himself in other worlds as soon as he is ready to do so.
Or are we all just part of the Matrix?