Published: October 19, 2022
16 min read
Last updated: October 31, 2022
💙 How our Values Shape our Work Style
🤝 What does Our Corporate Culture Look Like?
💪 What is a Perfect Skill Set for Stormotion?
📋 How Do We Build the Stormotion Team?
🎁 Stormotion’s People Care: What We Give our Teammates
With our Code We Make the World. Buddha ft. Stormotion
What would you say is the “secret sauce” of any successful company or startup? We’d say it's people.
From Apple and Tesla to Netflix and Spotify, these are their amazing teams who turn expertise & values into successful products. Imagine that iPhone was first developed by Tesla. Would it have absolutely the same look and feel? Probably not, just like the rumored self-driving Apple car won’t be a copy of Model X. And what is the reason for that if not the people behind the product?
The Stormotion team, yet, not in its full size
It works the same way for us. At Stormotion, these are the people who fuel up development with their expertise, empathy, and curiosity. Combined with horizontal corporate culture, we managed to create a safe space for the boldest ideas both from our clients and from within the team. That’s how we co-create the products for 5 years already that are reshaping the Fitness, Mindfulness, IoT, and HealthTech industries right now.
In this article, we’ll share some ingredients of our “secret sauce” so you can have a better idea of what working with us may look like. Read on!
One of the main ingredients of any sauce is broth or oil, and Stormotion believes that one of the key components of success is values. Yet, this is not just a set of rules that every employee needs to learn like a multiplication table. This is something we believe in and put into practice.
Moreover, our values shape the way we co-own & deliver our projects as well as share responsibilities within the team. Thus, by getting to know us better you’ll also have a clearer understanding of what you can expect when cooperating with our team.
So what are our core values and how do they shape our work style? Let’s dive in!
Share our Similarities, Celebrate our Differences
A diverse team is an opportunity for us to bring together people who have diverse experiences, different approaches to work, unique knowledge and skills. A more diverse team in practice offers more innovative ideas and solutions.
Moreover, being open to people with different backgrounds and traits allowed us to hire great team members that otherwise could be looked through. A brief portrait of the Stormotion team looks as follows:
👫 We celebrate gender diversity and provide equal opportunities to people, based on one’s skills & experience. So far 25% of our employees are female, holding positions across all our departments — from design & development to HR and marketing.
🌍 As travel geeks, we encourage our co-workers to explore the world, travel & study abroad. That’s why you can find our team members in 9 cities across Europe — from Leipzig in Germany to Dnipro in Ukraine.
💬 We like languages as much as we like traveling. While English is the main working language we use to communicate with our partners, we can gladly discuss your project in German. Apart from this, the Stormotion team speaks 8 different languages such as French, Spanish, Hebrew, and others.
🦸 At Stormotion, we support young talents and provide them with the possibility to join our team via an internship. While having modest experience yet a lot of passion, zeal, and the right skills, they quickly turn into real professionals. Thus, don’t be surprised that most of our team is in their mid-20s yet with solid proof of success behind their backs.
Think Outside the Box
New technologies in the development of various projects are the future and on this depends the success and ability to compete in the market. Each company embodies the concept of innovation in its own way, someone focuses on new technologies, and someone pays attention to the ideas of their employees and brings them to life.
We at Stormotion are always open to new ideas & technologies before they become mainstream. Thus, while others just start hopping on a new tech trend, we already have some relevant expertise to share with our clients.
For example, we started to build our own expertise in React Native in 2017. Back then it was still a relatively new technology as it was first released in 2015, and had a small track record.
Nowadays, when it became much more popular especially due to сross-platform development, we already have over 5 years of hands-on experience with it. It helped us to cut the expenses for our clients on projects that were planned for native development as well as deliver applications both for iOS and Android using the same codebase.
React Native: a Comprehensive Guide for Startups
Build the Product as if you’re its Owner
For our company, ownership means the initiative we take when working on our clients’ projects:
When we see the possibilities to make development faster, cheaper, or more efficient, we always discuss such ideas with the customer.
A few times our clients decided to switch from native mobile app development to React Native after discussing their projects with us. In a long run, it helped them to save & money as well as receive a single codebase that can be reused for both mobile and even web platforms.
Stand Up for Others
Empathy, as we put it, is the ability to hear and be heard in the team. We believe it’s an essential quality when working with people. It’s all about building a working environment where people feel valued and taken care of. For Stormotion, our teammates are not just robots who do their work on schedule, they are people — creative, smart, talented, and our task is to do everything so that they feel comfortable working in the team. That’s why our People care manager is in touch every day and is ready to help each member of the team. Also, all our working calls begin with small talk to create a more trusting and open atmosphere, and ensure everyone’s ready to work.
In addition to such daily and on-request support, we hold a tet-a-tet review session with each team member once in 6 months. There we always ask how they’re feeling about working in the company, what they like and what they’d change regarding their position, role, tasks, etc.
We promote empathy not only within the team but also by supporting important social projects & initiatives (shot from Stormotion's Instagram page)
Moreover, we try to ensure that empathy reaches not only our co-workers but also those outside the team. That’s why our company often joins various charity activities & fundraisings. For example, we’ve done a couple for animal shelters and environmental organizations. In 2022, , we shifted our focus to raising funds for equipment and gear for the members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The coolest thing is that often these ideas and fundraising initiatives come from team members as they know that any initiative will be supported. After all, what is important to one in the team is important to everyone.
Knowledge Increases by Sharing
This value complements Stormotion’s innovativeness. With no people who always strive to learn and master new technologies, no new ideas will be brought to the table. And without our workers’ development, the company won’t improve either.
We are very serious about the skills of our employees and always support them in their desire to discover and learn something new. Some of our co-workers got into the team through Stromotion’s internship program so we understand the real value of education. Moreover, we foster internal knowledge sharing through meetups, weekly meetings, code reviews, etc. Also, all the new team members have a mentor assigned to them to ensure they can ask for help anytime.
We like sharing knowledge within our team as it benefits everyone!
In addition to helping within the team, Stormotion always supports the initiatives of our teammates to attend specialized meetups and conferences. Keep on reading as we’ll share how exactly we encourage our employees to obtain new knowledge down below.
Ideas over Hierarchy
Ideas always come first. It’s not that important what position a person holds, if they have a cool idea to optimize our workflows — we will always listen and think of ways to implement it.
First of all, it helps people in our team feel they’re an important part of it. Such an approach is also reflected in our corporate culture, influencing the way we work and communicate with each other and our partners. Let’s learn more about it!
The core values we just mentioned above make up the backbone of our corporate culture. As we value ownership, innovation, and equality, it directly impacts the way we structure our teams.
A horizontal corporate culture may be the closest term to what we’ve built at Stormotion. This is a way of organizing management in which people mean more than their titles so the hierarchy is not so strict. Such a structure is often used by start-ups that want to remain flexible.
This type of organization has its advantages:
Due to the flat structure, everyone in the team is open to communication and ready to help. That’s why sometimes you can find our co-workers and founders in the office kitchen, discussing new ideas over a cup of coffee.
The horizontal corporate culture makes everyone feel respected, valued, and listened to
This type of corporate culture values employees at all levels, promoting self-responsibility. Thus, no one feels like the "boss" in the team just because of the title, but everyone is at the same level when it comes to discussions and opinion sharing. We believe this kind of company culture helps newcomers open up and are not afraid to express their thoughts.
That’s also the reason why our developers always stay flexible when working on our clients’ products. They definitely align with the owner’s vision of the product yet are not afraid to share their ideas on how to improve it in the way owner’s team may not see.
It’s very important for us to look for people who are on the same wavelength as our company, understanding and sharing our values. Actually, soft skills are the first thing we pay attention to at the very beginning of any communication with a potential employee.
In 2017, Google conducted an internal study. After going through all the hiring, firing, and promotion data for almost 20 years, the company was very surprised. It turned out that 7 out of 8 important skills of the best employees were soft skills, while narrow professional skills (or hard skills) were in the last place.
Therefore, we’d like to share a list of soft skills we pay attention to in the first place and show how these skills manifest themselves in our work.
As a team with horizontal corporate culture, we really care about having a warm work relationship. It promotes trust, mutual assistance and openness as well as maintains the collaborative spirit. Also, it’s really nice to see how over the years we managed to build a team where people can find new chess partners, travel buddies, or someone who shares their passion for bicycles or cooking.
Warm & friendly relationships within the team help us to build as warm relationships with our partners (image by tatooine_girl)
Moreover, a nice & open atmosphere within the team often promotes friendly relations with our clients.
This is one of the key skills for us, because it directly helps in the implementation of various projects. We’re looking for people who are not afraid of challenges and ready to come up with creative solutions.
The ability to find a creative and original approach to solving various problems and difficulties. People with this skill can think outside the box and cliches. Our employees are free from group thinking and open to new, even bold ideas.
This skill is especially important for small and mid-size companies as their employees are often required to stay flexible. Since we help to build products for companies across the globe, our co-workers regularly swipe between projects and teams and it’s crucial for them to feel comfortable with that. One day you may be in a small team of 5 working on a Dutch startup while in a year you can remotely join a development department in an American company to share the expertise on their enterprise solution.
Feeling the support of the team not only motivates but also encourages internal knowledge exchange
Thus, we’re always looking for those who know how to listen to others, are open to feedback, respectful towards other cultures, and not afraid to speak up.
We always notice and support employees who want to succeed and develop in their areas of interest. A bit later we’ll share how exactly we support continuous learning within our team and help our co-workers grow both professionally and personally.
As we cooperate with clients from different parts of the world, very often our developers communicate with them directly — for example, to explain some technical details or do a demo. That’s why knowledge of English is important to us.
Of course, a person’s professional skills must match the position requirements that are always listed in the vacancy notice. We double-test these skills during interview and assessment task steps.
We pay attention to the hard skills and consider the overall potential of a candidate (image by HoangPts)
However, now many people are starting their journey in the IT field and it’s very difficult to find the first job without any experience. At Stormotion, we don’t immediately cut off such candidates if they have good English and basic knowledge in a particular area. It’s important for us that a person has the desire to develop and work — and we’ll help with gaining the experience!
In the beginning, every new employee has their own mentor, to help with all tasks, answer questions and review their work. We select tasks for beginners based on their level of knowledge and skills. Over time, we make tasks more difficult and at each stage we teach and share our knowledge. Therefore, it helps our employees to gain valuable experience without negatively affecting the quality of our projects.
Finding new people to join the team is a very responsible task. We want further cooperation to be as useful as possible for us and for the candidate. Therefore, we try to make sure that a person not only fits all the vacancy requirements but also that the company will give them the opportunity to develop and build their career.
Over the years that Stormotion has been on the market, we have developed our own recruitment process. It consists of several stages, at each of which we learn more about the skills, interests, and abilities of a new specialist. And they learn about us, our values, upcoming tasks, and career opportunities.
English is the first important step of Stormmotion’s recruitment. Because we communicate with clients around the world, all of our employees need to feel comfortable speaking English.
English is our main working language — that's why it's on top of our list (image by cesar olguin)
Our HR manager contacts candidates on social networks or by mail to tell more details about the work and get a first about the person based on the way the communicate, their hobbies, experience and so on. We also do a breif check of spoken English by asking to answer a few simple questions in a voice message.
If there’s a “chemistry” at the initial stage, it’s time for a test task. This helps a person to learn more about the company, and get a clearer understanding of tasks that lie ahead in the work. And we, in turn, check everything in detail, analyze the skills and knowledge of a person.
Usually, we give about two days to complete it. After that, we review the test task and invite the person for an interview call.
The interview is the most important step in hiring. The opportunity to get to know candidates better, to see how they think and cope with difficult situations.
A video interview is a final step in our hiring process (image by Visoeal Studio)
Usually, an HR manager, a team leader, and the CEO or CTO of the company are present at the call. The interview usually includes a few blocks: we ask about background and prior experience, give some position-related questions, and finally some questions in English. We also learn about candidate’s expectations and provide feedback on the assessment task. We try to explain key mistakes and successes so that the candidate understands the direction for improvement if we don’t have a match.
We come back with our decision within 1-2 days.
As a company, we’re interested in creating a comfortable work environment for all our employees. And if we go straight to the point, there are three main things that help us to maintain a healthy, friendly, and pleasant atmosphere for our teammates: careful onboarding, opportunities to develop new skills, and emotional support. Let's find out more about it!
The process of adapting employees to a new team and workplace can change the whole experience. Just imagine, you come to a mobile store to buy a new smartphone, and no one pays attention to you. Consultants don’t approach you and don’t help with the choice. In such situations, a person feels confused. The same is true for companies.
A new job is a way out of the comfort zone and a potentially stressful situation for any person. So if at the initial stages a company doesn’t help newcomers to join the team and feel like a part of it, this will affect the quality of their work as well as their overall experience with the company.
Nice contents of the Stormotion's welcome box
At Stormotion, we look forward to a long-term partnership with growth opportunities for everyone. We have our own rules for careful onboarding for each newcomer to the team. By the first working day, Stormotion will give them a welcome box that includes a bunch of nice branded things like a notebook, shopping bag, and cup. This quickly makes them feel like members of the team, cheers them up, and charges for productive work.
The working day, of course, begins with getting to know the team, the key Agile rituals we follow, and the first tasks. At first, we try to give simple tasks so that a person tries to interact with the team. And, of course, everyone is ready to help and suggest!
In our work, we practice various ways to support our employees in their quest to acquire new skills. We'll cover more about this below.
Each newcomer has their own mentor — a more experienced specialist already working at our company. During the first months, they teach all the nuances of the work, support during challenging moments and help to develop skills & become a professional.
🇬🇧 English lessons
Every week our team has the opportunity to practice English in a speaking club. Apart from the learning side, discussions on various topics help us to know each other better.
These are the topic-specific meetings of developers where they share their experience, knowledge, ask for advice, and just talk. As they require some time to prepare, meetups also serve as important milestones for developers to share a really deep piece of expertise that may be useful for other team members.
🤳 Weekly call every Monday
This is a separate call for each department where employees discuss their tasks, set goals, share experiences and talk about important work issues.
⛹️ Sports & education compensations
Continuous learning isn’t just an abstract value for us but rather a specific set of actions. Thus, Stormotion covers the costs of specialized meetups and conferences It’s a good opportunity to learn something new outside the company — once our developers even flew to a conference in Poland for the new knowledge!
💬 An opportunity to express yourself
If someone has a suggestion for optimizing the workspace or other ideas, we always support it and help in the implementation. Thus, everyone has a chance to adjust their work responsibilities to what they enjoy the most and create little projects of their own — whether it’s an internal Wiki, one’s own dev library, or social media ideas.
In our team, we try to build relationships so that everyone knows that they can be helped and taken care of. Imagine that you are new to Stormotion and have a million questions. But with us, when voicing a question or a problem, you will always get feedback that will help you quickly deal with even the most difficult tasks. And after a probationary period in our team, we often hear from employees: “Of course, you said that everyone is open and ready to help and devote time right away, but we didn’t think it was that much.”
As we already mentioned, our team welcomes any development of employees, including their passion outside of work. Therefore, we are always glad when our employees bring their interests to the team. From time to time we arrange a fun day where our team shares their hobbies: our creative copywriter prepares delicious pastries, the project manager organizes chess tournaments, someone makes cocktails, teaches how to make coffee properly, and someone shoots cool videos from team buildings using a drone.
That's really important to find people who you can share your passions & hobbies with
Productivity at work is directly related to the emotional state of a person. Therefore, the support of our employees, comfortable working conditions, flexible hours, and understanding of people help prevent burnout in our team.
Well, now you know a little more about Stormotion and our "secret ingredients" of success:
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Our clients say
They were a delight to work with. And they delivered the product we wanted. Stormotion fostered an enjoyable work atmosphere and focused on delivering a bug-free solution.
David Lesser, CEO