One Year Of Pandemic & One Year Of IncubytePlaybook
It all started when— unbeknownst to the world, a series of lockdowns changed the way India Inc. operated. The world hit a big fast forward button to the future of remote work. And right around that time, in February of 2020, a small team that called itself Incubyte set out on its own mission in this new normal.
A common goal to create well-crafted software and promote better coding practices in India is what brought the team together. This blog commemorates our first anniversary, but more than that, it is a tribute to Incubyte’s wonderful journey and the individuals who have contributed to it.
Today, we are a completely remote network of Craftspeople spread across the nation and grew through the pandemic, from zero to 30 and counting!
It has been a journey worth discovering, milestones worth experiencing and setbacks too that made us smarter. As we complete one year in the software services industry, we’d love to share our acquired knowledge.
Behind the Scenes at Incubyte
Apart from the usual ups and downs, there were some obstacles that we managed to turn into invaluable opportunities, we also dealt with the uncertainty that the pandemic year brought us. As we sneak a peek into Incubyte’s premier year, we share some of these learnings.
Creating teams with great minds
Incubyte had set out on a mission to build top quality software using the industry best practices, and this needed bright minds who were excited about learning and growing with us.
The pandemic, which suddenly made remote very acceptable, helped expand our candidate pool to the entire nation! Remotely, we were able to bring together software professionals from over 15 cities, under one roof, to converge on projects across the globe. None of us had to move or give up our families to work with Incubyte!
Bringing Women Back to Work
A remote-first culture helped open so many doors, and the one closest to our hearts was our ability to bring women back to work with equal opportunities.
In just a year, we’ve had five fabulous mothers, Rupali, Karishma, Prathima, Ruchi and Arohi, restart their careers with us. They have made the most of WFH, turned out to be fine professionals and most dependable and trustworthy employees, all while managing their homes and kids. How awesome is that!
Solving Urban Crowding
We are in absolute admiration of the fact that work from home helps the population become more distributed and less concentrated in urban areas. It empowers local economies like never before and reduces the extra efforts and stresses inherited in an urban setting.
We have teammates from tier 2 and tier 3 cities like Guwahati, Udaipur, Rajkot, Indore, and others, sipping coffee and seamlessly collaborating on client projects, open-source software and various internal projects.
Here are some benefits we experienced ourselves in this new normal:
- Work from the comfort of our own homes
- No commute stresses
- Impact on sustainability
- Cuts additional costs of working away from home
- Re-distribution of the workforce
- More time to pursue other hobbies/pet projects
Work Flexibility as Work Stability
While we wholeheartedly embrace WFH, we truly understand the challenges ranging from frequent interruptions to not being able to switch off and call it a day. Flexibility has special significance in such environments.
One of our teammate, Akshay, went on a month-long work-cation to remote Uttarakhand mountains! All whilst leading a team of six, developing, and releasing super-duper high-quality working software. We just asked him to bring us some fresh mountain air in exchange.
Some of our tactics to make remote working fun and sustainable:
- Encouraging our people to take vacations
- Enabling flexible hours
- Unlimited leaves
- No attendance or time tracking
- Access to a professional health & nutrition consultant any time
This is an area where there is so much, we can do – we are learning and trying to get better at it every day!
“I’ve always been a working mom. Worked through my pregnancy and barely took maternity leave. This is the first time in my child’s life that I’ve been around him so much and our happiness quotient (both his and mine) is so much higher. It is possible to run a company and be there for a kid!” -Rushali Parikh
Team Building and Team Bonding
As a remote-first company, bridging the gap between co-workers has been our biggest challenge as well as a constant effort. WFH pushes us to be more proactive about how we communicate and interact, making it a priority to collaborate as often as possible.
In addition to following the usual Agile practices, other efforts in this direction include:
- 4-6 hours of pairing daily
- Mob code reviews
- A flat hierarchy
- Imbibing a strong feedback culture at every level
- Regular retrospectives
- Lightning talks
- Inter and Intra team brainstorming sessions and huddles
- Not having long email chains
- Practices to indulge in healthy work-life routine
Celebrating one year
We’re happy about how we’ve grown this year and set a high bar for the year to come. We feel our growth this year was at a sustainable pace and that has helped us set the foundation right.
_“When you are on a growth trajectory you are often only reacting, and when you react, you end up making mistakes. When you are acting, you can strategize and plan time without cutting corners.” _
We have grown as a team of enthusiastic people sharing core principles and values, working towards the shared goal of delivering high-quality software.
We’re always learning about new ways to facilitate opportunities, promote clean coding techniques, create scalable decoupled systems, and provide constant incremental value to our clients. We head into year two with much anticipation, excitement and a continued commitment - to our people, that we will always strive to be a better employer and a commitment to our clients that we will always look out for their best interests.