What’s life like at GraphAware? Here’s everything you need to know

· 6 min read

GraphAware is now going through an extremely exciting phase. In 2020, we launched our own amazing product Hume, the only graph-powered insights engine in the world, which helps companies shed light on their complex data and make smart decisions. Since then, we have been rapidly growing in all aspects. Our ambitious plans will need plenty of talented people, who want to have a direct impact on a company’s success. Right now, we are already advertising for multiple vacancies, and the number will only grow in the coming months (check out our career page if you are already intrigued).

I believe it is now about time we talk about the talent we have here and how life is for everyone at GraphAware! After all, it’s the people who create the company’s product, amazing culture, values, working atmosphere, and brand. So what is it like to work here?

We don’t like HR

Yes. Here, I said it. We don’t like HR. I have been labeled as “the HR person” for the past 15 years, and I openly confirm that HR is not what we do at GraphAware. We certainly don’t like to think of our colleagues as resources. They’re people! And we care about their individual experience and expectations at GraphAware. This is why our “people function” is called PX (People Experience). If you think we just relabeled the traditional letters and continue doing the same, keep reading!

We communicate, listen and share

When I first thought of writing a blog post about life at GraphAware, I was sure that it would be a piece of cake. Flexible schedules, working with smart, passionate people in a collaborative and engaging environment. We have such a great team spirit and do so many cool, fun things. How hard can it be to write about them? 3 hours max, right? Well, add a zero to that!

Right after the headline, it hit me! Each person has his or her own unique experience! Writing about 40 different experiences is definitely not a piece of cake. More like a huge chocolate cake with all kinds of fruits inside and whipped cream and a cherry on the top! So, I decided to write about all the things which tie our experiences together.

The most important thing connecting us is communication (duh! :D). We have always been mostly a remote team, and as of today, with 40 team members, we have people working from 13 different countries. This does not stop us from talking to and getting to know each other. We speak very openly and in a friendly, informal, yet respectful way. There is no “dear” or “sincerely,” but there is a lot of “please,” “thank you,” and “well done”.

Our main tool is Slack, and our rule is KISS (keep it short and simple). We also keep it fun and have many channels for hobbies (music, cooking, baking, travel, food, sport, cars, books, and more). Nothing brings a team together as much as common interests (and of course, a virtual pub! :) ).

We also keep our finger on the company’s pulse through regular mini-polls (1 question only). We listen to what people have to say and quickly react to things, which need improvements. We share the results openly with the whole company.

Mini Poll Result 1

Mini Poll Result 2

We also still believe in the importance of meeting the people you work with face to face. We try to bring teams together as much as possible and get to know all members as well as their families.

Team dinner

We live by our core values.

Yes, we do! We hire for the value fit; we often talk about them in our monthly company standups, weekly team meetings, as well as in our quarterly 1on1 sessions. We truly believe in our values and regularly explore what they mean for every team and individual.

We feel a strong sense of ownership for the work we do. Everyone is proud of the work she/he does and takes full responsibility. You ask for help, you delegate, but you feel like the owner.

We strive for excellence. We look at where we are and how we get a little bit better. It does not mean doing the thing perfectly but doing the right thing. We make tough decisions without agonising.

We are driven by customer success. Our customer’s success is more important than our profits or our fun. We want our customers to stay with us for many years because we keep making them successful.

We have each other’s back. We help each other out at work as well as outside of work. If you see a colleague struggling, you don’t hesitate to jump in and help out.

Most importantly, we believe in the value of graphs. This value is the most distinguishing and sometimes hard to grasp. We just simply believe in what we do, and the immense potential knowledge graphs have. For many, this belief is gradual but eventually, we are all hardcore graph technologies fans - even those of us (me!) who take quite some time to really get what we develop here and how our product can help solve global challenges!

We share and map knowledge

We have true experts in their fields working at GraphAware and we like to develop, coach, mentor, innovate, and learn together. The technical knowledge we share among team members is enormous. In January 2021, we launched GraphAware Communities, which has been an extremely successful project. We hold communities elections every 3 months, and elect people who lead their own community of colleagues from across teams, who are interested in various topics (Java, Clean Code, Microservices, Web Development, Insights Engine Market, Neo4j, and many more).

In order to know what unique skills we actually have at GraphAware, we started using Hume for knowledge/skill mapping. We analyze, recommend and develop exactly the skills which are or will be needed (especially among the technical teams). What better way to map knowledge than use a knowledge graph!

The graph of skills

Both those activities are so interesting not only from the people’s perspective, but also from a technical perspective, that we decided to dedicate separate blog posts for each. So stay tuned for more information on our GraphAware Communities and Knowledge Mapping in the coming weeks!

We lead by example

What makes or breaks a company? Well, many things :). Some say it is the leaders.

Have you ever had your boss order lunch, and I mean actually call the restaurant and deal with the delivery boy, for the entire office (10 plus people on multiple occasions)?* Has your CEO ever taken you to a fancy restaurant one day and then desert camping the next day? Does your boss fight for you and care about your professional growth? Can you talk to any member of the leadership group openly and sincerely? We can, and we like it. :) Our bosses do all the mentioned things and create a fun, rewarding, and relaxed atmosphere, which nurtures every individual in exactly the way he or she needs.

We are all different. We all need diverse things to thrive and have a satisfactory work life. Yet somehow, we all enjoy the work we do here at GraphAware. We have a long, challenging journey ahead of us. There are many things we need to figure out and make better. However, right now, there is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm among all team members. And we need help! Will you join us in building products for a better world?

Check our currently open positions and apply!

*note: yes, we do have offices, and we go there sometimes, and we usually go all at the same time :)

Veronika Srncova

People Experience

Veronika Srncova holds a Master's degree in HR and Business Administration and has over a decade of experience in her field of expertise. Over the years, she has developed a keen understanding of creating enriching and rewarding environments for multicultural teams. She engages in talent-related activities to promote overall positive people experience.