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Working at Spiria

March 28, 2019.

What is it like to work at Spiria? That question is best answered by Spirians themselves. Five of them talk about what makes Spiria special.

Reconciling family and work life

Julien, Senior Developer.

Julien, senior developer

Sooner or later comes a time when we have to reconcile our family — and work life, to take delivery of a new appliance on a Tuesday sometime between 9 and 5, to wait for the plumber after a flood in the bathroom, to go to the dentist, to get the winter tires put on, or to take the odd sick day. Of course, anyone can take advantage of the convenience of occasionally modifying their work schedule, taking a couple of hours off and making them up another day, or working from home. But when you have children, reconciling work and family life becomes a real necessity: ferrying the children to and from daycare whittles away precious minutes; and while doctors’ and vaccination appointments can be planned ahead, not so for the mid-morning calls from the daycare asking you to pick up your kid because of gastro (again!), which he will inevitably share with you over the next few days.

Not to mention the child who needs regular appointments with the maxillofacial surgeon, the ear-nose-throat specialist, the ophthalmologist or the audiologist. Or the child with the language delay with biweekly appointments with the speech therapist. Or, if you’re really unlucky, the child with a heart problem who had open-heart surgery early in life and needs regular follow-up appointments with the cardiologist. Or all of the above, in my case.

That’s when you fully appreciate the value of an employer that allows you to reconcile your work and family life. Spiria requires its employees to be flexible, but also offers flexibility to its employees. I have taken advantage of this more than once to care for things on the home front, either adjusting my schedule or working from home to get my work done on time, with the support of my teammates. Once, I was even able to find a replacement for myself for a long-term leave, to avoid a project being late. And I’ve never been made to feel like it was a problem to be accommodated so that I can look after my family: as long as I give everyone a heads-up about a potential scheduling conflict, they’re happy to accomodate. Spiria listens, understands and offers solutions so you can get through your week or year without losing your sanity. After an especially tough year, all I can say is, thank you!

No junior developer could dream of a better first employer

Antoine, Developer.

Antoine, developer

I never thought I would do anything else than work with computers. I did not know exactly how I would do that, but I always knew, from a very early age, that they were my best friends. Technology is my first, second, third and fourth passion. It’s just a part of who I am, of my friendships, and of my life in general.

“Work” is a strange word for me, because I’ve never really felt that coding was work! It’s what I love to do, and if I can get paid to do it, what could be better? Though it’s true that coding for fun is one thing, while working for a company as a coder is quite another!

Programmers are too often perceived as a monolithic block that can be moved from area A to area B, without consideration for what their workplace does for them. Well here’s some news for you: we are not robots, and yes, we care about the office and the general vibe of our workplace! What stacks are you working on? What are your relations like with your boss? Do other coworkers like to talk and share knowledge? Are developers just numbers?

From a junior perspective, finding a job in the software industry really feels like a swipe-right swipe-left Tindr approach. First the LinkedIn message, then the email message, and so on… When it comes to a company’s image, HR departments are very good at attracting young talent with a story that does not reflect the day-to-day routine. Companies try to look like Google to attract attention, but when it comes to the daily grind, reality quickly dispels the holograph. They’ll show off their innovative stack, but once you’re in, it’s just PHP and hacky Wordpress code.

As a company, if you lie about what you’re really all about, your employees will quickly realize that they have been duped and will start looking elsewhere. You could never say straight-out to a creative developer, “We only do PHP here, so just format and fit”. We are burgeoning talent, we need challenges and stimulation or we just get bored and move on.

It’s a fact: if the company understands the software industry, your developers will be on an endless honeymoon with their job! Waking up in the morning to go to work will be the best thing that could ever happen to them. My grandmother always told me that I would be lucky to be happy at work, and I really am.

Surveys say that not many workers like their job… but I am not one of those. Every morning, I feel blessed to get out of bed and go to work. My parents spent their whole lives trying to reach the place I’m in. Being in your early twenties and happy at work is such an opportunity; it’s hard to explain, you can only understand if you experience it.

Spiria infuses creativity, passion, honesty, integrity and inclusiveness into its very essence; it’s not just an image it projects. Spiria really is what it preaches and I could not imagine being happier than under its roof. Spiria is a company driven by the love of writing software and pushing boundaries!

Thank you so much! Never could a junior dev be happier than where I am right now. From brain to <3, thank you. With love.

My voice is heard and listened to

Jose, QA analyst.

Jose, QA analyst

In 2017, during my job interview with Jean Godard and Guy Verville, I saw the company spirit in them. I saw outstanding community teams, I saw that respect and frankness were the order of the day. And it was “yes” to everything.

I asked questions: “Will I be able to develop my skills?” “Yes, we’ll support you with that.” “My French isn’t so great; can you help me with that too?” “Yes, we’ll support you with that.” “If I can show that I can contribute more to the company, will you let me do so?” “Yes, we’ll support you with that, and point you in the right direction.” All these “yeses” and especially “we’ll support you with that” were a welcome surprise, and meant a lot. I’ve found this and more at Spiria: friends, smiles, and even family.

Spiria does something that few other companies do: it hears you and listens. It motivates you to become more involved in your work, knowing that you’ll never be alone and that help is always at hand: you just have to ask. A year-and-a-half later, I can say that “Yes, we’ll support you with that” is true and going strong. There is no limit to what I can do and what I can be in this exceptional team. And I strive to help junior and senior employees alike see what I saw right from Day One.

I’d like to give my sincerest thanks to Jean Godard, Guy Verville, the QA team and project teams I’ve worked on for their support. Like I once said, “Being part of the Spiria team means thinking in different languages, smiling in different ways, while feeling good among fun colleagues and friends.”

Fun and well-being at work

Sandra, project manager.

Sandra, project manager

When you think of it, you spend more time at work than with your family. This is why it was so important for me to find a company whose values matched mine and who gave me the opportunity to grow as a professional.

Why Spiria? For the diversity of its projects, and its service offering. One thing’s for sure: at Spiria, I will never wait for challenges! Every project is unique, both in terms of the team and the technologies used. Every digital solution truly is custom-developed for the client.

In my line of work, I like having some discretion; I like being involved in decisions and putting my stamp on a project. Spiria gives its employees this leeway. It also gives them a whole range of tools to develop their skills, like language courses, external training, workshops on personal development, “Knowledge Fairs”, etc. There’s something for everyone!

Another thing about Spiria is that it believes in “fun”. Fun and well-being at work are the byword, with a slew of social activities, “4 to fun” events, the children’s Christmas party, Mr. Ice-Cream, fresh fruit baskets, great premises, and great people! Spiria cares about your physical and mental health.

And Spiria recognizes your contribution. Be it through the internal blog, the announcement pop-ups or your manager, Spiria takes time to share successes. As for failures, we’re not afraid to talk about them, in order to avoid repeating them.

When you get up in the morning and you’re motivated to tackle new challenges, you know that you’ve found happiness.

Accessible, attentive management

Sergii, QA analyst.

Sergii, QA analyst

Spiria is the first company I worked for after immigrating to Canada. I was lucky enough to find this job just a few weeks after my arrival. Before working at Spiria, I worked for a company that was developing its own product, which meant that I always worked on the same project. Spiria provides a radically different experience: an Agile environment, interesting projects for clients in different industries, and the opportunity for professional development.

Working here is a fascinating experience, at a time when the company is growing fast, with a mission and a vision for the future. They are building the right structure, creating the matrix where everyone can feel that they’re contributing to something great and important.

One of the marked differences between Spiria and my previous work experience is management’s approach. When a company is growing and teams are getting bigger and bigger, it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd and forgotten. But that’s not an issue at Spiria, where managers are always available and ready to listen. They are always open to any suggestion to enhance work processes or just general morale. They hold regular meetings where you can speak, talk about professional development and the next steps, give and receive feedback, or just chat about your week-end and the fun you had. These meetings make you feel like you’re part of something and help to develop professional relations.

I also appreciate Spiria’s trust and flexibility, allowing me to work from home, to come in before or after rush hour, or to stay home in case of unforeseen circumstances. All of this helps to build trust and honesty, which motivates you to be more productive and to give it your all.

But the best part is the excitement when a project is completed. You have the wonderful feeling of having accomplished your mission, quickly followed by the anticipation of your next project, which could be even more interesting and stimulating, and that’s fabulous!

A fun working environment, high-performance equipment, employee benefits, social activities, the chance to spend time with colleagues outside of work, and many other small details all contribute to convince me that I’m at the right place. I didn’t mention the excellent coffee, or the fridge full of milk, juice and fruit, because it seems to me that you should be able to take that for granted in the office of the 21st century.

In short, I’m just a Ukrainian guy who is enjoying life at Spiria, a company that gives me everything I need to pursue my professional development and to enjoy the best years of my life.