ArticleMay 12, 2021 · 3 min read time
What is Nitor Core? In short, it answers the simple question: what really makes us –developers, designers, software architects, data scientists, and agile coaches – Nitoreans, happy?
What if I got some folks as excited as I am about a certain topic? What if I had time to do the thing I always wanted but never had the chance? What if my company gave me time to do whatever I wanted to improve myself and the company?
What would I do?
That’s what Nitor Core answers to. It’s 10 % of my work time to do exactly that. It’s Nitor’s contribution to my competence development, and the requirement is that I do something that improves both the company and myself, and that share the results with the community. It can be a big or small project, about code or design, or almost anything you can think of.
What is 10 %? It’s 4 hours per week, a day per two weeks, two days a month, 24 days a year. It is a month of working time in a year, invested in my improvement. Not bad, huh?
What do I get out of it? I get the kicks from doing something new: maybe something that hasn’t been done yet, or improving something that has been started but is not quite there yet. I get a community to support me in my quest, and maybe even a group of enthusiasts with whom to do it. And when I – or we as a group – get it done, we celebrate the results together.
Once or twice a year, we gather everyone together to look at the Crystal Ball. We envision what the world will look like in the future. We use several contexts, such as the world, our customers, ourselves, etc. This results in a few topics from the trends we envisioned and out of which we see something that is worth putting extra effort into. These end up as larger-scale development topics. And everyone is welcome to take part in these.
Some people learn by doing customer work, which is completely fine – no need to use more time in learning if that happens in client projects as a byproduct. But even then, it's quite a lot of fun to take part in a Code Camp or a Design Camp or other events, where there are my colleagues to chat with, innovate, or just help someone out with a second pair of eyes. Or hands. The fact that that we use the time to develop ourselves is seen as added value by some of our customers. In other words, our skillful and innovative people make our customers happier.
What's best about it? It's the people doing things together and sharing the lessons, the great fun, and acceptance by the community consisting of people that are a lot smarter than I, and who are better programmers and designers. Yet, I still feel that this is where I belong, with these people.
From an office tracker to an IoT sourdough – Core time gives a lot of freedom
The Core time has resulted in software components, improved designs, articles, training classes, technology programs, and even products we utilize. Many of them have started just by someone asking themselves: "What if...". And all have ended in a lot of fun. Below are just a couple of examples from our Core time results.
Sometimes, it’s useful to know who is present at the office at any given time – lunch company is always appreciated, and during covid-19, we obviously have some restrictions in place to ensure the safety of our digital engineers. Software Architect Timo Tenhunen chose to use his Core time to develop Office Posse, a live tracker to track the Nitor HQ. Find out how Timo executed the project!
Core time can also be used for personal development and growth. Annika works as a UX designer at Nitor, and she really wanted to mix it all up with something concrete instead of virtual pixels. As an avid baker, she turned to sourdough, which we all know is challenging to master. Read how she chose to utilize IoT in her quest to create the perfect possible outcome.