ArticleDecember 10, 2021 · 3 min read time
In the Nordics, November is known as the darkest month of the year. But what if November could offer you the chance to do the things you’ve always wanted, yet never found the time for before? That is precisely what we did at the Core Week during the last week of November this year.
At Nitor, we all have the privilege to use 10% of our work time for our own projects and initiatives to improve ourselves and the company. That’s what we call Nitor Core, or just Core or Core time. Core is one of the key drivers for competence development and learning because it gives you the opportunity to freely explore and try out the things that are not in the scope of our day-to-day work in customer consulting.
Although every Nitorean is entitled to use Core time whenever it fits their schedule, devoting a whole week for Core has proven to be successful for many Nitoreans. Core week is a social event during which we gather to use Core time together. Knowing that your colleague is also doing Core, gives you a special boost to do something valuable to share with others at the end of the week.
Here are some of the topics we explored during the Core week this November:
Sustainability calculations. We have calculated Nitor's carbon emissions since 2019. It was time to repeat the calculations for 2021, but also to experiment with the latest tooling for calculation. The sustainability team tried out a self-hosted Jupyter Lab for a collaborative take on the calculation. The work will continue.
Improvements to the competence development planning tool for Nitoreans. The Nitor Academy team was working on the custom made tool to support Nitoreans’ competence development planning. The team shipped a new feature for publishing the plans from the tool on the company Slack. The tool itself was also updated with new content and some minor fixes were deployed during the week.
From Excel sheets to the Iron Bank app. Every Nitorean is free to choose their own work equipment with a Nitor provided budget we call “Iron Bank”. During the week, the Iron Bank team defined the main user flows as a UI prototype for the new app. They also designed the first draft of system architecture and set up a dashboard that enables viewing the purchases from various viewpoints.
Work anniversary reminder is an automated announcement of Nitoreans having their work anniversary on Nitor’s main Slack channel. The latest version includes an announcement complimented by the person’s profile picture, years spent at Nitor, and any unlocked achievements such as the extra paid holiday week given at the 5-year anniversary milestone.
Accessibility. We had three training sessions during the week on the theme. Sessions covered legal aspects of accessibility, accessibility evaluations, and the basics of accessibility in online services taught by an expert from The Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
School of Blog. We learned the best practices for blog writing: discovering your topic, finding a reader-friendly structure, and coming up with a catchy headline. There are many new blog articles in the pipeline already!
In addition to these topics, various expertise forums gathered up during the Core week to discuss frontend and backend related topics, security themes and strategic design initiatives. Many people also worked on their pet projects, sometimes with actual pets!
Last but not least, we don’t spend all Core time on tech and design activities. The Core week offered a chance for new coffee and tea flavours as our warm beverage enthusiasts gathered at the office kitchen in Helsinki for coffee and tea tasting. These sorts of activities have been rare lately, but hopefully for the next Core Week, sometime before summer, will have more bonding opportunities for us all. See you then!?