7 Websites Every Developer Should Know

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Programming is 10% writing code and 90% looking up how to do that.

We all know the scenes in Hollywood movies where a nerdy hacker sits in his poorly lit room, types seemingly random keys on his keyboard and a few seconds later the pentagon is hacked! In reality, coding looks very different. Countless times I had to look up simple stuff like “How to format a Java LocalDate” or “Rename git commit after push”.
I hope this blog post will introduce a few sites you didn’t know yet, to reduce your research time in future.


Let’s start with the elephant in the room:

stackoverflow.com

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It serves 120 million people every month, making it one of the 50 most popular websites in the world.
I’m pretty sure there’s a large number of developers spending more time on Stack Overflow than in their IDE.
Next to Stack Overflow, there are 172 more Q&A communities in the Stackexchange network. For example:


regex101.com

Working with regular expressions is hard and even if you exactly know what you’re doing, you might want to test your regex to verify that it is correct. Regex101 not only provides a regex tester but also a big library of community-created expressions for almost every use-case.


explainshell.com

Explainshell is a fairly unknown page that does exactly what it says. You can paste any Unix CLI command and the page explains in detail what every part of the command does. It helped me quite a lot in the past to get better at shell scripting.


mockaroo.com

Need some mock data to test your code? Mockaroo provides a simple way to generate a lot of realistic-looking Test-Data. You can choose between more than 140 different types of fake data. From email and IP-addresses to movie titles and many more. It provides also an API to get the test data directly from your code.


placeholder.com

The image above is not an error ;). It’s a placeholder image generated by placeholder.com! This page lets you create placeholder images in any resolutions and colours you like. Just open https://via.placeholder.com/900×512.png?text=placeholder.com and adjust the dimensions and text in the URL accordingly.


httpbin.org

httpbin.org is a simple website that provides REST-Endpoints for testing. For example:

  • https://httpbin.org/delay/x -> Waits for x seconds before responding
  • https://httpbin.org/status/x -> Returns a response with HTTP status code x
  • https://httpbin.org/ip -> Returns the public IP of the caller
  • …and many more! There are lots of other useful endpoints!

xkcd.com

Last but not least xkcd. “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”. While not necessarily a programming resource, bookmarking this page is almost required for every decent developer.

Hackdayz 2019 fun and creativity

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By providing a simulated training environment, games offer developers the ability to manage and fix future complex problems and apply any theoretical framework directly in an entertaining and collaborative manner. These lines perfectly describe our last Hackdayz in Budapest.

In the beginning, I had no idea why the company would invest so much money to get us from three different countries to a fourth. But in the end, I realized the added value for the company and for us.

Play the game and learning will be fun – exceptionally! Indeed, that was the slogan. Our motto these days was: Develop hard, play harder: Having fun with colleagues increases creativity, efficiency and productivity. Imagine that you are surrounded by more than 30 developers who work in 7 different projects that need to be completed in 48 hours. You can imagine how such a virtual training environment would have a positive effect on your performance in the customer area. This way we can take the time pressure off our shoulders if we have to meet a deadline.

Apart from the future benefit at the customer level, my colleagues have shown a very good result for their projects. B. we now have such a nice app for checking in and out of offices instead of the touch ID, now our colleague Amit also has a trading bot app with which he made a profit of $ 10.57.

Needless to say, we refreshed ourselves from an escape game and an enchanting river tour in Budapest.

The bottom line, no matter what I have in the future, no matter how busy I am, I want to repeat such a nice experiment.

N47 Meetup #19 in Macedonia

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In the beginning of July we organised our first N47 Meetup in Macedonia. We spent 3 full days together eating, drinking and exploring (especially Lake Ohrid ๐ŸŠโ€โ™‚๏ธโ˜€๏ธ) this lovely country! Besides that, we also had to celebrate our newly built office in the city center of Skopje ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿฅณ with a nice office warming party!

Too much talent effect: Coordination vs Cooperation and the curious case of Miami Heat

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As a worker of an IT company, I took a moment of thinking and asked myself, why no company, no matter what budget it has, hires only senior employees or in our field only senior developers. This is a question, which I kept asking myself for days and days. But, a couple of weeks ago, I may have found an answer in one book Friends & Foe, when to cooperate, when to compete and how to succeed in both which was written by Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer. They found that too much talent in the company creates a reverse correlation with the efficiency of the team. But, to understand this explanation we need to see an example outside of our working field.

As a big Real Madrid fan, I took a moment of thinking after a disaster season of Real Madrid, I compared the results of 3 different teams of Real Madrid. When the team was an all-star team, they have not achieved trophies in comparison with the value of players the team has e.g. Zidane, Figo, Owen, and Ronaldo.

While the team was a one-star team led by C. Ronaldo, they achieved more trophies. And now without stars, the team achieved a disastrous season.

In 2014, a research was made by 5 researchers, one of them is Adam Galinsky, about association for psychological science with a title too much talent effect. Studying the effect of a number of talented players and team performance and results. 37% of the sample size indicated that the team will perform better when the talented players are more. But, by looking at the results of the team, there is a difference. By looking at the teams result in the World Cup 2014, it was found that there is a positive direct relationship between team results and talents in the team until a certain point. Once this point is reached there is a negative direct relationship between talents and team results. This study was not just on football teams, it is extended to basketball teams, e.g. Miami Heat, they got in 2011 Chris Bosh and Lebron James, and they have already Dwyane Wade, to make a Dream team.

But they lost the final in the same year. In the next year, Wade and Bosh got injured and they won the cup in that year and Lebron James became the superstar inside the team and the study stated that the main reason of this win was the decrease of the talents in the team and this talent isolation was the main reason of the win.

With this study we can conclude that by having no or low talents, the team will lose and by increasing the talents too much, the team will also lose. As by increasing talents, coordination decreases and competition increases. And now let us apply the same case to the companies. You may ask me why by increasing talents, the employees have more cooperation, the answer is included in the book Friends and Foe. The book is based on scarce resources e.g. if you have a chance in working to improve your position, that means that there is no opportunity for other teammates to improve their positions. So by increasing talents, competition increases and coordination decreases. Teammates become opponents.

I hear some people telling me that MSN in Barcelona succeeded in 2015 and in NBA we see all team stars e.g. Warriors in 2018-2017 that include Klay Thompson, Durant and Green. So what we can understand that there are some other reasons that affect team performance. And may cause too much talent not there in all cases. But these reasons, the study did not care about because it is hard to be measured via numbers. So we still have a mystery in how it is gonna affect the performance of the companies.

So, in order to avoid this mystery, our company N47 started not only to hire qualified workers but also to apply internal development and education for them, by sending them to different conferences to different countries. e.g. this year 2019 our colleagues are going to 13 different countries to attend different conferences. This internal development will increase the efficiency of the team along with increasing the cooperation among them via spoiling what the employee has learned in the conference to his colleagues.

In a nutshell: It is not just the personal characteristics which define he can cooperate or compete with his colleagues, it is also his company strategy.

Why you should join our company and why NOT

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It is sooner or later in life to think about a profession ๐Ÿ’ผ and about the company in which you want to practice it. Either you’re out of education, youโ€™ve just finished your studies ๐ŸŽ“ or you’re already working, but you need a new challenge.

In our industry -IT services ๐Ÿ’พ – where software/web developers play the biggest role, there are, according to several studies, the key features for developers to enter a company.

Based on Stackoverflow’s Developer Survey in 2016, we picked the most important expectations of the developers for their company and made them a guide. We have divided these into 5 levels.

1st Basic requirements

  • Salary ๐Ÿ’ถ: Every developer knows his value in the market, so we value him and give him what he deserves.
  • Respect: Dealing with each other in the company, as well as with customers on site are the nuts and bolts for us and are treated with the highest priority. Unfortunately, there are still companies in the 21st century where bullying plays a big role.
  • Competencies: Our employees are encouraged to expand their know-how, which plays the most important role in IT. We live in the technology age, in which permanently new programming languages, frameworks, etc. come on the market. There is no time to lay on the lazy skin.
  • Social bonding: We are a team and that goes beyond all locations. It is very important to pursue common goals. In this case, you will not be treated alone, but in the team and no matter which location you are involved with.
  • Support: Every employee is considered as a family member, so that operational issues are discussed and addressed in retrospectives, in addition, private matters also find an open ear. You can just click on the management to get support for private affairs.

2nd Lunar effect ๐ŸŒš

  • Operating System: We do not tell anyone what OS to work with. Everyone should be able to decide for themselves with which they feel comfortable.
  • Computer specification ๐Ÿ’ป: It is very important to have fast computers as a developer. One should use his time effectively and not straining with slow devices his nerves.
  • Software ๐Ÿ“€: Additional software, e.g. IntelliJ, WebStorm, etc. needed is of course provided by the company.
  • Noise Level ๐Ÿ“ข: Many employees complain about excessive noise levels. To spare our employees, our premises are in fairly quiet locations.
  • Workplace: Of course, ergonomic chairs, monitors, keyboards, etc. are provided.

3rd Main motivators

  • “Tough Nuts”: With us, you have to face up to new challenges, so that work does not become routine and thus boring.
  • Further education: In order to keep up to date his know-how, we offer each teammate the possibility to attend trainings, conferences, workshops and the like. Through our blog, you can see in which different countries and conferences we have been.
  • Recognition: You want to be praised for your work and you get that praise from us.
  • Interesting projects: We work for different clients and projects so that a lot of variety is required. Boredom, routine are foreign words for our working world.
  • Confidence: Confidence in employees and leaders is a lost character trait. Most companies are only concerned with competition among employees. This has no chance in our company. We trust each other and treat everything confidentially what concerns our employees.

4th Creators

  • Relax spots: Either take a break in front of the Playstation ๐ŸŽฎ, Nintendo or use the couch for a nap ๐Ÿ’ค.
  • Foosball table โšฝ: In our office, there is a foosball table for professionals. Of course, beginners are allowed to play as well.
  • Fitness: A small room with fitness equipment, even a treadmill is available for everyone. It is also allowed to enter the office 7/24 ๐Ÿ•–.
  • Food: Tasty coffee โ˜•, soft drinks ๐Ÿฅค, sweets ๐Ÿซ, water ๐Ÿšฐ and fruits ๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ‰ are always free for the team. Enjoy it.

5th Unconventional

  • Team events ๐Ÿฅณ: At least twice a year, all employees of the 3 locations ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ come together. We work ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป, dine ๐Ÿฅ˜ and have fun ๐ŸŽ‰ together. The upcoming event is in Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ in July, the previous one was in Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, let’s see where the next one will be. In addition, events take place at the 3 locations, for the specific staff onsite. Of course, the ticket ๐Ÿ›ฉ, accommodation costs ๐Ÿฉ and meals are paid ๐Ÿ’ฐ by the company.
  • Lunch ๐Ÿด: Every 14 days we choose one restaurant to have lunch together. Of course, this is also paid ๐Ÿค‘ by the company.

After writing so many positive points โž• about our company it’s time to list the negative points โž–…

I really tried to find some, but I did not find anything!

N47 at the Career Days 2019

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Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele)

Deeply honoured by the pleasant and heartfelt invitation of our esteemed colleagues from the South East European University in Tetovo, we are pleased to take part in their Career Day in 2019.

But the biggest honour is the point and the moment when you are representing your company at the auditorium and the audience, especially more weight adds in this when you are doing that in front of the students, the future and potential candidates for employment and key factor of making the progress in this segment of our working process.

At the entrance to the University pleasant surprise. Although the day was looked like autumn time, clouds, rain, much less like it was in autumn in late October, but it’s April.

Watch Out Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

But again it was not a problem for the huge number of visitors to the event. The huge parking space in front of the central university building, packed to gather all the guests and participants of the event, it was completely full to the max.

The hall where the event was held, crowded, visitors, presenters, students and guests, photographers, cameras and even tv crews.

Wonderful atmosphere, pleasant and positive experiences, wonderful discussions, presentations to the guests and interested students.

The greatest pleasure is, of course, the moment and honour when you represent your company in front of the outside world and you are familiar with the scope of activities you are dealing with, work and spend your time, but also the idea, the plan and the strategy how it is developed and where it is targeted to act the company in the coming period and in the following years.

Even greater satisfaction is the interest of young students who want and seek practice, their knowledge and the first steps in the software development, programming and digitization segments.

โ€œThe purpose of organization of this Fair is to show that the University is very interested to hear the voice and demands of companies. We are very pleased that our academic product is very important for companies and this is evidenced by the massive participation of companies in this Fair. The Career Centre data show that in terms of unemployment of 22% in the state level, over 60% our newly graduated students are employedโ€ โ€“ said the Rector of the University in his speech at the opening of the Day.

The Fair was attended by over 80 well-known companies from the country and generally belong to the private sector, but the public sector was present as well, where many educational institutions and non-governmental organizations participated.

Lots of positive talks, good conversations with students, a lot of them wants to be part of our team, internship or later to be employed and regular part of the crew.

The rain outside, but warm sun inside, pleasant, good atmosphere, warm talks and positive attitude.

It’s really nice to be part of this Day, we all hope that the number of this kind of visits till the end of this year and next year will x10 and also the number of students we meet x100.

Our goal and representation of our company here is done and we are fully satisfied!

N47 Playground: Be up-to-date with the latest technologies and donโ€™t waste resources

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Our company is established from techies ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป for techies ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป and therefore we love โ™ฅ๏ธ technology. This passion brings us always forward ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธto learn the latest technologies and keeps us hungry for solving also our own issues with some cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž and fun-making technologies ๐Ÿคฉ.

To be an attractive technology focussed employer

A simple agency lifestyle with working on preselected technologies from clients for a long period can (and will) be boring ๐Ÿ˜• for every technology enthusiast. ๐Ÿงโ€โ™‚๏ธ To keep everybody on a high level of motivation ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป, we think a company has to develop his own spirit and in our case, these are solutions with the latest frameworks, technologies, languages, gadgets,โ€ฆ

How not to waste time and money?

But in agency life is hard to reserve some resources ๐Ÿ’ฐ just for a playground ๐ŸŽฎ or disposable products. Therefore you will need a setup, where you transform the need for discovering ๐Ÿ” new areas and costs ๐Ÿ’ฐ into an intelligent investigation ๐Ÿค‘. By this frame, we decided, that every outcome of our playground should result as a standalone solution either for our company or as a resealable product. By doing this, our new unit LABS ๐Ÿงช and researchers ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ are born.

How our unit LABS are working?

First steps into the new area!

In LABS ๐Ÿงช we get in the first touch with latest technologies and for sure we will face with all the issues โ˜„๏ธ, problems ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ, bugs ๐Ÿž, challenges ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐ŸŽค and we learn a lot about the bad sides of new technologies. If we overcome all this problems and troubles ๐Ÿง—๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธ, we move this new technology from our #playground to #weStandFor, which means that we are that good in that new technology and faced and solved all issues, that can occur. Now we are ready and stand for the latest technologies! ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿฅ‡
Thus, the outcome of an e.g. 3 months focus in LABS is a great knowledge about a brand new technology and a gorgeous new product or solution. I think we can be proud of both! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

The movement of technology from #playground to #weStandFor. Every stack has his own topic leader, so don’t miss changes and updates.

To manage this pipeline from playground ๐ŸŽฎ to the output โœ… we set up a backlog with great projects. Everybody in our company is free to add some projects to our backlog and come up with ideas ๐Ÿ’ก. In this accelerator program, we decide the sustainability and the potential of this suggested project ๐Ÿ“Š and evaluate the sexiness of the technologies ๐Ÿ™€. If we all agree with this internal pitch we plan and start having work and fun! ๐Ÿฅณ

What does this mean for our partners and clients?

With our LABS unit, we can offer you an overview and solutions by using the latest technologies ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป, which can give you more security ๐Ÿ”, to be an early adaptor ๐Ÿฅ‡ on your specific market or even save money ๐Ÿ’ต!

What does this mean for our techies and applicants?

At N47 you have great development possibilities ๐Ÿ“ˆ and learn always new technologies. You are not stuck into a technology for years ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ, that you miss new things. In our LABS unit and also with our Hackdayz you have the opportunity to develop awesome products and contribute a great environment for yourself and your teammates. Join us today in Zurich ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Konstanz ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช or Skopje ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ.

N47 a young company with great potential for developers

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Yes, this is exactly what you think from reading the title, in the next few paragraphs I am going to talk a lot about N47, not because I am an employee there and I have to, but because I am in love with the company I chose.

It all started when I decided that working in a big company doesn’t give me the joy that I want out of my professional life. If you spend 8 hours/day at work, it makes sense to find somewhere where you’ll feel like home, where you can develop & improve yourself professionally and personally ;).

I remember the day that I came to N47 for an interview and the first thing I heard in that interview was,

We are here to help you be the best & achieve your goals.

Fatih Korkmaz

I was like REALLY, that day I knew that this is the one for me. N47 as a company doesn’t search for geniuses, we search for team players because even if you don’t have the best players in the world, you can be the best as a team, and these guys are living proof of that:

What defines a team player?

DEMONSTRATES RELIABILITY

You can count on him/her to get the job done and deliver good performance.

COMMUNICATES CONSTRUCTIVELY

A team player speaks up and expresses his/her thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others and for the work of the team.

LISTENS ACTIVELY

Good listeners are essential for teams to function effectively.

SHARES OPENLY AND WILLINGLY

Team players are willing to share information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed.

EXHIBITS FLEXIBILITY

Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-changing situations.

Googliness

Now that we know what a team player is, let’s have a look at the company, I always call N47 Mini Google, because we have the Googliness.

Googliness means being focused, and striking a balance between short-term and long-term objectives. Being proactive. Google’s Code of Conduct says โ€œif something is broken, fix it.โ€ But being proactive also means anticipating moves ahead of time so to take action preemptively.

We can all agree that nobody can work for 8 hours straight, everyone needs a pause, for this, we have a lot to offer from space with PlayStation, Nintendo, foosball table, snacks, drinks, small gym…

More we are also open 24/7, you can come here on weekends study, chill on the terrace, grill…

Now that we talked about what defines a team player? how does N47 look like? And what we are searching for? What are you waiting for?

Contact us as fast as possible and get yourself a place in our train to achieve greatness.

Entrepreneurship: in touch with Saygin Yalcin.

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Who is Saygin Yalcin?

Saygin Yalcin was born in simple conditions in Bremen ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช and after his studies, he moved to Dubai ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช with a single backpack ๐ŸŽ’ but with a goal a vision to become a successful entrepreneur. ๐Ÿค” And he reached his goal! ๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸปWith sellanycar.com and a big deal (souq.com) he opened the door to become a successful entrepreneur. ๐Ÿคต๐Ÿผ Now he is awarded as the smartest and most influential man in UAE and still going on with his success. Even in social media, he became a brand and influencer.

What do we get out of the conference?

In 2019 we established a new unit in our company called LABS. ๐Ÿงช Because as a digital agency ๐Ÿ’ป we โ™ฅ๏ธ technology and we want to use our Labs as a playground ๐Ÿคผโ€โ™‚๏ธ for upcoming technologies and a platform for developing new products. We are not looking just for business solutions also for mainstream solutions. With the talk of Saygin, we want to check-out his thoughts, this though roadmap ๐Ÿ›ฃ and how he reached the top and motivate our employees to bring also to our company the next big thing.

What are our expectations?

Our expectation is to have also the view outside the daily B2B. To motivate our teammates to go for the next thing and to show that as a digital agency we are ready to change the world. To make simple manual processes automized and to have a bigger vision than just implementing tickets. Technologies are a tool to create awesome solutions and we want to create awesome solutions for businesses but also for people.

Travel Details:

When: ๐Ÿ“… Sa. 11. May 2019 19:00 โ€“ 23:00 MESZ
Where: ๐Ÿข Hugenottenhalle, 63263 Neu-Isenburg
Travel: Drive to Frankfurt by car ๐Ÿš— – not a big deal
Price: 99 EUR ๐Ÿ’ต per ticket

Want to meet there? Just contact us.

My expectations from UIKonf Berlin 2019

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After more than 6 years this will be my first conference. This time as a guest. I remember well the moments of my presentation in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2013. Stressful experience, a lot of sweat, with my suit that was one number larger than it should be. That was 2013 and the topics were economics and management. Now Iโ€™m an experienced iOS developer and going to Berlin for a conference that should give me new ideas for personal development, but also to give me directions how to think for the future challenges.

Conference generalities

The venue of the UIKonf is RADIALSYSTEM V in Berlin.

From 26-29 May 2019 in Berlin, some serious iOS developers will come from big companies that will present their experiences in the iOS World.

The motto of the conference is simple:

โ€œUIKonf is an independent conference for serious iOS developersโ€

Speakers

For this conference, the organizers decided to have only female speakers. All will come from big companies and with big experiences. We have female iOS developers who work or worked for Uber, Slack, LinkedInโ€ฆ

Part of the speakers

Costs

The travel expenses are the cheapest for this conference viewing from my perspective. Fortunately, we Macedonians have direct flight connection to Berlin. The cost is around 150โ‚ฌ.

The ticket to attend the conference costs 539โ‚ฌ.

They are also offering free tickets to members of underrepresented groups in tech (this includes disabled people and generally people who are unable to attend without financial assistance).

The accommodation is something that is not completed from my side. The hotels near the conference building costs around 100โ‚ฌ per day.

Schedule

This conference has an excellent organization.

The first day 26 May is the day for social meetings, time for visiting places in Berlin, acknowledge the other attendants and will finish with a kick-off party where the people will take their badges.

Next two days 27 and 28 May are the days when the speakers will expose their presentations. 30 minutes per presentation with question and answers part of the end of each presentation.

29 May is the last day. This is unofficial part of the conference and the people can meet with the sponsors, dissect code problems in lab sessions with experienced experts, signup for a workshop or just hang out and code with new friends.

Expectations

I have big expectations. The names of the speakers, their experience, the companies they worked for are guarantees for something big and something good.

Iโ€™m going by myself and expect to meet new people, make new friendships, share experiences.

Berlin as a city is something new for me. I had heard very good things of Berlin. Good parties, restaurants, parks, two different sides of the city. I have friends that live/lived there.

With the correct size of my suit this time – it should be a good experience in my life.

Who we are? A recap of our joint venture

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On our website, you can find a lot of information about what we are doing, what our expertise is and how we can help to solve your problems. But we also want to let you look behind the scenes: Therefore, on our culture site, you can have a look what we are currently doing in behind, what we want to achieve and how we want to care about ourselves, our employees, too. And when we play with open cards anyway, maybe itโ€™s interesting to you how it all began and how we came until here. Our vision is to be a company in a glasshouse. ๐Ÿข

So, here we go – this is our story

It started when we were still students ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“ at the University of Constance Germany. We started to work on tiny little projects ๐Ÿค“, doing things like a website for a barbershop or a little online shop. The first projects were just some hundred bucks worth – but we were proud of it ๐Ÿ˜Ž! With our first income, we started to open our first โ€œofficeโ€ – ok, it was more like a garage ๐Ÿš— or basement. But we started to get entrepreneurs, got some new projects, something bigger and it worked quite well, so we were able to hire our first employee in 2015 and moved into a “real office”, the starting shot for us to grow. Since it was clear to us that we want to have our own place, keep our free work, inspired by the working groups of the university – and give other talents a place to grow with us and also shape the company.

In 2016, we were grown to 6 employees, at this stage, we saw that we could need some support, some manpower but also seeing how difficult it was to find developers, so we started to get our first experience with offshore companies๐ŸŒ. And, as we took the entrepreneurship in, we thought ok, why not establishing our own company in another country: So, therefore we opened an office in Skopje Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ with just one employee at first. You can read more about it in our blog post: IT nearshore in Skopje: Turning Fail Story to Success Story.

In 2017 we made it grow up to 12 people ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป, thanks to the University and Fachhochschule in Constance, where we found some very talented developers helping us to grow. But by becoming a bigger team we also had to deal with different challenges: How to deal with the growing administrative work, financial stuff, management and things like that? How to reach the next level into professionalization and therefore make some decisions: How should we go on with our company in Skopje? Close it or invest in it? How should we handle our opportunities in Switzerland?

Lots of topics, one after another. To focus on our core business, we externalized our finances ๐Ÿ’ฐ and some of the administrational stuff ๐Ÿ—„. Our point here – letโ€™s make professionals take care of that and we focus on what we are professionals in. We also created an internal position for project & business development ๐Ÿ“ˆ.

As the topic of nearshore/offshore gets more and more important, we decided to go on more professionally and started to hire a Store Manager in Skopje. We followed up on this on a separate blog post IT nearshore in Skopje: Turning Fail Story to Success Story. but without telling too much, our manager did a great job so far and built up a team of professionals very very quickly.

In September 2018 we also founded our office in Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ. Our goal here was to work for clients in Switzerland, have seniors near the clients, architects or lead developers who can take over the responsibility for conception and realization of projects and also organize and delegate work to Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช or Skopje ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ.

In the 2nd half of 2018 with the fusion to N47 AG, we got two very experienced guys on board and made a big step to expand our expert know-how and follow our ambitious goals – growing in manpower but also in culture, together as a seamless team, as an IT agency.

How we will do this in 2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ9๏ธโƒฃ, what our goals are and how we want to achieve this will be shown and documented on our culture site. Stay tunedโ€ฆ

To be always up to date you can follow us on twitter, instagram or linkedin… see you there!

My journey at N47 – From my bachelor thesis to building up and being part of a start-up

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How everything began…

Everything had started when I was looking for a company where I could write my bachelor thesis. Although you have plenty of choice of companies, especially in Stuttgart and the surrounding area, but it also had to fit with the topic. Like so many choices in life, I also wanted to make that decision with my friends. As a result, N47’s offer was to write about the topic: Evaluating open-source and commercial e-commerce solutions.

That was also the beginning of my journey in the N47 world.

Hiatus of one year…

After graduation ๐ŸŽ“, I took a break and travelled ๐Ÿš— with my family ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง around the world ๐ŸŒ I think anybody can put himself in my position. After years of school and university, a hiatus is an obligation especially when you are already married and have children.
It was also the opportunity to spend time with my two little girls ๐Ÿ’ž.

My Comeback…

During this time N47 had developed further and already pulled some small orders ashore. This was also the opportunity for me to join the N47 world again.

Initially, I did an internship, where I did some content management tasks. After the internship, I worked as a freelancer for N47 and served as a test manager. After a few months, everything became more serious, so I took a permanent position and spent a long time doing my test manager activity.

N47 became more and more successful and it was time to get new employees on board. Now my role changed to Team Leader, where I took responsibility for the newbies. Furthermore, I was also on the road as an HR manager ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป and I was doing all the tasks that had to be done in this regard. Including recruiting new people: writing job advertisements, publishing on various platforms, as well as at universities around, conducting interviews with candidates and looking after all the processes that were in connection with employees.

I took Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed’s following sentence to heart: Take the job no one else wants to do, so I mastered all the challenges that a start-up entailed. The world in a start-up is not like in a large concern, where you can expect organization and structure. You have to build up everything from scratch and thus not to be good to do tasks which no one else is ready to do.

What I enjoy(ed) the most…

Most interesting in my journey were the business trips to Skopje ๐Ÿ›ซ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ and workshops we managed with the management board in various countries ๐ŸŒ. We literally locked ourselves up for a few days and worked daily for over 1โƒฃ6โƒฃ hours. The goal has always been to become more successful. In other words:

  • How does N47 become more attractive to developers?
  • What do we have to change or make additional, so that employees will be happier to be part of the N47 family?
  • How does N47 become a big competitor in the IT services sector?

Looking back now, I realize how proud we can be of what we’ve all reached together. We are now represented in 3โƒฃ countries (Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช, Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ). We are a team with more than 2โƒฃ5โƒฃ members and serve several major clients in Switzerland๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ.

The show must go on…

The challenge is not yet finished. We continue to fight ๐ŸฅŠ since our goal is to become an attractive employer and get cool/interesting/challenging projects in the IT sector ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป in near future.

It’s all about teamwork, creativity and cultural change

Reading Time: 6 minutes

People of different religions and cultures live side-by-side in almost every part of the world, and most of us have overlapping identities which unite us in very different groups.
We can love what we are, without hating what- and who we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings

Kofi Annan

Over the past few years, the field and management sector of major companies have a big problem of how to arrange the days of their employees, something that will give a bit of strong light and positivity, which will avoid monotony and on the other hand give a great impetus to their creativity and vision, much greater motivation and strong spirit in overcoming further obstacles and challenges. The problem is even greater if companies are stationed in several locations in different countries so that communication is interconnected constantly through technical apps, almost virtual, simply a voice, perhaps a shy picture or video call and of course mostly text and chat conversations.

N47 locations: Switzerland, Germany and Macedonia.

It is very often the case that the company hierarchy is a list of members of different cultures, nationalities so that it becomes an even more difficult task of organizing team buildings. But on the other hand, it is one of the reasons why that makes them special.

The differences are part of us, the differences are making us so special, and of course differences, we know well and we have become accustomed to it.

Differences – make us special and unique.

Team building, joint team events or hacking term in the IT industry are part of every company agenda, happens every year and they often happen a few times per year.

Itโ€™s a chemistry thing, itโ€™s the time where you can share your points of view, your thoughts, your personality, your creativity, your vision, itโ€™s the time when you are not representing just yourself, but also your culture, your country.

But, the idea of creating an event, that will bring together โ€“ Team Building and Hackathon event?  Yes, we did it and we arranged and created. Almost one week, gathering the team together. The Family!

24 hours of work, pure juice of 100% creativity, dedication and hard work.  Commitment always brings success, and YES some of the team after the deadline and voting for the best team and the best project made, they had a shootout with the Champs Titles and Presents. Absence Hub – Resource Guru and Absence.io connector TEAM did it, they collected the votes and drove all the way through like Real Madrid in Champions League.

Yes, it was worth it! Title goes to the winners!

The event was a success, the employees loved it. And all of them are sharing the same opinion, maybe some time and somewhere everything is not 100% perfect, but even the misses are part of that. People create, sometimes in the process of creating always is something missing, but in the end, the finish line and the title – thatโ€™s all that matters!

Final conclusion โ€“ 100% success and thatโ€™s what all IT companies need, at least once, but it’s good to be twice or even more per year.  Itโ€™s chemistry, it is fun, it is releasing the creativity inside all of the members of the company that doesnโ€™t have a chance before to describe themselves with their own words.
It’s a fact that programmers find Hackathons the perfect venue to unleash their ideas, it’s often that these kinds of events produce ingenious products or ideas, or even they show the real potential, creativity, talents of employees. It’s an easy challenge, but the benefits of it can be great for the organization, company or network. And together with team building events, it’s double more fun and joy for the team.

The last moments after the end of the event, the euphoria of the faces of all colleagues, but also a bit of grief over why it was all too short, everyone wants more time together. But that’s the idea and motivation for the next event. Where, how, when, what’s next? Give your thoughts and ideas, let’s take a look and decide together. ะœaybe somewhere on the sea, fishing, hiking, or mountain and skiing? Or on some great concert with DJs or maybe Stones or U2?

Afterwards, travelling back to home town, sitting in the aeroplane and thinking about the past few days, wow it happened all so fast and the days flew like a fast cigarette breakโ€ฆ

The A-team surrounded with lots of positive energy and good memories. And the question is what next, where to go next, what should we arrange next?

I think, whatever, just bring it on baby!

IT Nearshore in Skopje: Turning Fail Story to Success Story

Reading Time: 6 minutes

After a successful start into the business in 2014, we wanted to offer our clients a wider portfolio. As you might know in IT businesses โ€žchange & developmentโ€œ is a main topic and if you stuck in development, you will die. ๐Ÿ’€

Beginning of 2015, we discussed about the establishment of an own nearshore company. Therefore we had a lot of questions, where we found also the answers and finally decided to establish a nearshore development company in Skopje. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Here is the journey of establishing our nearshore and turning a Fail Story to a Success Story. ๐Ÿ™Œ

What are the benefits of an own nearshore company

  • We have the full control of developing our own experts ๐ŸŽ›๏ธ
  • We can feel what support the developer needs, instead of just body lease a resource ๐Ÿค—
  • Our team gets international and the know how exchange grows ๐ŸŒ
  • We can externalize specific expertises and create a well running work force, like testing units, front-end / back-end development units or mobile development units
  • We can offer our clients lower rates than Swiss experts ๐Ÿ’ฐ

After a detailed market analysis our thoughts of establishing an own nearshore company where affirmed! โœ…

But why in Skopje?


Skopje is a start-up city on the rise ๐Ÿ“ˆ. It is the capital of Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ and the main point of the Macedonian start-up ecosystem. In the last few years the membership has grown surprisingly fast and younger people are becoming more familiar with start-ups and are willing in innovations and inventions. ๐Ÿข
There where also more reasons like:

  • 80% of the young population speaks English fluently ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ
  • Skopje has a great infrastructure and is well connected to the rest of the European cities, especially Zurich ๐ŸŒ
  • Direct access to students and a lot of IT universities ๐ŸŽ“
  • Financial advantages like lower salaries, living expenses and transportation costs, also low taxes ๐Ÿ’ฐ
  • And Skopje already welcomes start-ups with communities ๐Ÿข

Kickoff…

So we flew to Skopje โœˆ๏ธ to establish our business there. It was the first time, visiting Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ but everything felt so homelike and tiny ๐Ÿ . After a very good preparation with the lawyers before we could finish all our tasks within few days. As we were back, we had established our nearshore company Digital Natives DOOEL โœ…, found an accountant โœ…, rented an office โœ…, bought some office furniture โœ… and employed our first developer there โœ….

It was surprisingly fast and we couldnโ€™t even believe it, how easy and fast it was! We felt like Flash!

โ€ฆ ok and we got a wheel clamp ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š, because the parking situation in Skopje is horrible. But also this situation was fixed very quickly! ๐Ÿ™‚

But we had a bigger issue


For two years the productivity of our nearshore was not satisfying ๐Ÿ˜”. We were concentrated to our business in Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช and Switzerland๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ. So it was hard to us to develop our business there in Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ. Even, to have a company with just one developer afraid new developers to join, maybe we where too small? ๐Ÿšถ

In 2018 we did a big change, we stand in front of the questions โ€žWas this the dream of an own nearshore? Is this the end of the nearshore journey?โ€œ No, we faced with the problems and focussed on the growth in Skopje ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ. Now it was the time to turn the Fail Story to a Success Story!!!

Roll up your sleeves…

Our first task was to find a store manager ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ, who is responsible for finding well educated and motivated developers ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป. Also he had to convince the developers of our vision and strategy. His main skill was to have a great IT network and the ability to convince the candidate with our story. We had to live the same dream ๐Ÿ’ญ and work hard for it ๐Ÿ’ฆ. Within few months we integrated the full Skopje team ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ into our projects and the environment of our client. We changed our office to a bigger place and in autumn 2018 we reached our goal:

Now we have a team of high class experts in the field of back-end, front-end and mobile development. We are up and running successfully ๐Ÿ™Œ. The know how and physical exchanges have grown. In our Hackdayz 2018 event we where all together and it was great to see how everybody knows each other, even if some guys hadnโ€™t seen each other physically before. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

Team at team lunch and our team is still growing… we will need bigger restaurants ๐Ÿ™‚

Our cultural change program is well accepted from everybody and we can feel even now the positive effect of our program. Our goal was to establish a seamless team with Swiss๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, German ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช and Macedonian ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ developers, who speak the same language โค๏ธ and work on the same project with the same level and vision in different locations. ๐ŸŒ

With this success, we can offer our clients a well working model package of Swiss๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, German ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช and Macedonian ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ developers for fair and low rates. The client is happy and we are happy. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We have seen that is important to have loyal team mates ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ, who speak the same language ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป, feel the same spirit and have the same vision โค๏ธ! And we achieved that by integrating everybody in the same environment and having an open ear ๐Ÿ‘‚ to the needs of anybody.

The success of a great team!