Size of the company

Between two and six people. The company is small on purpose. We offer our consulting services while working on our products e.g PMRobot

Key people

  1. Jason Hanley - Founder + Manager + Developer
  2. Travis Gerhardt - Developer (2008-2012)
  3. Hassen Ben Tanfous - Lead Developer (2009-)

Role and responsibilities

  1. Development

    1. Design new solutions and maintain legacy code e.g CTMS
    2. Develop in-house tools to improve our workflow e.g Error Logger, Task Scheduler, Git scripts etc.
  2. Management

    1. Document known unknowns and mentor new team members
    2. Do regular code reviews
  3. Communicate with clients, understand & solve their problems and keep them happy

Advantages

  1. Time management & result oriented environment

    As long as tickets were solved and features were implemented in time, members had full control over their schedule. Also, all work was done remotely and we did not have an office.

    At Syllogistic, I found my own balance. I cannot stress how vital this part was. It allowed me to explore other things; from open-source projects to studying new topics.

  2. Passive communication

    Usually, when all work is done remotely, people end up using active communication tools (phone, chat, anything that requires your immediate attention). At Syllogistic, we mostly used passive communication tools (emails, SMS etc.). We kept track of every decision and every piece of communication. We only used the phone when emails were no longer helpful (brainstorming, explaining a problem etc.)

  3. Great people

    People I worked with were logical, pragmatic and had no ego. Decisions were made objectively. Even when we disagreed and argued, we listened to different perspectives and came up with solutions that were in the interest of the project (except for highly subjective topics)

    The clients were also great. One major project I worked on was CTMS where I collaborated with Stacey Wanlin.

  4. Great clients

    Overall, our clients were great. They were educated, knew what they wanted, made decisions to create business value, provided feedback on time and were good communicators

  5. Efficiency

    We constantly questioned our workflow, tools and solutions. We iterated not only on projects but on our internals processes. Build/Measure/Learn. I rarely felt like I was doing busy work and we always tried to automate things and make the experience more pleasant and the process more efficient

  6. Comfortable environment

    A major disadvantage of working in an office are the constant interruptions and background noises. It was great to focus on work, get things done and move on.

Disadvantages

Social aspect

We had people in different cities or time zones. We managed to collaborate and get things done but to be honest, the social aspect was a disaster. The work required a certain personality type. Although we exchanged emails, we could easily spend 5-6 hours a day working alone and feeling isolated.

Socializing had to be done elsewhere and after work. Although we did have annual symposiums and it was great meeting the people (developers & clients) you spent months/years working with, we failed to replicate what we experienced at the symposiums (talking, sharing an activity & environment).

I learned more about the people I worked with by meeting them in person for one day than I did by working with them remotely for years.

Things I learned

  1. Communication skills

    At Syllogistic, I got a chance to significantly improve my communication skills. Writing objectively, being concise and processing information

  2. Methodology and problem/solving

    We worked on complex code-bases and had to maintain legacy code.

  3. Myself

    Time management, exploration and incentive when working remotely or alone

Why I joined?

Was originally contacted in 2008 by Jason but I was busy with bismo. And again in 2009.

Because of previous experiences, I was not interested in an office environment and Syllogistic was a good match from the start

Why I left?

Not yet.



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Published

10 November 2012

Category

notes

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