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Ecetera employeehandbook: The Flat Planet


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Welcome to flat planet...I'd like to share with you a world, a flat planet with 100+ souls called Ecetera Pty Ltd. We recently created & released an Employee Handbook that embodies our way to empower …

Welcome to flat planet...I'd like to share with you a world, a flat planet with 100+ souls called Ecetera Pty Ltd. We recently created & released an Employee Handbook that embodies our way to empower individual & collective freedom, breaking away from pyramidal alienation. This is pretty much our conception of adaptability...and yes it works..

If you have 1 min or 2...have a glance and share your thoughts

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  • 1. The Ecetera Employee HandbookHow to survive when you don’t have a boss but have a bigbrain instead---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 1 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 2. Dedication---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 2 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 3. ____ ___ _____/ |_ ______________/ __ _/ ___/ __ __/ __ _ __ __ ___/ __ ___/| | ___/ | | // __ ____ >___ >___ >__ | ___ >__| (____ // / / / /Table of Contents1. Welcome to Planet Ecetera2. Our Vision3. Your first days...4. Your Future5. Your Performance6. It’s About Respect7. Your Safety & Security8. What else?The Gift of CodeNavigationThis handbook is your navigation tool for your first steps on Planet Ecetera.It’s intended to help you find the right information, meet the inhabitants,smell the vision and taste the values. We hope this will get you excited aboutyour future on this planet.Along the way, we’ll point you to the special sauce that makes us, well, specialand some of the less exciting but equally important stuff in the EceteraEmployee Technical Guidelines.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 3 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 4. A word from the CEOIn 2004 we realised how exciting it was solving the big hairy problems thatcompanies were experiencing developing and deploying web applications.We then had the awesome idea to combine the latest and greatest software fromaround the world with the smartest people we could find.Finding the technology was easy.Finding great people was always going to be a bit trickier.We needed to create an environment that would foster the specialist skillsrequired to solve specific problems, empower people to do good work, encouragethem to be brave and honest with customers...and protect them from theconsequences.Then we needed to bring people into this environment who were smart enough andcurious enough to master the skills, proactive enough to make stuff happen andwilling to back themselves in the pursuit of outstanding customer value.Ecetera is a privately held company with over one hundred employeesheadquartered in Sydney with offices in Melbourne and Brisbane.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 4 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 5. 1. Welcome to Planet EceteraCongratulations on making the decision to join our world.We hope you like the idea of having the freedom to work on projects you arereally passionate about - we have a unique approach to the way we work to helpour customers sleep at night.As you already know, you’ll be working with a lot of smart people. You’re alsoaware that you’ll be working with some incredibly interesting technology. Youwill be making a big difference to the performance of our clients’ missioncritical web and enterprise applications.We want to give you a smart tool to guide you around our wonderful world...because you’re worth it...remember everything about your brain is sexy :o)---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 5 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 6. 2. Our VisionWe view our world in a very different way. We’re on a mission to affect positivechange in our corner of the universe.We have the power to analyse old problems with innovative thinking and that’swhy you’re here.So what does this mean?Ecetera assists companies with technology performance by focusing on two keycapabilities:1. measurement of performance in all aspects of technology delivery2. optimisation and continuous improvement in technology delivery---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 6 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 7. Our PurposeOur purpose is to rid the world of badly behaving business applications.Our focus is on customer outcomes. We’re helping organisations serve theircustomers by improving application performance; enhancing user experience.Being customer-obsessed gives us the edge on our competitors and helps ourclients sleep well at night, but it also gives us our sense of purpose.Our philosophy underpins our core values which embodies our culture. Thisrepresents our brand, our people, our approach and our vision of the universeand how we can make a difference.We identify and fix application performance issues from code to customer by:● providing pre-sales consulting to define problem sources● demonstrating proof of concept solutions● providing application performance education and training● defining application performance issues through systems analysis● designing solutions with our clients● supporting application performance optimisation solutionsDoing this makes our customers better, stronger and faster. And don’t forget TheRobots quote:“Work It Harder Make It Better, Do It Faster, Makes Us stronger, More Than EverHour After, Our Work Is Never Over”.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 7 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 8. Our UniquenessWe are determined to make a real difference to the way enterprise applicationsprovide benefits to businesses and customers.It’s here where our true points of difference lie. It’s where our (cape) crusadingspirit comes alive and where our passion for innovation and partnershipinspires change. We work together to deliver scalable business applications fora new generation.Along the way, we’ve come across like-minded people who understand theimportance of this goal...You.That’s why the second part of our crusade is focused on attracting and retainingthe right talent and developing their full potential.On our planet, we’ve thrown out conventional structures, frameworks andhierarchies. We discovered early on that the world is flat and everyone can bethe master of their own destiny.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 8 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 9. FreedomvilleThe capital city of Planet Ecetera is Freedomville. It’s like Farmville butwithout all the clicking and in-app purchasing.+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds withoutprejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with theirown customs, privileges or beliefs. This state of mind is not common but itis essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt tobecome worse than useless.”Leo Tolstoy+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +Freedomville is a city that harnesses talent, encourages creativity andpromotes professionalism. All doors are open, all ideas are welcome and allprojects are outcome focused.In Freedomville there are a lot of cool suburbs, Techton, Collaboration Station,Entrepreneur West, Innovation Town, Motivation South and Autonomy Park East.In Freedomville, there’s a geeknasium to exercise your mind, a Psych Ward calledHawk Vs Badger, a coal face to slog away at and an asylum called Ivy or Cookiewhere everyone knows your name.While individuals are great we emphasise accountability and collectiveresponsibility. There’s no need for a command and control - we like to foster acommon sense approach and we encourage shared responsibility.If you do get lost here, someone will always be around to help you in the rightdirection. Like that time when we went to the wrong bar...another time perhaps.P.S. the prison in Freedomville is home to badly behaving, unreliable anddifficult to change business applications. Some of these applications arerepeat offenders who need a good talking to.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 9 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 10. Traditional management models are hierarchies that use command and control toenforce authority; decision-making power is concentrated at the top of theorganisational pyramid. Carrot and stick incentives are used to motivate andorders are issued to be carried out by subordinates.Sociopaths and clueless losers drive the company forward...a tempting modelaccording to the Gervais principle... hmmmm...not really !*In case you wondered: Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promoteover-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths,and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.We challenge this traditional approach, welcome to the 21st-century! Thebusiness environment here is characterised by rapid change and flexibility.The inverted pyramid is a metaphor for a reversal of traditional managementpractices. Our employees who are closest to our clients are placed at the top andour functional heads at the bottom supporting our client facing superheros.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 10 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 11. Our people are empowered with decision-making authority, accountability andfreedom of action. The functional leader becomes a facilitator spearheading ateam effort. Overall organisational performance becomes faster, more adaptableand more effective. So we think it’s a pretty good environment in which to workand flourish.Our Values1.     Intelligence – we’re all about smart people working with smart technology toprovide smart solutions. We love what we do and that enthusiasm drives usforward.2.     Customer Centricity – we focus on the best outcomes for our customers. Thismeans our customers are ready to buy our expertise and our solutions based onour reputation.3.     Accountability – we’re trusted partners and we take real pride in the service weoffer. It’s tailored to suit the specific needs of our customers and we standbehind the integrity of our solutions.+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +“Accountability breeds response-ability” - Mr S. Covey+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +4.     Innovation – Eceterians love to innovate and always look to improve anduncover better, stronger, harder, faster solutions...our partners have the samephilosophy.5.     Passion – we want to make a difference. This means being excited about sharing,learning and growing. We’re passionate about technology and problem solving.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 11 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 12. 6. Open Minded---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 12 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 13. Are we not (wo)men? We are geeks.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 13 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 14. What we love :-)We love coffee but we love technology more...   (  )   (   )  )      ) (   )  (  (      ( )  (    ) )      _____________     <_____________> ___     |             |/ _      |               | | |     |               |_| |  ___|             |___/ / Soy ___________/ Cap  _______________________/What makes us sad :-(Spam makes us sad but slow applications make us sadder...=========================================| ,dP""8a "888888b,  d8b    "888b  ,888" || 88b   "  888  d88 dPY8b    88Y8b,8888  || `"Y8888a 888ad8PdPaaY8b   88 Y88P888  || a    Y88 888    dP    Y8b  88  YP 888  || `"8ad8Pa888a  a88a;*a888aa88a   a888a ||                ;*;;;;*;;;*;;;*,,       ||        _,­­­:::;*;;;*;;;*;;*d;,     ||     .­      ::::::::::;*;;*;dII;     ||   . ,<<<,.  :::::::::::::::ffffff`.   ||  / ,<<<<<<<<,::::::::::::::::fffffI,  || .,<<<<<<<<<<I;:::::::::::::::ffffKIP", || |<<<<<<<<<<dP;,?>;,::::::::::fffKKIP | || ``<<<<<<<dP;;;;;>>>>>;,::::fffKKIPf  ||   `mYMMV?;;;;;;;>>>>>>>>>,YIIPP"` /  ||   `. "":;;;;;;;;;i>>>>>>>>>>>>>,  ,   ||     `­._``":;;;sP`"?>>>>>=========.   ||           ­­..._______...|<[Viagra]|   ||                          `=========   |=========================================---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 14 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 15. PhilosophyWe actively encourage collaboration, learning, sharing ideas and solutions.Our customers trust us because we recommend solutions that are in their bestinterest .That’s also why we leverage innovative technologies to provide “best of breed”technologies and services.In our experience, smart people don’t want to be constrained by too many rulesand regulations. They also don’t want to have to navigate any unnecessarybarriers between them and their customers.We’ve thrown out the rulebook and instead we have guiding principles (inspiredby Mr D. Pink) and a philosophy which empowers our team to partner withcustomers and make the universe better.AutonomyThe desire for self direction that fosters engagement and freedom.We recognise and acknowledge that you’re already an intelligent,self-motivated individual. So we want to give you the tools, the support, andthe encouragement to realise your full potential.We figure you are the closest to the problem you are working on, so you are bestplaced to work out how to solve it. If you need help with something you can getit.+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement”Mr D. Pink+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +We leverage the desire for autonomy with our self-approving vacation system.We think that you know more about how your absence will affect yourcommitments than anyone else so we don’t need to hire a bunch of middle managersto figure it out.It’s also why you’re given the freedom to choose projects and solutions thatyou’re passionate about and that will make your customers love you forever.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 15 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 16. MasteryThe urge of getting better at what you do. If you have an itch, scratch it. Smartpeople are driven and constantly wanting to learn and improve.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 16 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 17. 3. Your first days...Being a new kid can be daunting - you may think nervously about your know the one where you felt like you were the bait for theshark feeding frenzy...please don’t.To guide and support your first steps with us, we have a 90 Day IntegrationProgram so you can make friends, understand your role and contribute asquickly as possible.Rather than teaching you underwater breathing techniques, the HR Overlordswill spend time with you, walking you through the integration plan as well asmaking sure you have shark repellant.i) Say “Yo” to your BuddyIn your first few days at Ecetera, you’ll meet your buddy, they’ll be the personwho’ll show you around, introduce you to the coffee shop and the rest of the teamand maybe take you to Cookie or the Ivy.They will also be able to answer most of your questions to provide an insightinto to some of the exciting projects that are in play.ii) Say “G’day” to the TeamDuring the first few weeks, you’ll get to meet the rest of the team but with themajority of our “caped crusaders” out in the field, we’ll do our best to get youinvolved in as many catch-up sessions as possible. You can put a face (or voice)---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 17 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 18. to a name and start building relationships.iii) Say “Hi” to our ClientsWe work at the enterprise level so our clients are household names. Our websitedescribes the solutions we have delivered, so check fordetails. We are a critical component of the teams at Target, Telstra, ANZ.Note: Target may be pronounced Targe-a en Francais - cue Insurance Commercialhere.iv) Say “Hello” to our PartnersWe pursue partnerships with similarly smart companies who have the best ofbreed technologies and strive to create strong relationships at the highestlevel with leading international vendors like:● AppDynamics● Azul Systems● CA Technologies● CollabNet● Compuware have acquired dynaTrace and Gomez● DynaTrace● Gomez● Terracotta● Strangeloop was recently acquired by Radware● Splunk---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 18 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 19. 4. Your FutureLonger term, we’ll look to support you in your career aspirations and help youwith further training and development opportunities to allow you to becomethe best you can be. We’ll also try to ensure that you have a lot of fun along theway.If technology is what gets you out of bed every morning you have come to theright place. In addition, you can contribute your expertise across a range offorums including our blog, case studies, white papers and feature & articles.If you’re joining us in a non-technical role we still love you and we know youhave the skills that geeks don’t have. We’ll ensure you have the training andsupport to develop your skills.If you’re a geek, a freak or just chic we want to look after you.Look at you go!It’s an exciting time in a kid’s life when they are finally able to go it alone. Yetwe all know that it won’t be plain sailing. There will be bumps and bruises,mishaps and mistakes and lots of lessons learnt (hopefully).It’s no different here. We’ll look to give you the tools, the support and theencouragement to be the best you can be. But we recognise that there will bechallenges and mistakes. And we’re fine about that because we expect them. Youprobably do too.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 19 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 20. 5. Your PerformanceYour CareerWe begin by working through our super-duper 90 day Integration Program -(patent pending) so we all understand the how to get the most value from theprocess.Some of this may happen at the office or at the coffee shop while wondering whythe muffins aren’t so good this week. However, trust us, the review will happen.In the same way we optimise system performance, we want to optimise yourperformance. We also encourage continuing education in all forms. Tell us whatyou need !RewardsWe want you with us because you want to be a part of what we are building.Making sure you have the ability to pay your bills, get a nice haircut, maybelearn the trombone is all part of the service. Salary and career developmentaside, we have some other pretty neat ways to say well done when we really,really, really like what you are doing.Kudos to You!Kudos is our way of recognising achievement that’s awarded through Yammer.Who decides who to give Kudos ? You do, I do, we all do.You see someone doing a great job ? Give Kudos !---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 20 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 21. 6. It’s All About RespectWhile genius is often flawed, smart people have certain common attributes thatenable them to work really well as a team, which in turn support the bestcustomer outcomes. Here at Ecetera, we operate on the principle of respect. Webelieve it’s the first and last word in any Code of Conduct worth its salt.+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +“Respect is a two-way street; if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it” -R.G. Risch+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +We spend a lot of time working on customer sites as representatives of theEcetera team, so obviously it’s incredibly important we operate at all timeswith the utmost professionalism. We simply expect that you accord your clientsand colleagues every respect and courtesy that you would hope to receiveyourself. That’s it. The rest we think you’re smart enough to work out yourself.7. Your Safety & SecurityIn our experience, smart people are also responsible people. So just like youwear a seatbelt on your bike or a helmet when driving your car, so you’ll alsoneed to be vigilant when at work and identify any health and safety hazards.Unfortunately, Dad jokes are an occupational hazard not covered by WorkersComp.In the Melbourne Office, we also have a bike storage area with lockers on theground floor and showers also located on the ground floor and on level two.8. What else? Being an AmbassadorIf you’ve reached this far in the document you may have realised that we have a(bad) sense of humour as well as a philosophy of employing smart people with apenchant for using quotes to illustrate our ethos.Predictable cliché:+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +“An organisation’s most important assets are its people”+ ------------------------------------------------------------ +....The Right PeopleIn order to sustain our success, our culture, our sense of fun and our passion;it’s imperative that we continue to hire the smartest people who view the worldin a similar way.That we continue to hire people like you. This is where you come in.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 21 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 22. You are Ecetera’s best ambassador. You are the best person to carry our brandinto the market and speak of our unique approach and joie de vivre. Who betterto introduce other clever souls to Ecetera who have similar values to us? Whoelse truly understands the kind of smart people we look for than our currentvalued team members?So we encourage you to stay alert to potential tech savvy “caped crusaders” outthere who are looking to join an organisation which values innovation,entrepreneurialism, autonomy and a focus on customer outcomes; anorganisation like Ecetera.ConclusionThe important thing is that we continue to learn and develop so that we don’trepeat the same mistakes but move on to new and bigger projects and challenges.Our success to date is peppered with mistakes and lessons learnt. Our culturecontinues to evolve as we grow, new clients are discovered and partnershipschange.We also recognise that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure we stay anemployer of choice for smart people. There will always be frustrations aboutcertain processes and our commitment is to resolve them collaboratively.We’re not perfect but change starts with a conversation, engagement anddedication.---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 22 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 23. AcknowledgmentA big thank you to Mr D. Pink who helped us gather our thoughts in a structuredway.Particular thumb up to Zenco Effiong who kick started the imagination of thisnew world and adventure.Another big thank you to Elise Andrew (IFL Science) who inspires us daily.Thanks to Shahed Syed for the Batman physics lesson and Hugh MacLeod for theSociopathic advice.Many thanks to Ricky Gervais for steering us clear of the pyramid.Reading ListWe’d like to encourage you to e-read some ebooks or, if you insist, some actualbooks that are thought provoking, inspiring and bloody interesting:● Drive, Dan Pink● From Good to Great, Jim Collins● The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien● A Hacker Manifesto, McKenzie Wark● The Cuckoos Egg, Clifford Stoll● The Inmates Are Running The Asylum, Alan Cooper● First, Break All The Rules, Marcus Buckingham● The Hacker Crackdown, Bruce Sterling● Getting Naked, Patrick Lencioni● To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink● Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being,Martin E. P. Seligman● The Future of Management, Gary HamelWe’d also strongly encourage you not to read the following:● Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, George Lucas● Elvis Favourite Recipes, Elvis● The Silmarillion, JRR Tolkien---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 23 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 24. Appendix: The Gift of Code//import*;public class WordCount//// ************************************************//// Author Unknown or Anon or someone else//// Handy: Counts number of words in a text file//// Which everyone needs for reading and stuff//// Not stoeln from teh intawebs at all//// ************************************************//{// code in java.lang or glass houses shouldnt throw exceptionspublic static void main (String[] args) throws IOException{// badly described int vars for char index and Number of Words foundint i, NumOfWords = 0;// string vars for Scanned Line, file name and stream fluffersString ScanLine, inputStr = "";BufferedReader inputFile, br;// char var for the next character in the Scanned Line which rhymeschar NextChar;// bool vars for whether Start of Line or Looking for Next Word// both initialized to true at beginning of each scanned line// because its true because I said soboolean StartOfLine, LookingForNextWord;// display intro message and prompt for file nameSystem.out.println("This program was definitely not stolen and it counts thenumber of words in a text file");////////////////////////////// really well commented lineSystem.out.println("Enter File Name:");// get the string file name from user and hope they dont use a rude wordbr = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader (;inputStr = br.readLine();// when I wrote this, only God and I understood what I was doing// now, God only knowsSystem.out.println("Reading file named " + inputStr);inputFile = new BufferedReader(new FileReader (inputStr));// get first line of file to start, where else would you start---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 24 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera
  • 25. ScanLine = inputFile.readLine();// if we do not have a NULL, we can continue reading// if we do have a NULL you are looking in the wrong place// now I’m not sure if we need this, but too scared to delete// why does NULL always shout?while(ScanLine != null){// initialize bools to true// we ARE looking for next word, and we ARE at start of line// drunk, fix laterLookingForNextWord = true;StartOfLine = true;// evaluate each character in the line looking for spaces// thats called a delimiter on planet eceterafor (i=0; i <= (ScanLine.length() - 1); i++){NextChar = ScanLine.charAt(i);// if we found something other than space// and we are looking for the next word// then we found a new word//// increment counter for number of words// set looking for next word and start of line to false// if you find a dirty word dont add code hereif (NextChar != && LookingForNextWord){NumOfWords++;LookingForNextWord = false;StartOfLine = false;}// if we found a space and we are not at start of line// then set looking for next word to true again// could also be a dirty word, look outif (NextChar == && !StartOfLine){LookingForNextWord = true;}} // END OF FOR LOOP// no commentScanLine = inputFile.readLine();} // END OF WHILE LOOPinputFile.close();// all your base are belong to usSystem.out.println("Kind of done reading file now, was named " + inputStr);System.out.println("I think the number of words was " + NumOfWords);} // END OF MAIN} // END OF PROGRAM AND MY CAREER---------------------------------------------------------------------v1.0a 25 of 25 (c)2013 Ecetera