Professional growth of employees - what is it and why is it necessary: ​​we communicate with Dodo Pizza, Icons8 and Evil Martians


    Last year, we launched an assessment of employers at My Circle, where employees can evaluate companies according to 12 qualities - from comfortable working conditions to the company's contribution to improving the world, and, based on the results of company evaluations, published a rating of the best employers in IT.

    Now we wanted to find out, how do companies understand the qualities for which employees value them? Therefore, we decided to make a series of publications on the My Circle blog about the main criteria for evaluating employers. To do this, we will choose the companies that received the highest score for each of the criteria and ask them to answer a number of our questions that will help to reveal how companies see this criterion.

    In the first issue, we discussed Professional Growth with Dodo Pizza, Icons8 and Evil Martians and tried to find out how they understand it, how they support it and why employees value them precisely for this quality.

    Icons8 is developing software for designers: the designer of realistic photos Moose, the graphic editor Lunacy and, of course, designs icons.

    Assessment of the company on My Circle.


    Ivan Boyko (founder of Icons8)

    We have an employee who came as an icon designer, but besides this, she organized the filming process, had a hand in collages and tagging, and in working with partners. Now she is collecting an illustration designer, and I will break into a cake so that she will not be bored further.

    I ask candidates how the company can help them, and I look for the maximum number of common interests. If interests are found, you need to pick up a team for a person: accomplices from related specializations, an old mentor, new wards, who have blood boiling.

    We all need to surround the person with touching care and patiently wait for the result. Support when experiments break down. Rejoice at small steps. Introducing other people within the company. And give feedback all the time.

    Professional growth is optional. It may be personal, it may not be for the company, but just for yourself or even as a recipe for boredom.

    Unlike professional growth, challenge is always needed, even in everyday things. For example, a photo team has a monotonous task of tagging photos. But we noticed that taggers like to come up with headers. We specifically made it possible to add a few headings. If photos have 4 or 7 headings, then this is not because business needs it so much. This is simply because taggers are carried away. And that is wonderful.

    Moscow mitap Icons8 five years ago

    Sergey Chekmenev (Support Specialist in Icons8):

    I worked in various teams both abroad and in Russia. The trouble with modern business is that it no longer sees value in a person, as such. A man is an impersonal appendage that is driven and intimidated by rules, superiors, standards, KPI, etc. Working at one of the IT companies in Dallas, I keenly felt this spirit of modernity. The project consistently recruited 30% more employees than required. People were constantly hired and constantly fired, not because they could not cope, but only because a new employee appeared who showed N percent more KPI. This approach does not develop, but suppresses. Both professionally and purely human.

    And in Icons8, the atmosphere is unique because of Ivan’s sincere desire to reveal each employee, help everyone find and realize themselves, and ultimately become a happy, harmonious person. I have never seen such a thing. Ivan does not put employees in a tight framework, but gives an opportunity to try himself, he is ready to help. He experiences ups and downs, joys and sorrows, in each employee emphasizes human dignity. A minimum of formalism and a maximum of trust. And the whole team functions as one debugged organism: cohesive and harmonious.

    Dodo Pizza is the largest pizza chain in Russia, which has more than 460 pizzerias in 12 countries, and combines the classic pizza business with IT technology.

    Assessment of the company on My Circle.


    Vitaliy Pomozov (developer at Dodo Pizza):

    In my understanding, professional growth is primarily associated with the growth of competencies. Growth can be both in-depth, honing your skills to the maximum, and in breadth, studying different technologies and ways of solving problems within the framework of your position.

    The IT world is developing rapidly, and if you do not grow at a time when there are so many changes around, you are stressed. The company is growing rapidly, new countries are opening, orders are growing, and we need to develop the system according to the needs of the business and not forget about the growing load. Lack of professional growth contributes to high staff turnover, which affects the quality and maintainability of the system.

    Mitap MskDotNet Community, December 2018

    Boris Gulay (developer at Dodo Pizza):

    Dodo is seriously investing in the development of employees and perceives professional growth not as a way to increase productivity, but as a way of non-material increase in loyalty.

    We allow you to adapt new technologies and tools for use in the company. This gives the company an increase in productivity and product quality.

    On the other hand, uncontrolled adaptation of hype things will lead to defocusing and support difficulties. Therefore, it is important to establish understandable adaptation rules: if you want to bring something new, first “sell” it to your teammates. Then talk about it in a general meeting (devForum). Then try and tell us again about the result.

    Anton Deryagin, EMEA franchisee lead

    Vitaly Pomozov:

    Dodo has many opportunities for professional growth. There are strong colleagues who have a lot to learn, while people are open and help each other. Themed schools and clubs are held, such as Dev School, React School, QA Club, Dev Forum, Scrum Master School, to which we even invite eminent speakers. The company also sends employees to meetings, where you can listen to other professionals in the area and communicate with them.

    IT people are quite ambitious people, for them professional growth is internal motivation, which is much stronger than external.

    A distributed team of open-source engineers from Evil Martians makes product development for startups and large companies in the West and in Russia.

    Assessment of the company on My Circle.


    Roman Shamin (art director at Evil Martians):

    “Professional growth” for me - when the company does not interfere with work and create the conditions for the assimilation of new knowledge and skills. The best way to ensure professional growth is to give employees the freedom to make decisions and make mistakes. This cannot be done by force: it is impossible to make one who does not want to grow grow.

    Anton Lovchikov, Alyona Kirdina, Nikolai Sverchkov at the

    Productorium conference in Kazan Sergey Ponomarev (team leader in Evil Martians):

    We work on complex tasks and develop in the process. None of the employees have the opportunity to be the “smartest guy in the room,” who has been doing the same thing for many years, albeit the best. It is not surprising that our company was highly rated for professional growth.

    Yaroslav Markin (co-founder of Evil Martians):

    A distinctive feature of Evil Martians is working with open source projects and participating in the community. All employees, including managers and designers, are able to program; future colleagues will learn about us from open source projects and speeches at conferences, and even in the hiring process, a person will sooner or later be offered to create a new open source project or modify an existing one.

    Working at the Martians is not easy - we have adopted the notorious “Brazilian system”. We give beginners an environment in which it is impossible not to grow - both in commercial projects and in the community - but for this we will have to work: plan the time correctly, be able to ask questions and learn new things at the maximum speed.

    Polina Gurtova (front-end developer at Evil Martians):

    At Evil Martians, employees treat each other as adults who can make decisions. My colleagues respect their and my time and I get more experience in less hours. Inside the team, we are pleased to share experience while working on projects (interactive reviews, pair programming), and this happens without any “commitment” and is not limited to the specialization of employees (for example, beks like to pair programming with fronts).

    The coolest experience is the one you want to share with others.

    Find out how the company valuation service on My Circle works in this article and evaluate your employer right now. And here are all the companies that have already received their rating.

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