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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

How we dive headlong into new technologies

One thing that is constant in the world of technology is change. Given the competitive marketplace of today, forward-thinking companies have to make sure that they do not get too comfortable with routine and the structure around them and make a place for technological disruption.

 

We also realized that new technologies offer the scope of innovation both within the enterprise and for the clients. Since we are a company that is united by the love of technology, we are driven by the need to keep ourselves abreast of the latest technologies and technological trends so that we can offer the best solutions to our clients.  In order to level the playing field, we realized that we did not want to favor any one particular technology. Our practice is to take the technology deep dive and ensure that we surface as solution experts with a strong understanding of technology.In this blog, we take a look at some of our practices that help us navigate our technological explorations.

 

People Make Perfect:

You might have the best intentions in mind but you can hardly meet success unless you are backed by the right set of people. At Clarion, we make sure that our entire workforce is connected by the love for technology and the love of learning. Our teams are motivated constantly by their team leaders to come up with new ideas to make an application better from the users’ perspective and this can only be done when they are well versed with it. We achieve this by ensuring that our employees do not work as isolated islands and that there is a constant cross-pollination of ideas which contributes to creating a culture of learning within the organization. For this, we have tools like Salesforce Chatter that helps all of us share our knowledge and information regarding new technologies. Chatter also has specific active interest groups with proactive members who ensure that new development regarding technologies, informative articles etc. are circulated to the members regularly.

 

Love for Learning:

We believe in enabling our employees to indulge in their love for learning. For this, we have an exhaustive library that is frequently updated with the latest journals and books surrounding technology. We encourage our employees to leverage our library at all times, take recommendations from them on subjects they would like to read on and keep our ears open for new technological developments to update our library. We take this quote by Dr. Seuss “the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go” quite and seriously and ensure that we provide an environment that enables learning so that our employees can frequently familiarize themselves with the new technologies.

 

Learning and Development Programs:

Learning and development programs in the form of training are not only a great way to foster an environment of continuous learning but these programs also act as a great driver of employee engagement. We consider that our employees are our greatest investments and believe that in order for them to deliver world-class solutions we have to ensure that their technological skill sets are upgraded constantly. For this, we organize regular training programs that are conducted by our in-house and also external technology experts. We also encourage our employees to leverage technology training conducted externally to upgrade their knowledge and working skills on the same.

 

Robust Practice Maturity Model:

While theoretical knowledge is important, we ensure that our employees are able to translate their theoretical knowledge into practical applications. We have developed a robust practice maturity model that enables developers to become proficient with the implementation of new technologies within a short span of time. Our model has defined targets and timelines, each level has a defined set of activities and weightage and exhaustive to-do’s that ensure that along with theoretical knowledge gain the employees understand the practical aspects and implementation strategies surrounding the technologies. We also make sure that our employees get all the training and support to get comfortable with new technologies and give them access to all the tools that they need to improve. Our idea is to give our employees an environment where they naturally gravitate towards technological learning.

 

Leveraging Partnerships:

We have some pretty awesome partnership alliances. With partnerships with Microsoft, MongoDB, AWS, Magneto etc. we have access to some great resources. So, if there is any new technology developed by one of our partners, we make sure we leverage the trained and experienced resources of our partners to help us understand the technology better and gain in-depth and incisive knowledge regarding the same. Once this is done, we continue the flow of information and equip our employees with the resources they need to become experts in that particular technology.

 

Events and Workshops:

As you go deeper into any piece of information you discover that you have access to other forms of related information. Classroom learning about technology is one thing and interacting with people who are working with that technology on a daily basis is quite another experience. Thus, we encourage our employees to attend seminars, workshops, events and conferences that celebrate new technologies. This gives them an opportunity to improve their learning curve and gather a superior comprehension of the technology by interacting with subject matter experts.

 

Technology Council:

We have also created a Technology Council which consists of technology enthusiasts who are committed towards self-learning. This team meets once each month to discuss new technology trends and identify technology areas that we should concentrate on. Post this, new tasks are created and updated on our internal collaboration tool. Team members then can pick up topics of their interest and outline research areas within that technology. These tasks are reviewed on a monthly basis and each team member provides inputs on what they have learnt to the Team Lead. Once the research and subsequent task is complete, it is presented to the Technology Council team. Following the success of the Technology Council, we have introduced Open Sessions which anyone from a technical background can attend. These sessions are short and precise and provide an overview of the new technology in discussion and is an effort to promote collaborative learning.

 

Finally, we make sure that our employees know and understand that their growth and our growth is directly proportional. The more our programmers learn and grow, the better it is for the long-term growth of the company. We make it our responsibility to make learning engaging and fun and not difficult and disjointed and aim to create a culture of natural technological progression that helps us come up with better technological solutions for our clients.

 

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