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Our Journey to #CodeLeadership

In August 2019, 181 of the biggest US companies, members of the Business Roundtable, signed a special declaration, which kicked-off a change of values in the corporate world. In it, they defined a new approach to business, stepping away from the solely money-driven attitude that was mainly taking into account the profit of the shareholders. Now, according to them, the companies should also focus on employee development, giving value to their clients, honest and fair cooperation with suppliers, and environmental responsibility. This pushed more businesses from around the world to rethink their values and implement this new corporate governance.

For this reason, we can all see a recent switch towards Corporate Responsibility and Thought Leadership; companies are investing in social initiatives, trying to be more responsible and sustainable.

By now you might be wondering, why are we talking about all this?

Code Leadership

A few months ago, our CEO Grzegorz attended a business meeting with a potential client. It was a meeting like any other, discussing possible projects, client’s needs and our skills match. At some point, while talking about Polidea’s open-source projects and initiatives, the client summed them up by saying:

“This is code leadership.”

Being called, pretty much, the thought leaders of open source, especially in such a cool, “hashtagy” way, was very flattering of course, but it also took us by surprise: ”oh, we are?”. At Polidea we don’t want to say whatever is popular at the moment. But the comment of our client and the rise of the responsible business model made us think.

A developer coding at his desk, nxt to the window with a view of Warsaw.

Open-source culture

By definition, a thought leader is someone who gives answers to intriguing questions of a target group, is an authority on the subject, and is able to present depth knowledge that no one else has. Thinking about these qualities in the context of #CodeLeadership, we looked at what has always been a part of Polidea’s culture: sharing knowledge, honesty, partnership, and our open-source initiatives.

And we’re not only saying it. We maintain a few popular BLE open-source libraries, which helped many startups kick off their projects (more than 200 apps and counting!). We organize regular events for the community about e.g. Kotlin, Apache Airflow, or Beam. We run workshops. We write tutorials and guides about the latest technologies and solutions in the OSS world. Our developers contribute to open-source projects, and we support them by organizing open-source Fridays at the office, so they don’t need to do it in their free time.

We work on building and strengthening OSS communities that we are involved in by mentoring, teaching and promoting the best open-source community practices and standing behind the core OSS values.

OSS has been the big reason why talented developers want to work with us, but it’s also how we grow our skills, which we then bring to the clients’ projects. Open source is also—and we are not afraid to say it—our valuable lead generation tool. Many clients approach us because they previously used our library for their products. It not only proves our actual expertise in their eyes but also helps businesses and innovation grow—whether they become our clients or not. For those who do, we help develop their solution, customize one of the cloud open-source tools (like Apache Airflow or Beam), or contribute to their library to help it grow.

Next steps

Since we have something valuable to say about the role of open source in business and the tech community as a whole, we’ll try our best to live up to the Thought Leadership stamp of approval. We’ll keep publishing technology guides written by our experts, organizing meetups for and with the community, and contribute to open-source libraries lending a helping hand when needed. We’ll also start sharing interesting opinions and interviews with experts, gather open-source trends and generally try to answer the worries and questions of those who are still discovering the potential of open source. We’ll actively work to strengthen the core values of the OSS communities we are involved with. All this under our new hashtag #CodeLeadership (although we really can’t take credit for it;)).

Ula

Senior Communication Specialist

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