From Company to Community

What we did when our company was closed

September 1st, 2018 marks Inaka’s 8th anniversary. But this time, it’s a very special one: It’s also the first anniversary of the Inakos as a community.

A year ago, when we were about to celebrate 7 years of existence, our company (Inaka) was closed. At that point, most of us had to decide how to move on from there. And… boy, oh, boy! Did we move on!

As individuals, all of us found new exciting jobs in different companies and even in different places all around the world. We are proud to see that something that could’ve had a devastating effect in our careers/lives manifested itself as a growing opportunity, instead.

That was not by chance, it was by design. It was a direct consequence of the philosophy and culture we built our company on. Three of the key concepts we always pushed for at Inaka were:

  • Personal growth: We didn’t have a hierarchy, we had career paths. They were meant to guide each individual (each inako) in its own path of professional growth. And Inaka was always there to help us. This included many things: from opportunities to learn new languages, technologies or practices to conferences, coaching and mentoring.
  • High-quality standards: One of the main aspects of what Inaka provided to their customers was our focus on developing the best possible solutions to what our customers needed. This involved great practices like a thorough analysis of requirements, intensive testing (both automated, manual and at scale), guideline definitions and validations, code reviews, etc. We were constantly learning how to improve our work.
  • Open-Source / Community connections: Inaka had a massive focus on sharing with the world. We developed and actively maintained~80 open-source projects. We organized up to 4 Meetup groups in Buenos Aires with regular gatherings at our offices. We had plenty of inakos giving talks at lots of conferences all around the world and many of the talks we gave are still relevant to this day. We pushed people to write blog posts and share their knowledge in and out of the company. We organized conferences here and there.

As you can see, these elements are not isolated. By working on open-source and integrating with the communities, the company aided the devs massively in their personal growth. Learning from the experts (and then becoming the experts ourselves) also helped us achieve the high-quality standards we were aiming for. Sharing our work and also our way of working with the world through open source projects and blogs exposed us to people who could help us improve our quality, therefore becoming better developers and giving us a chance to show what we learned in new conferences and projects. It was a truly virtuous cycle.

But one day it was over… or was it?

Last year, when the company was disintegrated, we realized that these elements (personal growth, high-quality, community connections) were not tied to the company itself. They were part of us, the inakos. And actually, that community was far wider than just the people that were working at the company in the end. Every x-inako that ever left the company carried the values and learnings from their time with us. And almost all of them were still in active contact with the rest of the team.

Once an inako, always an inako.

We became a community

So, we decided to keep inaka and our main values alive. With that in mind, we kept our open-source projects and our GitHub organization, we created a slack workspace for us to gather and talk, we maintained our roles as organizers of the local Meetup communities and, since we don’t have money to keep sending people to conferences, we started organizing our own events.

Through this year, we organized or helped in the organization of:

We also maintained all of our open-source projects and guidelines and we’re (together with Erlang Solutions) in the process of republishing all of our blog posts with updates and new stuff.

As a community, it’s clear how we still help each other out in terms of personal growth. It’s amazing to see how we’re never alone. Almost all of the inakos are working with other inakos and we’re still praised for our high-quality standards and great culture everywhere we go.

And now you can join us!

A couple of months ago, we decided to start growing again. This time, as a community. We opened the doors (even just slightly) to welcome new members to the inaka family. We’re glad to now have Ignacio, Darío, Gilles and Facundo among us and we’re ready to welcome you with open arms should you decide to join us.

The process for becoming an inako is quite simple and it’s described in our guidelines:

To join our community you have to be invited by a current member, that will then become your sponsor. You can get an invitation by contacting one of us directly or you can send us an email requesting an invitation. Once your invitation is accepted, you’ll be temporarily added to our Slack workspace. Then you’ll be received by everyone and we’ll have a conversation around 3 introductory items that will allow us to know you better:
1. How did you become a developer/project manager/team leader/whatever-you-are?
2. When and why did you decide to be an Inako?
3. Something interesting about your life
After that conversation, we’ll have an internal meeting with your sponsor and the inakos will decide if they let you in. If so, you’ll then get access to all of our stuff, including [our] Github organization, our private slack rooms, and other resources.

What’s next?

We’re extremely happy with our current situation and we’re eagerly waiting to see what the future has in store for the inaka community.

We’re already organizing the next editions of SpawnFest and SAtG… and we still have lots of other plans.

We celebrate 8 years since Chad created Inaka
We celebrate 1 year since we became a community
We celebrate the many many years to come!