Becoming Integrant: How We Are Changing the World One Project at a Time

Posted on : 28 Jan, 10:00 AM

Thanks to our core values, we’ve created a winning formula for success in the software development industry – one that defines everything we do

I’ll never forget the moment years ago when I decided to start Integrant. It was during a taxi ride in downtown Amman when I struck up a conversation with the driver. He was complaining about his job and that it didn’t pay enough money to support the family. When I asked about his background, the driver replied, “Well, to be honest I am a computer scientist.” Here was a highly trained individual who had checked all the boxes – went to school, studied hard, and finished his degree – and yet he couldn’t find a job in his own industry.

Those minutes in that taxi talking with this struggling driver made a major impact on me. I had already worked in the United States as a technical consultant and project manager for several years and had discovered many problems in the system. I saw far too many development projects that were poorly executed by the vendors and ran into millions of dollars of scope creep with poor communications, bad quality work, and generally bad client relations. As I quietly observed and learned, I realized that there must be a way to match the client needs for good quality with a talent pool of highly enthusiastic and qualified software engineers.

So, my decision to start Integrant really drew upon two fundamental observations:

  • U.S. companies were investing a vast amount of time, money, and risk into software but getting only poor-quality service and products in return.
  • There was a high demand market for engineering companies that could provide outstanding client service while safeguarding the success of each individual developer.

Our quest today at Integrant is really an outgrowth and reaction to this conundrum. Here, we aspire to be the best software development company on the planet. That may seem very lofty but it undergirds everything we do. At Integrant, our vision is quite simple and straightforward:

 

To transform the software development lifecycle with predictable results.

A vision is meant to describe the direction a business is trying to go and what type of impact they wish to have in the world.

The mission, on the other hand, is more action-oriented and often describes the roadmap for achieving the company’s vision statement. At Integrant, our mission goes as follows:

 

To create a winning formula of people, process, and analytics. We secure customer success by predicting and removing the challenges of software development.

But what does this actually mean in practice? A lot of times, companies will carve out very elaborate vision and mission statements for the purposes of a major rebranding campaign. But it’s easy to lose sight of what these mean in everyday practice?

For me, the founding vision of Integrant was to “transform the software development lifecycle.” And I knew from the beginning that would require a big promise to our customers to reflect the values of integrity, outstanding service, transparency, and continual improvement.

 

 

 

Our Foundational Principles

Four guiding “values” describe who we are and how we operate at Integrant. These principles undergird everything we do – from the way we work and communicate to how we treat our clients and employees. One of our primary Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is to become the best workplace on earth. These principles represent our path to getting there. They not only describe who we are as a company today but who we aspire to be tomorrow and into the future.

Free

The notion of being “free” means that we provide our employees with a judgement-free zone where they don’t have to fear being criticized about their race, color, or educational background. This freedom is about offering everyone who works at Integrant a safe space to grow and prosper, not only as an employee but as a human being. At Integrant, everyone is free to be themselves – and even to make mistakes – in order to grow, mature, and meet their own dreams and aspirations.

 

 

Respect

Our approach to respect in the workplace is simple: we aspire to treat each employee as family. This means we’re not just providing our people with a job but giving them an opportunity to join a community where they have a bigger purpose in life than just punching a timecard. When you join Integrant, you are respected, valued, and given an opportunity to dream and grow and socialize as part of a larger community. Isn’t that what family is all about?

A job is obviously the key to earning a livelihood. But at Integrant, we go beyond just providing an 8-hour workday. We know we cannot achieve our core values as a company unless we treat each employee and client with the dignity and respect they deserve

 

Grow

The idea of growth is also critical to who we are as a company. This entails the fundamental right for each and every employee to have a safe space in which to grow and become the best versions of themselves. We believe in providing employees with a safe place where they can work hard and solve difficult challenges, but also one where they can socialize, dream, grow, and prosper

 

 

 

Transparency

This concept is about full and open communications with our clients and our employees, and flows naturally from the first three values. When we build a culture of respect, growth, and freedom, then we also make it easy for our clients to work with us. Transparency builds trust and trust builds character. We believe our character shines through in our employees and their commitment to excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an Impact

When I launched Integrant 29 years ago, I had already spent a lot of time reflecting upon the difficulties that I had observed on projects during my early years as a consultant and project manager. I thought long and hard about the reasons companies failed and why. I looked at factors such as mistrust, miscommunications, suspicion, and fear-based tactics, which led to poor project execution, scope creep, bad performance, and difficult client-vendor relations.

But when I thought about the kind of company that I wanted to build, I realized that everything could be distilled into one primary trait. I believed the key here was following the “Golden Rule” of treating others as I would want to be treated. I began envisioning my ideal type of company and one that I desperately wanted to work for. Soon enough, I got busy creating the unique culture and environment I knew could be successful if only the right conditions were met.

To become the best workplace on earth, we had to create a special environment – one that was altogether unique in the marketplace. The following are some of the distinctive programs and policies that we have implemented over the years. These are what I think set Integrant apart as one of the most equitable, respectable, and safe work environments on the planet.

 

1. 4Plus1 Shadow Engineering Program

This is one of the programs I am most proud of because in so many ways it exemplifies the core values of who we wish to become as a company. The program enables engineers to “shadow” other engineers so they can integrate more easily into an existing workflow. Our program allows each employee to free up 10 weeks per year for vacation and at the least 7 weeks for training. The program is not only a great way to cross-train engineers and keep their skills sharp, but helps the company to rotate employees across departments more seamlessly.

The tradeoffs of this program are enormous because training is such an important by-product of the work we do at Integrant. The 4Plus1 program also keeps us sharp and cross-trained on various technologies. Our clients continually call upon us to help them with some of the most complex problems and expect a wide range of proficiency in the latest technologies.

 

 

2. Objective Performance Metrics

We stand firmly by the famous adage: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” While we strive to provide a safe environment for all of our employees, we also expect a lot from them in terms of continual improvement. That’s why we offer our engineers many check-ins and benchmarks for evaluating performance and ensuring that everyone is meeting the high standards that we set for ourselves. Whether through monthly 1:1s or semi-annual formal evaluations, we are constantly measuring ourselves to see what we can improve and how we can perform our jobs faster, better, and quicker.

 

3. Extended Notice

While it’s our sincere desire to keep employees with us indefinitely, people have personal circumstances that may require them to leave. We simply ask for as much notice as possible. If an employee is able to give a 4 month notice we will happily give a 2-month salary incentive. It’s a win-win because the employee can move on to a new opportunity with a financial cushion while we have enough time to onboard new engineers and make a smooth transition with our clients.

 

4. Generous Employee Benefits

Integrant believes in a holistic approach to employee wellness, one which caters to the whole person. That’s why we have implemented a number of onsite and offsite benefits that help our people achieve a healthy, balanced, and productive life.

Body, Mind, Soul (BMS) program:

This initiative is near and dear to me and I have developed workshops on how to sustain good habits leading to a harmonious balance between work and personal goals. These workshops reinforce the need for a healthy diet, lots of exercise, adequate sleep, socializing with friends, spending time with family, and increasing overall job productivity.

On-Site Lunch:

As part of the BMS program, we also promote eating healthy and are finalizing a new subsidized lunch program to provide our staff with nutritious meals.

 

Exercise:

We believe that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Exercise is highly recommended especially for software engineers who spend most of their time sitting behind a desk. We teamed up with a local gym to provide low-cost memberships for all employees.

 

Facilities:

Our Maadi facility boasts a cafeteria, prayer room, gaming room, and a quiet room for relaxation and reflection. We have also designed a roof top open space for staff to enjoy. Sunday evening movie nights top off an environment where people are encouraged to create a community of support and camaraderie. Every employee also receives a top-of-line laptop with two monitors (if requested) and can choose to work in an open office space with managers and peers.

 

 

 

Transportation:

We recognize that our commitment to a happy and healthy work environment is not possible if our people are on the road for hours instead of spending quality time with their family. That’s why we offer everyone a flexible work schedule to navigate around heavy traffic times. In addition, we provide a work from home program if management feels there are no constraints.

 

Flexible Schedules:

We provide all of our employees with the ability to adjust their work schedule based on the needs of the customer. They can split hours as long as they are working the agreed upon hours and completing all tasks appropriately.

5. Specialized Employee Support Roles

Another perk we’ve provided at Integrant is the hiring of several professionals who enhance our culture by providing specialized employee services. These include:

 

Employee relations manager:

We hired this position to help with employee retention and to provide a channel for honest feedback without fear of recrimination. This role also keeps us accountable to ensure all employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities throughout the company.

English trainers:

We hired this position to help with employee retention and to provide a channel for honest feedback without fear of recrimination. This role also keeps us accountable to ensure all employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities throughout the company.

Technical trainers:

Provide extra technical skills and development of our employees while ensuring we’re always ready for new client technical roadmaps and projects.

Conclusion

Over the years, I have often reflected back on my pivotal and timely conversation with the nameless taxi driver in Amman and wonder whatever became of him. Little did this under-employed computer scientist know how much his story impacted me personally. Unfortunately, he was not alone. I experience my own challenges as I began to see many dysfunctionalities within the application development industry – issues around supply and demand, logistics, culture, and communications to name a few. That’s why I vowed to start something different – a company based on the “Golden Rule” which stood for the highest principles of integrity and honesty.

I’ve had the privilege of proudly watching Integrant grow beyond my wildest dreams over the past 28 years. Every day I am excited to come to work at “the best software development company on the planet.” What’s more, I get to rub shoulders with such extraordinarily talented and skilled people who I consider like family. It just goes to show that if you follow your dreams and are willing to work hard, then anything is possible.

Everything at Integrant, from our respectful and open culture, to our 4Plus1 Engineering program, to our BMS program is a reflection of our four guiding “core values” of freedom, growth, respect, and transparency. These describe who we are and what sets us apart. They serve as our “north star” as we seek to provide exemplary service to our clients on the basis of trust and good will.

If you’re a software company that has been burned and are looking for a fresh start with a trusted client, then we are here for you. Or perhaps you’re a new, or even seasoned developer, who simply has not found your dream job yet. In either case, please give us a call today to learn how we can partner together. Our team of experts will plan, strategize, and build a compelling and elegant solution that exceeds your expectations. Or perhaps you can join us as a developer on such a project.

We’d be more than happy to share a demo of our work! Give us a call today to learn how we can partner together on your next project. Subscribe below or contact us to see the impact we can make for your business or career.

Related Posts

No related posts found
;

Becoming Integrant: How We Are Changing the World One Project at a Time

Posted on : 28 Jan, 10:00 AM

Thanks to our core values, we’ve created a winning formula for success in the software development industry – one that defines everything we do

I’ll never forget the moment years ago when I decided to start Integrant. It was during a taxi ride in downtown Amman when I struck up a conversation with the driver. He was complaining about his job and that it didn’t pay enough money to support the family. When I asked about his background, the driver replied, “Well, to be honest I am a computer scientist.” Here was a highly trained individual who had checked all the boxes – went to school, studied hard, and finished his degree – and yet he couldn’t find a job in his own industry.

Those minutes in that taxi talking with this struggling driver made a major impact on me. I had already worked in the United States as a technical consultant and project manager for several years and had discovered many problems in the system. I saw far too many development projects that were poorly executed by the vendors and ran into millions of dollars of scope creep with poor communications, bad quality work, and generally bad client relations. As I quietly observed and learned, I realized that there must be a way to match the client needs for good quality with a talent pool of highly enthusiastic and qualified software engineers.

So, my decision to start Integrant really drew upon two fundamental observations:

  • U.S. companies were investing a vast amount of time, money, and risk into software but getting only poor-quality service and products in return.
  • There was a high demand market for engineering companies that could provide outstanding client service while safeguarding the success of each individual developer.

Our quest today at Integrant is really an outgrowth and reaction to this conundrum. Here, we aspire to be the best software development company on the planet. That may seem very lofty but it undergirds everything we do. At Integrant, our vision is quite simple and straightforward:

 

To transform the software development lifecycle with predictable results.

A vision is meant to describe the direction a business is trying to go and what type of impact they wish to have in the world.

The mission, on the other hand, is more action-oriented and often describes the roadmap for achieving the company’s vision statement. At Integrant, our mission goes as follows:

 

To create a winning formula of people, process, and analytics. We secure customer success by predicting and removing the challenges of software development.

But what does this actually mean in practice? A lot of times, companies will carve out very elaborate vision and mission statements for the purposes of a major rebranding campaign. But it’s easy to lose sight of what these mean in everyday practice?

For me, the founding vision of Integrant was to “transform the software development lifecycle.” And I knew from the beginning that would require a big promise to our customers to reflect the values of integrity, outstanding service, transparency, and continual improvement.

 

 

 

Our Foundational Principles

Four guiding “values” describe who we are and how we operate at Integrant. These principles undergird everything we do – from the way we work and communicate to how we treat our clients and employees. One of our primary Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is to become the best workplace on earth. These principles represent our path to getting there. They not only describe who we are as a company today but who we aspire to be tomorrow and into the future.

Free

The notion of being “free” means that we provide our employees with a judgement-free zone where they don’t have to fear being criticized about their race, color, or educational background. This freedom is about offering everyone who works at Integrant a safe space to grow and prosper, not only as an employee but as a human being. At Integrant, everyone is free to be themselves – and even to make mistakes – in order to grow, mature, and meet their own dreams and aspirations.

 

 

Respect

Our approach to respect in the workplace is simple: we aspire to treat each employee as family. This means we’re not just providing our people with a job but giving them an opportunity to join a community where they have a bigger purpose in life than just punching a timecard. When you join Integrant, you are respected, valued, and given an opportunity to dream and grow and socialize as part of a larger community. Isn’t that what family is all about?

A job is obviously the key to earning a livelihood. But at Integrant, we go beyond just providing an 8-hour workday. We know we cannot achieve our core values as a company unless we treat each employee and client with the dignity and respect they deserve

 

Grow

The idea of growth is also critical to who we are as a company. This entails the fundamental right for each and every employee to have a safe space in which to grow and become the best versions of themselves. We believe in providing employees with a safe place where they can work hard and solve difficult challenges, but also one where they can socialize, dream, grow, and prosper

 

 

 

Transparency

This concept is about full and open communications with our clients and our employees, and flows naturally from the first three values. When we build a culture of respect, growth, and freedom, then we also make it easy for our clients to work with us. Transparency builds trust and trust builds character. We believe our character shines through in our employees and their commitment to excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an Impact

When I launched Integrant 29 years ago, I had already spent a lot of time reflecting upon the difficulties that I had observed on projects during my early years as a consultant and project manager. I thought long and hard about the reasons companies failed and why. I looked at factors such as mistrust, miscommunications, suspicion, and fear-based tactics, which led to poor project execution, scope creep, bad performance, and difficult client-vendor relations.

But when I thought about the kind of company that I wanted to build, I realized that everything could be distilled into one primary trait. I believed the key here was following the “Golden Rule” of treating others as I would want to be treated. I began envisioning my ideal type of company and one that I desperately wanted to work for. Soon enough, I got busy creating the unique culture and environment I knew could be successful if only the right conditions were met.

To become the best workplace on earth, we had to create a special environment – one that was altogether unique in the marketplace. The following are some of the distinctive programs and policies that we have implemented over the years. These are what I think set Integrant apart as one of the most equitable, respectable, and safe work environments on the planet.

 

1. 4Plus1 Shadow Engineering Program

This is one of the programs I am most proud of because in so many ways it exemplifies the core values of who we wish to become as a company. The program enables engineers to “shadow” other engineers so they can integrate more easily into an existing workflow. Our program allows each employee to free up 10 weeks per year for vacation and at the least 7 weeks for training. The program is not only a great way to cross-train engineers and keep their skills sharp, but helps the company to rotate employees across departments more seamlessly.

The tradeoffs of this program are enormous because training is such an important by-product of the work we do at Integrant. The 4Plus1 program also keeps us sharp and cross-trained on various technologies. Our clients continually call upon us to help them with some of the most complex problems and expect a wide range of proficiency in the latest technologies.

 

 

2. Objective Performance Metrics

We stand firmly by the famous adage: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” While we strive to provide a safe environment for all of our employees, we also expect a lot from them in terms of continual improvement. That’s why we offer our engineers many check-ins and benchmarks for evaluating performance and ensuring that everyone is meeting the high standards that we set for ourselves. Whether through monthly 1:1s or semi-annual formal evaluations, we are constantly measuring ourselves to see what we can improve and how we can perform our jobs faster, better, and quicker.

 

3. Extended Notice

While it’s our sincere desire to keep employees with us indefinitely, people have personal circumstances that may require them to leave. We simply ask for as much notice as possible. If an employee is able to give a 4 month notice we will happily give a 2-month salary incentive. It’s a win-win because the employee can move on to a new opportunity with a financial cushion while we have enough time to onboard new engineers and make a smooth transition with our clients.

 

4. Generous Employee Benefits

Integrant believes in a holistic approach to employee wellness, one which caters to the whole person. That’s why we have implemented a number of onsite and offsite benefits that help our people achieve a healthy, balanced, and productive life.

Body, Mind, Soul (BMS) program:

This initiative is near and dear to me and I have developed workshops on how to sustain good habits leading to a harmonious balance between work and personal goals. These workshops reinforce the need for a healthy diet, lots of exercise, adequate sleep, socializing with friends, spending time with family, and increasing overall job productivity.

On-Site Lunch:

As part of the BMS program, we also promote eating healthy and are finalizing a new subsidized lunch program to provide our staff with nutritious meals.

 

Exercise:

We believe that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Exercise is highly recommended especially for software engineers who spend most of their time sitting behind a desk. We teamed up with a local gym to provide low-cost memberships for all employees.

 

Facilities:

Our Maadi facility boasts a cafeteria, prayer room, gaming room, and a quiet room for relaxation and reflection. We have also designed a roof top open space for staff to enjoy. Sunday evening movie nights top off an environment where people are encouraged to create a community of support and camaraderie. Every employee also receives a top-of-line laptop with two monitors (if requested) and can choose to work in an open office space with managers and peers.

 

 

 

Transportation:

We recognize that our commitment to a happy and healthy work environment is not possible if our people are on the road for hours instead of spending quality time with their family. That’s why we offer everyone a flexible work schedule to navigate around heavy traffic times. In addition, we provide a work from home program if management feels there are no constraints.

 

Flexible Schedules:

We provide all of our employees with the ability to adjust their work schedule based on the needs of the customer. They can split hours as long as they are working the agreed upon hours and completing all tasks appropriately.

5. Specialized Employee Support Roles

Another perk we’ve provided at Integrant is the hiring of several professionals who enhance our culture by providing specialized employee services. These include:

 

Employee relations manager:

We hired this position to help with employee retention and to provide a channel for honest feedback without fear of recrimination. This role also keeps us accountable to ensure all employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities throughout the company.

English trainers:

We hired this position to help with employee retention and to provide a channel for honest feedback without fear of recrimination. This role also keeps us accountable to ensure all employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities throughout the company.

Technical trainers:

Provide extra technical skills and development of our employees while ensuring we’re always ready for new client technical roadmaps and projects.

Conclusion

Over the years, I have often reflected back on my pivotal and timely conversation with the nameless taxi driver in Amman and wonder whatever became of him. Little did this under-employed computer scientist know how much his story impacted me personally. Unfortunately, he was not alone. I experience my own challenges as I began to see many dysfunctionalities within the application development industry – issues around supply and demand, logistics, culture, and communications to name a few. That’s why I vowed to start something different – a company based on the “Golden Rule” which stood for the highest principles of integrity and honesty.

I’ve had the privilege of proudly watching Integrant grow beyond my wildest dreams over the past 28 years. Every day I am excited to come to work at “the best software development company on the planet.” What’s more, I get to rub shoulders with such extraordinarily talented and skilled people who I consider like family. It just goes to show that if you follow your dreams and are willing to work hard, then anything is possible.

Everything at Integrant, from our respectful and open culture, to our 4Plus1 Engineering program, to our BMS program is a reflection of our four guiding “core values” of freedom, growth, respect, and transparency. These describe who we are and what sets us apart. They serve as our “north star” as we seek to provide exemplary service to our clients on the basis of trust and good will.

If you’re a software company that has been burned and are looking for a fresh start with a trusted client, then we are here for you. Or perhaps you’re a new, or even seasoned developer, who simply has not found your dream job yet. In either case, please give us a call today to learn how we can partner together. Our team of experts will plan, strategize, and build a compelling and elegant solution that exceeds your expectations. Or perhaps you can join us as a developer on such a project.

We’d be more than happy to share a demo of our work! Give us a call today to learn how we can partner together on your next project. Subscribe below or contact us to see the impact we can make for your business or career.

Related Posts

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