Team of software testers and developers in team meeting in a call with a colleague

Finding ways to innovate

In general, whenever someone discovers a problem, they can choose to solve it or leave it as it is. Sometimes it’s better to leave it since fixing it would cost too much or cause other problems. Often though, people can choose to solve the problem. How they choose to solve it shows their level of innovation.

If they have a fixed mindset, they will choose to solve the problem in the same way they have before, without looking for more efficient processes. In this case, the level of innovation is almost zero. If you have people with a growth mindset, they will struggle to solve the problem in new and innovative ways because they want to strive for excellence, learn new skills, and become a more well-rounded professional. For them, learning never stops. For them, innovation is something natural. Their growth mindset pushes them to find new ways of solving problems.

That’s what makes Centric an innovative company. We really support researching new ways of solving problems. There is a lot of openness for new and different things here. And this starts with people. If you have people who are really locked into what they are doing – they don’t want to learn, take a course, read books, go to a workshop, make connections to what they have learned and apply it in creative ways – then they will not be able to adapt and innovate.

Innovation does not have to mean making brand new discoveries or inventing new algorithms. It can also mean having a great group of people, thinking outside the box, and delivering mind-blowing solutions and approaches.

Software architect teaching a School of Centric course about Angular

I was working on a project that started with a backend developer, front-end developer, and QA software tester. I was the senior developer at the time. I recognized the growth mindset of the team and started offering other possibilities. I asked the tester if they would be interested in doing development work. They agreed, so the project had three developers. Then the front-end developer made a jump to backend. I showed them the architecture and they were able to understand it and get started. When a new team member joined, I didn’t have much work to do. The team introduced them to the entire project and got them up to speed. That gave me more time to work on other things: knowledge sharing, mentoring, researching new technologies and approaches, etc. This would not have been possible if the team had not been willing to learn, grow, and adapt.

The project has been going on for a few years now and we have had a style guide designer work on deployment and database keys. A junior tester is now in charge of the 3D development of the project. They are even implementing a second 3D library after doing research and creating a proof of concept. There have been others who have started out on this project and are now full stack developers or work on DevOps.

People here are passionate about their careers, growth, and innovation. Our products benefit from this mindset. We have people who have knowledge across many fields and do not feel locked in by being a tester or developer. When people are able to look at a product from various angles, they can be more proactive and creative. They can think of approaches that others might not be able to. For example, if you are having difficulty selling your software because of tough competition or because it is outdated, a single feature could make a huge difference. This has happened at Centric before. Of course, there are times when we don’t find the perfect solution every time, but in trying to do so, we definitely learn a lot.

Full stack developer Front end developer working at a laptop during a conference

This is all possible because we are a product company and work on products for many years - adapting them and creating them as the market changes. From my point of view, it is really difficult to be innovative if you don’t own the products you are working on. If you are only working on completing tasks that others set for you, there is no room to be innovative. You are just solving problems in the ways others tell you to. When you own the product, you have the freedom to add to it without as many restraints. You have the freedom to improve yourself, help others improve, and improve the lives of your clients and end users.

That’s the kind of company that can invest both in people and innovative solutions. Centric is one of those companies. Whatever career path you choose, if the final goal is excellence and innovation, you can find support at Centric.