by ksetyadi on April 16, 2012
It’s been a great ride for me and one of those important milestones to reach at this time.
I joined Yahoo! at October 4th, 2010. Prior to that, I was doing web development for one of the good tech company in Bandung, Voucha. Having a great leader and colleagues were like your family at Voucha, it’s a tough decision to move on. After a little bit discussion with my wife and my family, I decided to move to Yahoo! and still kept the good relationship with them, Voucha’s big family.
First day at Yahoo! was really formal. I rarely wore a suit and a fancy shoes. Deep in my heart, I know it’s (used to be?) a technology company so I should comfortable wearing my best t-shirt or any shirt I like to wear. It’s just not common in here, Indonesia, wearing a t-shirt in a first day of employment. So here I was, wearing all those things like a salesman working for IBM, except for the fancy tie.
I was assigned to Koprol, a social location-based service Yahoo! had acquired earlier. The atmosphere was really different here. The first day I stepped in to Koprol’s office, I felt different. I felt comfy and I just thought, “I like it! This is like having a hacker-culture on a startup even though it’s already bought by the Internet giant. But this whole thing is… awesome!”
Everyone at Koprol were really supportive. We code, discuss and doing some hacking together. At lunch time, we usually went out together and sometimes try something new like eating food we never eat before, visiting a we’re-just-open restaurant, go rushing discounts, etc. Back from lunch, we start to code again, discuss a little bit and brainstorming about features. Near the end of the day, some of us watching TV, playing game console (PlayStation) and do hacking-stuff with our own toys. We do it everyday and that’s what keep us going. That was one thing among others that keep us woke in the morning and drove our cars/motorcycles toward our office. Everyone was in a high-spirit as if they were going towards their own toys, money, and food. Except, we’re not doing this for money. We’re doing this for fun.
This pace was become higher and higher as our office joined Yahoo! Editorial, Sales and Marketing team at Sentra Senayan II, Jakarta. We still kept the hacker-culture and tried to minimize the top-down procedure which still used in many (traditional) companies in Indonesia. Our leader, Fajar, Daniel and Satya, were not like bosses in term of leadership. They’re friends in any circumstances and positions. They laughed with us, ate the lunch with us, played foosball together with us, and even shared cubicles with us. No barrier, no door and no procedure if we need them. Just made steps to their cubicles and talked to them. Just like what you did with the rest of the team.
Within the new supportive office, we need also to improve our skills. So we held an internal Dojo covering many technologies from Yahoo! or outside of Yahoo!, adopting scrum/agile at an early stage phase and implementing the Test-Driven Development (TDD). This is where I even realized that I was in a dream team. With every new technologies and method introduced to the team, no one get upset. No one get lazy and prefer not to learn those new things. Instead, everyone was eager to learn and began adopting those new things to them self first before we implemented those in to the team. After a week or two, without any further explanation and kinky procedure, we use it in our own daily life at work, at our team.
We’re not just learning new things related to our work but also learning new things outside of it. We have a club covering basketball, badminton and foosball. Even we have an internal foosball championship here! Everyone, with no exception, joining the championship. Some of us doing it for a challenge and to win, some of us will be doing it for fun, and some of us will doing it just for laugh. The interesting part was, our leader were joining too and you’ll be wondered that there’s no salary cut or cancelled bonus even though they, our leader, never win the game. Fair enough, wasn’t it? :)
It was all romantic. Until one day, April 5th, 2012 to be exact, Yahoo! decided to ditch our team because one or many several reasons. First time I heard the news, I was shocked. What I was thinking at that time was not about losing a job (I was thinking about that too, of course, after I thought about what I’m going to say after this), but about losing this team. It’s just a job and you can find a replacement within no time. But a dream team? I doubt it.
So, just like every wise men says, a picture is worth a thousand words. But I’m going to give you few thousands of words by uploading a few pictures of our dream team.
Thanks, Koprol. Thanks, Yahoo!. It’s an awesome journey to be with you all. I’ll never regret the time we had together and if life was like a disc, I would pause and play the part when we’re working as a team, over and over again. There’s so many lessons I haven’t learn from you all, guys.