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My First Month at kloia

Have you ever wondered what it's like to work at kloia?

My First Month at kloia

Have you ever wondered what it's like to work at kloia? If you are used to working in corporate systems like me, oh, you are in for a treat surely. Joining kloia may be as exciting as opening the wardrobe into Narnia, though you may find yourself facing not Aslan but Python this time.

Come join me in my journey and let’s figure out what happens behind the closed doors of kloia together. Just kidding, there are no doors at kloia!

Who Am I and Why Programming?

Honestly, I have never been into programming until recent years. I mean, I love computers like everyone else, but I didn’t have anything to do with programming. Have I played Skyrim over +300 hours throughout my high school years? Yes. Have I gotten into the wormhole of YouTube countless times and found myself watching unfathomable videos like the one about grown-up Teletubbies sun baby? Definitely. Do I start screaming and screeching when I need to be away from the keyboard for the tiniest amount of time? Sure, who doesn’t, right…? Right!? Jokes aside, I have been spending half of my days on computers for approximately eighteen years now and I haven’t seen any addiction symptoms yet…

The thing is, I despise repetitive, time consuming tasks. No, I don’t want to copy and paste multiple Excel files into one. No, I don’t want to spend hours of my day doing certain routines which do not deviate at all! Nope, I love my keyboard and do not want my “C” and “V” keys to fade away due to excessive copy & paste. I do not want my fingers to get cramped over nothing!

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So you need to believe me when I tell you that I started learning programming for the sake of my keyboard. I mean, everybody does things for the ones they cherish, right? That’s how I learned Python, that’s how I got to know Selenium… For the light of my life… which is RGB by the way. Damn, what a lovely keyboard!

The Bootcamp

My journey started not in a village, but in a bootcamp. I wish I could tell you that a grey wizard came to me and told me that I got what it takes to be the savior of the programming world and that I am The One. Still, I found out about kloia Bootcamp via a newsletter that stated that I have the matching skill set for the QA Automation Engineer vacancy. The background of the webpage was grey at least; not sure if it means anything special, though.

After the registration period, I completed a qualifying test consisting of some Java and Python questions assessing automation and Selenium knowledge and some multiple-choice questions about general programming. Even though I couldn’t answer the Java questions, I passed the test and got the chance to join the bootcamp.

I can say that the bootcamp was a kind of tutorial, in which you can learn the inner workings of things, what to be expected from QA Engineers and what kind of mobs… I mean, bugs you may face while performing certain tasks.

For every topic, we had a brief explanation and various examples called “Kata,” with which we tested our understanding of the topic and polished our skills.

The bootcamp lasted for only one weekend, but I can say it was as concentrated as any two week-long course you can find on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, It was a bit exhausting but I got to know things that I didn't even know existed and got the chance to find answers to any questions that popped up during the courses. I assure you that this was the best bootcamp I have ever attended without hesitation, and it has nothing to do with the fact that it was my first and only one!

After the bootcamp courses, I was given a case study with a certain deadline to demonstrate the knowledge I gained during bootcamp. It consisted of various tasks under the two main titles called “UI Testing” and “API Testing”. I finished the case study and went through the hiring process, which was completely remote, by the way.

The hiring process consisted of four meetings: an HR meeting, a technical interview regarding the case study, personality inventory, and job offer. All of them were carried out in a friendly manner and I didn’t stress out even a bit!

So this is how I got to be a kloian. Now, let’s find out what is to be kloian and what differentiates kloia from the other companies I have worked at, shall we?

First Meeting and The Summit

If you have ever worked remotely, you know that the biggest handicap is sometimes it feels like you work just by yourself. I mean I have worked in my previous company remotely for about one year and there were only a bunch of colleagues I met face to face. Sometimes I even suspected that I might be dealing with some NPCs while communicating with customers. Even the emails were generic! I don’t know if some of them were bots, since they only exist as emails for me, but some of them had some poor AI, unfortunately.

Luckily, just after my hiring process, 2021’s last summit was scheduled and I was invited to go and meet with the team at Sapanca. It was indeed a great opportunity to get to know people I would be working with beforehand. I was a little bit anxious honestly, I thought I would be the odd one and It would be hard to become acquainted with the rest of them. But soon after I learned that the company expanded significantly last year and the number of the employees tripled at least and the summit was also the first time for them to meet the rest of the team. Relief: Obtained.

The hotel was great, it was not crowded but it was not Shining-empty either. We had an intense schedule ahead, so I made sure to make use of breakfast. We had orientation meetings to learn the company's inner workings, financial briefings about the company’s profit of the year, which might seem strange to you for financial topics to be spoken out loud with the employees. It was unexpected for me, but it is not taboo in kloia and I’ll discuss this in detail below.

The first day flew by as we had presentations after presentations and spent the rest of the evening getting to know each other.

The next day we had a hackathon. A hackathon is a friendly competition where different teams try to accomplish a certain task in a limited amount of time. There were four teams in our hackathon and I joined the event as a spectator, which was appropriate as the terms they used were something between Elven and gibberish for someone like me. The event lasted until the evening and each member of the winning team was rewarded with Oculus Quest 2, which I envied a little bit. I mean, more than a little...

You can watch our hackathon video.

The evening continued with the music in the disco in accompaniment of Dj Helluri, whom you might have heard. No? Then believe me, you should. After the disco closed, we carried the night on to the outside of the hotel. The weather was cold, and the temperature was below zero celsius. Partly because we were dancing still and partly because alcohol was running in our veins, but surely because of the warmth of people, despite the freezing cold, I felt the warmth inside.

Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 15.11.08

My Impressions about kloia

I just finished my first month at kloia and I would like to share my first impressions with you. I haven’t grasped the whole dynamics and inner workings yet but it will give you the idea.

The Culture

If you’ve ever visited kloia’s website, you might have noticed the motto “No Corporate-Bullshit” on the career page. I realized one thing at the summit and just after my first week at work. They mean it. There isn’t any concrete hierarchy structure, there isn’t any superiority complex, there aren't any bullshit procedures you need to go through to do the simplest of tasks. No one assumes, everyone asks. There aren’t any stupid questions. I mean, in every company they claim the same thing, “Shoot any questions,” they say, “do not be afraid to ask.”, but they may shoot judgemental looks on your way in return. No one looks at you judgingly at kloia. And it has nothing to do with the fact that everyone works remotely!

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Working Remotely

At the beginning of my post, I told you that there aren’t any doors at kloia. It was actually a double-barrelled sentence. Firstly, there being no doors means you don’t need to go through certain doors to be at work. Being kloian means being able to work anywhere you want. You don’t have to spend your valuable time commuting back and forth. You want to work from your home but do not have an adequate setup for an appropriate working environment? No worries, kloia provides a remote budget for everyone to create a comfortable home office. Even still, you prefer working somewhere other than your home? At that point workingtons come to rescue.

PS. Excessive time spent working while lying down might cause neck and back pain. Proven by experience… Not of mine but of a friend of mine, of course. 

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Open Sessions, Brown Bags

The second meaning of there being no doors is transparency. As far as I have seen, you can talk about anything without hesitation. There are even events called “Open Sessions” in which you can write down your questions or opinions anonymously. And they are answered and addressed without beating around the bush. No dodging questions, no talking in circles.

As I mentioned earlier, financial topics are not taboo either and they are spoken freely. You know the financial status of the company, its yearly profit. Wage information is not confidential either, you know what you ought to earn at your current scale. No matter what your current assignment or seniority level is, your opinions are treated equally. What I believe is that where transparency is ensured, trust is materialized.

kloia also provides room for their employees to improve themselves. It provides language courses, helps you to get suitable certificates for your work line, let’s you manage your own schedule. With the weekly sessions called “Brown Bag”, one of us makes presentations about specific topics, varying from writing techniques to new software frameworks to spread knowledge.

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Now, to sum up my impressions, please see the Bullshits Table below for a quick comparison.

Bullshits

Any Other Company (Most of)

kloia

Do I need permission from my supervisor to take time off?

𐄂

Do I need to spend my precious time to file everything I do?

𐄂

Do I need to follow strictly created working plans?

𐄂

Do I need to ask permission to manage my daily routines?

𐄂

Is transparency just a word?

𐄂

Is trust just a fairytale?

𐄂

Employee contributes and employer does nothing in return?

𐄂

Is everything just money in the end?

𐄂

 

Are you having withdrawal symptoms and do you need your daily dose of bullshit? Sorry hon, you need to find somewhere other than kloia, for it is bullshit-free!

My Onboarding Process

My onboarding process is still continuing at the moment and I’m beginning to see my roadmap with the help of my mentors. As I am originally an Energy Systems Engineer, I have many gaps in my theoretical knowledge regarding software engineering. My mentors show me where I fall short, advise me on how to correct my mistakes, and advise me on which aspects of my mentality I should work on.

We schedule two daily meetings, one of which is in the morning and the other one is in the evening. At the start of the day, we discuss what I am going to do during the day and I get advice or I‘m given some tasks to be completed about specific topics I’ll need in the future. Again, I get a say on my schedule to prioritize tasks and organize it to fit my day. In the evenings, I get answers to my questions and we solve problems together if I encounter any.

My Goal

I can say that main and side quests have already started to become clear and I am starting to figure out which of my stats I should focus on. Even though there is a long way to go, thanks to my mentors and teammates, I am sure the road won’t be as steep as it could have been. 

Now I aim to contribute to my company as soon as possible and strengthen my theoretical knowledge as much as I can in the meantime. I know I will get distracted with the side quests and try to learn irrelevant topics, but the flexibility of kloia makes it possible to use these in many different ways. I just hope that I won’t end up with a Stealth Archer build… again.

And we have come to the end of my journey so far. I hope I didn’t bore you to death and helped you to get familiar with kloia. I don’t know If we will cross paths in this lifetime, but if so, do not hesitate to send a party invite! 

Take a look at our careers page to see what we're up to.

Muhammet Topçu

Muhammet is currently working as QA Engineer at kloia. He is familiar with frameworks such as Selenium, Karate, Capybara, etc.