Ts or T-shaped people or T-skilled people, is a metaphor known to be first referenced by Tim Brown, CEO of the revered design firm IDEO, as the best method to assess and build inter-disciplinary teams.
The vertical bar on the T represents the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, whereas the horizontal bar is the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one’s own.
I guess, that quote from Wikipedia says it all. If one is serious about agility in their teams or organization, must look for inter-disciplinary teams or many refer to as cross-functional teams. Cross-functional doesn’t mean, as some assume, a person that can do every function in the team, but have a team of people with different functional expertise.
What Ts emphasize is that we should not only look for people with functional expertise, but also have broader understanding and hence appreciation of other functions. So they can trust each other in the group and collaborate towards the goal. Many a times, if you do not appreciate what others are bringing to the table, it is very difficult to build trust and rely on each other. Trust is the key to agile teams, particularly where innovation matters, because you are always venturing in unchartered waters.
We are like building a football team of champions, that play their positions exceptionally well and trust in each other to win the game.
At Softrams, we are consciously striving to build a team. Not a one person army. So, no, we are not looking for unicorns or rock stars that can do every possible thing under the sky. But somebody that is really exceptional at one thing and understand well enough to trust in each other and collaborate with rest of the team on all other aspects.
Here are our ground rules :
We define objectives and specify key skills that are required for a position at hand, as precisely as possible. Often, it will be one key skill and a few related skills.
We believe that what a person learned and did in the past 2–3 years has significant impact and value than what a person learned or did years ago. So, we refrain from asking for experience in our key skills longer than 2–3 years.
Softrams is built on innovation with people that push the boundaries in every direction. The key to this culture is our emphasis on continuous learning and experimentation. So we always look for people that are always learning and trying something. We value your weekend experiment trying to learn a new skill above many other factors.
We love people with strong opinions and those that respect and appreciate the fact that everybody in the team have their own strong opinions. Ideas must win, no matter who brings them up. This is why, we look for Ts that are exceptionally well but also respect others and trust each other.
We do not believe in factory style cubicles. We are not looking to optimize the real estate. We want to make ideas thrive and teams are built and collaboration happen. We have consciously invested and designed our workspaces, to be open, vibrant and make us huddle together anywhere and work.
We always love to know more and ask every single person that is considering joining Softrams team to share their body of work and let that be the focal point of interview to assess (rather than a multi-page resume). If for any reason, it is not possible to share, we ask to do a very simple experiment for about an hour, giving you a chance to showcase your skills, your favorite tools and your approach to solving a problem.
These ground rules help us bring not only the best and brightest in the industry, but also build a team of champions, that trust in each other and work as a team to win.
If you are looking for an opportunity to challenge the status-quo and build human centered digital experiences, we are growing and hiring for our UX, DevOps, Full Stack (Angular / NodeJS) and Cloud teams in Baltimore MD, Leesburg VA, Plano TX or remotely from anywhere in the USA. Checkout for more details https://www.softrams.com/careers
Have the Ts? Join our Ace Teams at one these vibrant, open and exhilarating collaboration workspaces in Baltimore MD, Leesburg VA or remotely from anywhere in the USA.
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