4 (+1) wins! A somewhat different working time model

Is this situation familiar to you? You are stuck on a project working with an outdated tool, or have to update an outdated system from the ground up. Not only do you have to dig through legacy code, but also through rusty APIs and a lot of "dirty" code.

For five days a week you build up technical debt while looking forward to the weekend when you will finally have time for other things – just to start all over again on Monday morning.

Isn’t this the life as an IT consultant?

Not everywhere.

The "4+1" working time model

Here at itemis we have a special day that belongs only to us. This "+1" day can be designed to suit our interests, and is even stipulated contractually. The "+1" day is at the disposal of all our colleagues for further education and training. This can extend from participation in open-source projects such as YAKINDU Statechart Tools or Xtext, through trainings for example in the area of design thinking, to participation in conferences such as EclipseCon. Or we can simply read a good book, learn a foreign language or use our sporting activities.

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What does this look like?

I am working on a project with a major automotive supplier during the week. There I work on the development of a tool for creating and managing feature models and variants based on Eclipse RCP. C code is generated from the variants, which ensures that everything works as it should.

The work is a lot of fun – after all, our approach makes us pioneers in this field, since this method of code generation is only applied by a few companies. However, issues such as strict release cycles offer a good deal of stress.

That’s why I am all the more pleased when I occasionally stay in our office in Frankfurt and work on something else. Not because I do not like my project work – on the contrary – but it is good to have variety.

In my "+1" time I have revived an interest from my youth: mobile development with Android. Currently I am certified to Google Associate Android Developer level: I won the training as part of a lottery for a large online university, and I enjoy it a lot.

Win-win: why does this model profit everyone?

My "additional" day helps me get the project out of my head, which is important. Taking time out to deal with completely different topics helps you to reflect and refocus, and sometimes come up with completely new solutions.

For me as a developer, time is also important for expanding my personal portfolio. The IT world is changing rapidly: new tools, programming languages and methods arise and old ones are less in demand. It is important to stay on the ball and invest time in your own education.

This is also important for itemis. Every IT house lives by its employees. Experienced and well-trained, they provide the foundation we cannot do without. The training and internal "4+1" projects strengthen cohesion and ensure that itemis can provide its clients with a broad portfolio and well-positioned experts who are always curious and interested in developing their skills.

Our colleagues at itemis are not only specialists in a single field, but have a broad and sound knowledge of the current state of IT developments through their regular training and further training opportunities.

Last but not least, our clients also benefit. As a large number of the "4+1" projects deal with topics that are directly relevant to our clients, we can incorporate this fresh impetus into client projects directly and create promising new approaches. We can also offer a degree of objectivity to clients in suggesting improvements, innovations and changes to their work processes, helping to support them optimally.

If you would like to know more about this working-time model, do not hesitate to contact us. Information about other aspects of working at itemis can be found in our career blog, such as how colleagues cope with a lot of travel.

Working at itemis – want to know more? Then look at our career pages!  

Learn more about the employer itemis

About The Author

Tommaso is a software developer and IT consultant for itemis in Frankfurt. He is focussing on Java, Eclipse RCP and Android.