“It feels like we are working on things that are actually important”

2019-10-16
4C Strategies started 20 years ago in the south of Sweden. Although 4C Strategies has grown into a global company, the research and development department for our Exonaut software still resides in Malmö. To give you an idea of what it would be like to work for us, we got together with three of our colleagues to talk about the kind of challenges they can face and what makes it fun to go to work.

Sofie Troedsson is a software testing engineer for our Exonaut software and started at 4C Strategies in September 2018. Johannes Adell is a Java developer and has been here since November 2017 and Anders Larm divides his time between UX design and web development and joined 4C in November 2013.

First, can you give us a picture of how the development department is organised?

Johannes: We have a number of junior developers complemented by several senior people who were involved at the beginning and have set up the development department from scratch. We are divided into Java, Backend, Frontend, Javascript for web interfaces and Mobile development.

Could you give us an example of a particularly interesting project you have worked on?

Johannes: During the spring, I worked in a super interesting project aimed at integrating autonomous drones into our existing system. During the development period, I worked together with developers from an external drone technology supplier. The project culminated in us spending a day testing the tool on an airfield outside Stockholm, Sweden, together with the emergency services and other interested parties.

As part of our work, we handle a great deal of rather sensitive information. How does this affect your jobs?

Johannes: Compared with other developers, we can’t chat openly about what we do at work. Some of our work involves classified information. We are also screened and go through a rigorous interview process. But otherwise, there is not that much difference.

“Our solutions give people tools to defend our democratic civil society”

We sometimes talk about the “higher purpose” in what we do, what do you feel this higher purpose is in your work?

Sofie: When I applied for a job at 4C Strategies, I didn’t really know how our platforms were used. But I quickly realised that what we develop is important and can change the working conditions of many people.

Anders: Maybe this sounds pretentious, but our solutions provide tools which can be used to defend our democratic society. I like working on things that make a difference.  Everyone is of course free to make their own choices, but for me, it feels satisfying that I am not working for a company that provides little benefit to society; an online casino, for example.

Johannes: Yes, I agree with what Sofie and Anders are saying, that it feels like we are working on things that are really important. It’s cool that we are building systems in which our code can help people to take the right decisions in vulnerable situations with high stakes. Here, I’m mostly thinking about what we do for different armed forces. But what we build can also be of crucial importance for a civilian company or emergency services in a crisis situation.

“Many of our colleagues worked previously in some very interesting organisations. They now share exciting experience and perspectives from their former workplaces with us.

Why would it be interesting for a developer to work here?

Johannes: There is a great deal of teamwork among the staff and employees often spend half of day working alongside someone else.  This brings both variation and social interaction to the job.

Anders: Yes and then many of our colleagues have had some very interesting careers, working for tech startups and development assistance organizations, for example. It is both interesting and beneficial for us to have access to that competence. There is also a very wide technical skill-set among all those working in the development department so you hear many different perspectives when moving between teams.

“Lively, civic-minded and unnerdy, that’s how I would describe the atmosphere”

What’s the atmosphere like at the office?

Sofie: Everyone talks to everyone, and we have contact with each other across all our teams. We really are one team, where everyone joins forces to achieve our aim.

Johannes: There are many young developers here and we get on well together. However, it has also been easy to get to know those who have been here for longer. The senior staff members are really helpful and do not grumble about having to answer “stupid questions”. The office is also easy to get to, right in the middle of the city, and there are plenty of places close-by to have an after-work drink.

Anders: I like the atmosphere here; lively, civic-minded and unnerdy you could say. We don’t often talk shop over lunch with colleagues with diverse interests outside of tech.

Please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more about what it is like to work at 4C Strategies. All job vacancies are published on our career web-page. Just now, we’re looking for several people to join our development department in Malmö.

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