My first two years in Aptoma

We’ve decided to put some sparkle into our blog again, and I was asked by…ehm…me…to write about “us” in Aptoma. The “us” category should obviously show us from the personal side, as I like to think Aptoma is more than just coding, algorithms and software.

So…who are “us”?

Well, to start off we have one drummer, one DJ, one thai boxer, one home-professional beer brewer, one guy who made his own electrical bike, one who is into board games and another into computer games, one guy is crazy about training, running and bicycling  in all a kinds of weather (and believe me, “weather” in Norway is relative). Then we have Geir, the captain, who thinks he is the greatest rower in the world and is rowing around the coastline of Norway in between the battles at work, and of course Rikke, our only girl, who are able to mix her business and home-baking skills so well together and pull our ears when things needs to be done. I could keep on…The point is, there are few obvious similarities amongst us. (And I also have to add another strange fact, we don’t even share the same belief on sleeping with or without underwear at night! It’s actually a question I think should be mandatory to ask to new employees, as it says more about a person than (almost) anything else!)

So, speaking of interests and personalities, we have a wide variety of people here, but still we go really, I mean really, well together. So, what is the answer to this? I spent some time trying to figure it out, and I think I have found the key to our similarities…it’s based on the “soft values” (yes, those female-favoured values.) Let me list some examples in no particular order:

A GOOD HEART: I believe that is a common value amongst all of us. All would (probably) refrain from e.g killing a cat. I have two cats, so I am incompetent, but true, I can not see any of us doing that.  This is of course linked to value number two:

HUMBLE. We don’t like (cat!) fights. We like constructive talks and discussions. We listen to each other. I think it’s called communication. I think we are very forward thinking on this, we don’t get into physical fighting (it’s true!). Humble also means we are humble towards what we are planning, creating and executing software-wise, but I believe also on how we listen to, and interact with, our customers.

HUMOUR: “How can a bunch of IT-nerds have humour”? You probably heard it before…The “nerd” term is probably a blemish from early 2000, but the lack of humour I can understand may be a relevant question. Well…you would have to look closely as it is definitely there! But it’s in the subtle, small things. It’s in the look, the double meaning, the sarcasm, the irony, and in many small things we do and talk about.

GREAT SKILLS: Probably not a Soft Value (or depending on who’s the winner of the smartest gender contest) but hey, who wouldn’t say they were clever!? The thing is, I have never been to a working space where I have felt more stupider than ever when the situation described below occurs. A really good combination that illustrates what happens if you mix SKILLS with HUMBLENESS and a slight portion of HUMOUR:

Kenneth: I have an idea

Us: Let us hear it.

Kenneth: It goes like this: blablabla…

Us: Grrrrreat, fantastic idea!!! (Coffe anyone!?)


Kenneth Froholdt, Product Department