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Musings

The spirit of KRS

19 Jul 2021 by Elizabeth Duff

KRS people

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. Dr. Seuss”

Back in 1987, KRS set out to build great software. 34 years later that hasn’t changed and we’re proud of the many products and projects we’ve put into the hands of thousands of people. But apart from our love for software, what is it that makes KRS tick?

It’s all about the people

We sell no physical stock, financial instrument, or physical labour. What we have are people with ideas. They are everything - without them we have no business. It’s that simple. That’s why KRS sets out to create a place that allows each person to learn, thrive and produce the best work to their ability. We’re a bunch of talented individuals (yes, we will brag about that) who are hugely diverse. We thrive on challenges and stimulation, but we’re also really good at putting in the hard work to make every project a success.

We love to learn

Regular training and bootcamps create an environment of knowledge-sharing. Expect a large variety of topics, from honing software design practices to remote working tips. We also encourage our staff to go out and contribute to our community. It’s important to provide time off to attend events and webinars in the software development and Agile world. We run a well-respected annual internship for new developers, bridging the theory they have learned at college or uni with real-world software experience in a mentored environment. We’ve been doing this for about 12 years, and regard the arrival of new interns as the highlight of each year. Handpicked from hundreds of applicants, they are the new energy that flows into KRS annually.

It’s how we work

KRS is a far cry from corporate culture. We have a strong team culture, with a lot of autonomy of decision making in the teams around what works for them. Teams become friends, and we support team building activities, but always driven from the team, not enforced by management. Our approach is to adopt Agile practices to support the teams. We work on creating safe spaces where everyone’s ideas count and our roles are fluid. We particularly love Extreme Programming (XP) and are big fans of software pairing, an agile software technique that involves two developers collaborating on the same task, code, test, etc. The process is done on one computer (yip, we can do this remotely) and results in higher quality code, knowledge-sharing and efficiency.

It’s our energy

Even though we work remotely, KRS is a social company and we love to hang out together. On any given day you might find teams playing a quick game of Among Us, sharing memes or enjoying some banter. Every so often we organise in-person catch-ups (all Covid-friendly, of course), whether it’s a braai in a park or pizza and beers at a favourite local spot. Teams also enjoy regular "happy chappy" outings of their choice, from surf lessons at Muizenberg to getting creative at Clay Cafe. The chance to chill out and have some fun is a vital part of our culture.

Our core values are:

Caring - we care about our staff and they care for our clients
Collaboration - we are stronger together
Communication - open and kind communication can solve most things
Curiosity - keep learning!

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