An incubator for our collective ingenuity...
Author: John Durrant, Head of Software Engineering
Hello and welcome to Purple Labs. Purple Labs is an initiative launched from the Engineering and Technical departments of Eagle Eye Solutions.
Collectively, we have built one of the world’s leading digital promotions platform, the engine behind many well-known loyalty schemes, powering real-time intelligent connections to retail customers around the globe. Purple Labs is an offshoot from our main commercially driven activities, a place to experiment, play, celebrate and share.
Finding the 'sweet spot'...
“We are on a journey to create an eco-system where our technical people can thrive, bringing their best selves to work. By taking a genuine interest in our people as human beings, considering the human experience when designing our work environment, principles, and methodologies, aiming for that ‘sweet spot’ where personal ambitions and passions are aligned with the needs of our business, and enabling our teams to flourish…” - John Durrant, Head of Software Engineering, Eagle Eye Solutions
What is Purple Labs?
Purple Labs is an initiative to pool our technical genius, thinking of ways to solve interesting problems with technology, extending our technical reach the world outside of our company, sharing our knowledge and insights, celebrating our successes, and generally doing interesting things with tech. Purple labs is our place to be courageously creative, to grow and become smarter, and to collaborate with others for mutual benefit.
Well, Purple has been adopted not only as our corporate branding colour but also the branding for the values and principles which have emerged as part of our culture which guides our 'ways of working'. We recognise the importance of culture. The role of a professional Software Engineer or Technical Professional goes beyond writing good code and technical know-how. We are continually striving to grow as people, developing our ‘soft skills’, creating strong interpersonal relationships, and a culture of psychological safety and belonging as the foundation for building great things together. Being 'purple' is the day-to-day embodiment of our principles.
Engaging with the wider Engineering and Technical community:
Through Purple Labs we will be connecting our people to the wider technical community through Open Sourcing some of our non-commercially sensitive libraries as well as striving to run our own tech focused conferences. Through open sourcing we will begin with sharing tools for others to use and to contribute to for the benefit of all, working towards our aspiration of running a Purple Labs branded conference to engage face to face with the others who share our technical interests.
Sharing our insights:
We’re always learning, trying new practices or technologies, tinkering and learning from our mistakes. Purple Labs provides a vehicle for sharing our thoughts and insights beyond the cosy walls of our company, via blogging, social media and events. By sharing non-commercially sensitive insights we’ll gain useful feedback as well as the satisfaction in feeling that we are helping others.
Celebrating our successes:
We work hard and have come a long way together as a team, and Purple Labs is a mouthpiece for showing off our hard-won successes and achievements in the form of blog stories, anecdotes and other social media postings. Sharing our successes is rewarding and motivating for the people involved and further enhancement of our culture, giving us a greater sense of purpose, meaning and belonging and helping to inspire the pursuit of future successes.
Purple Labs provides the means for our Engineers and Technical gurus to access their inner creative genius, innovating new ways of solving the problems we face as a company as well as more generally tackling interesting problems in the wider world. Our first brainstorm session produced around 45 ideas from which we will be experimenting and innovating with a select few.
Enhancing our interpersonal relationships:
Through having fun with tech and indulging some of our personal technical passions we will find new ways to collaborate inter-departmentally. Architects working with Engineers, QA and TechOps on interesting innovations will create deeper internal connections. We’ve already kicked off a some fun interviews with our CTO, Steve Rothwell, under the production title of ‘Steve Unplugged’, a candid session where we delved into the inner mind of our founder, and we’re extending this the unplugged theme to the rest of the Exec team with the aim of bringing us all closer together.
Beyond 'Employer Branding':
The ultimate ambition of Purple Labs is aligned with the idea of Employer Branding where we assert and promote our values and competencies to the external world but we want to push beyond branding and genuinely elevate the importance of the overall employee experience. Our ambition is for Eagle Eye to be considered one of the best places to work as a Technical professional. We want to bring out the best in people, knowing that our ultimate success is down to recruiting, engaging and retaining excellent people. Purple Labs is essentially an Employer Brand for our technical departments and we want to live up to the branding with the ambition of ensuring our people can grow and flourish by taking a wholesome approach to the individual experience within a flexible, adaptable, organic eco-system which responds to their needs.
Keep Calm and Stay Purple...
Watch this blog for further updates as the Purple Labs project develops, please comment, feedback and share, and as this project progresses, we would especially like to hear from like-minded collaborators who wish to share and collaborate with our journey.