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What it’s like to work at DataArt

When you visit DataArt’s office in Larnaca, two things will definitely catch your eye: the majestic view from the windows of the Phinikoudes seafront promenade – already strewn with Christmas decorations – and the presence of numerous yellow ducks of various sizes demanding your attention.

A quick scan of the company’s social media has me convinced that these yellow intruders hold a deeper symbolism that I need to look into.

“DataArt is an engineering company, so our colleagues are familiar with the psychological rubber duck problem-solving approach described in The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas,” Ksenia Yureva, DataArt’s HR Lead Cyprus explains, solving my new-found mystery. In the book, the authors describe a programmer carrying around a rubber duck and talking to it for help to work through coding problems. The idea is that explaining your code out loud can trigger insights and uncover issues that you might otherwise overlook. “A variation of this method is also used for debugging,” she says. “Many of our colleagues get branded rubber ducks from our internal swag shop and take pictures during their travels. The duck has become a beloved symbol within DataArt and it dominates our social media presence!”

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DataArt Cyprus was established in May 2022 and has grown since then, currently consisting of 50 employees and, as Yureva indicates, it plans to grow even more. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in New York City, DataArt is a global software engineering firm that designs and engineers data-driven, cloud-native solutions to create immediate and enduring business value. DataArt comprises more than 5,700 professionals in more than 30 locations, with clients including major global brands such as Unilever, Priceline, Ocado Technology and Flutter Entertainment.

“Professional development is a big part of our employee value proposition,” Yureva explains. “We have created an environment where colleagues can constantly learn and develop. Either via access to the LinkedIn Learning, O’Reilly, or Udemy platform, they can pick any external course that we will reimburse, or participate in a mentoring programme: technical, non-technical, and management and leadership capability.”

I am not surprised to discover that DataArt employees enjoy a corporate online library with over 45,000 professional books, a catalogue of internal courses created by DataArt experts, a coaching programme and a Professional Development Map application that highlights professional development opportunities within DataArt. After all, it is a company that needs to be ahead of its time, since technology transforms in the blink of an eye and so its employees need to be informed and up to date.

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“At DataArt, we foster a culture of equity and trust that is driven by deep human values, led by the ‘people first’ approach. Our approach to leadership and an organisational flat structure emphasises a collective decision-making process and fights unnecessary bureaucracy.” I am very happy with this revelation, since I am a firm believer that bureaucracy and employee inaccessibility to key individuals is one of the many flaws in the Cyprus business ecosystem. Admittedly, flexibility seems to be a must for DataArt, on both a collective and individual level: employees enjoy flexible working hours and the freedom to switch among projects, specializations or sales centres. “Also, apart from local bank holidays and annual leave, employees are given an additional 10 paid days off per year when they need to be with their families or deal with personal issues. And to deliver on the job security promise, we have a fully paid idle (bench) programme when the engineers are not involved in a project,” Yureva highlights.

“We value curiosity, independence and tolerance,” she continues. “DataArt’s commitment to its employees and its ‘people first’ principle is evident in its actions during times of crisis and difficulty. We strive to be a pillar of support for our colleagues; we believe in work-life integration; we provide flexible hours and returnships from parental leaves, relocation opportunities, and a corporate mental health helpline programme,” she says and adds. “Benefits are a part of our total rewards approach to compensation. Apart from the monetary part, compensation consists of life, healthcare and wellbeing insurance.”

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DataArt values effective communication, which is why it allows people to provide their feedback anonymously and collects concerns and ideas through surveys. “Working at DataArt Cyprus offers the unique experience of being part of a global company, learning from a world-class team of experts and mentors, and the option to work from another office and explore the planet,” she tells GOLD proudly. “We provide unique, flexible opportunities for professional growth and development within the industry and a happy, fulfilled life.”

All this and yellow ducks too!

(Photos by Michalis Kyprianou)

This article first appeared in the November edition of GOLD magazine. Click here to view it.

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