Technology changes at a torrential pace, and in order for InRhythm to continue to bring value to our clients, we have to innovate and keep pace with a rapidly evolving technology landscape. Should we advise clients to move toward a microservice architecture? Should our clients migrate to TypeScript? What is the significance of Design-First thinking? The only way we can answer these questions is by fostering a culture of learning and growth.
Learning and growth represent an individual’s commitment to continuously improve themselves and, as a result, continue to grow in their career. It starts with a personal dedication to learning and growing, but no one should have to make that journey alone. The culture of learning and growth at InRhythm can provide the necessary support and lift required for an individual to achieve their goals and scale the heights set for themselves. So, how do we define the culture of learning and growth at InRhythm?
Learning and Growth at InRhythm
Learning comes in various forms:
• Learning from others
• Instructional learning
• And more
Clearly, there are various ways to learn, and you’ll pick and choose the form of learning best suited to your needs; it’s InRhythm’s job to support you in your journey. When you come to work with us, you have the ability to learn and grow with as well as join a larger community of people who are as passionate about what they love as you are. InRhythm supports this community of learners by creating an internal structure geared towards shared skills (or “Practice Areas”), a coaching program to foster mentoring and growth, providing PluralSight licenses for self-learners, and a community to help you write and publish content and hold learning events (code lounges, meetups, etc).
Practice Areas are how we internally organize ourselves. They are communities of individuals who share a common passion and skills around solving specific technology challenges but, more importantly, who are willing to continue to push the envelope within their domain by helping and learning from each other. You may be officially part of a single practice area, but you’re free to join other practice areas and learn from the community of learners within those practices. Here’s a quick overview of some of our practice areas:
• Product Design: From design thinking to rapid prototyping, InRhythm designers craft end-to-end design strategies
• Cloud Engineering: Scalable services down to scalable data layer, involved in building microservice architecture for our clients
Each practice area community has its own dedicated Slack channel, and these channels are vibrant forums for sharing insights, asking questions, and learning by association.
Given the explosive growth we’ve experienced over the last few years, it became clear that we needed to invest in a coaching program to support and scale employee growth. What is a coaching program and how does it benefit you? Our coaching program has two main goals:
• Growth opportunities for individuals interested in leading and mentoring
• Mentorship to help shape your career at InRhythm and beyond
InRhythmers interested in leading and mentoring volunteer to become coaches within the program. Coaches are responsible for guiding their mentees by meeting with them on a regular basis, shaping their career journey beyond InRhythm by helping them come up with their annual learning goals, and collecting and providing performance feedback. Coaches also have a seat at the table in helping shape their respective Practice Area’s identity, which could include everything from talent growth to strategic offerings. The coaching community across Practice Areas meet at a regular cadence to help each other and continue to brainstorm ways in which we can support the aspirations of our employees. An example of these efforts is the soon-to-be-unveiled Speaker Series. This series will be a monthly event where industry leaders will hold discussions around specific topics.
Each employee has a coach; in a distributed work environment, it’s great to have someone that will always be there for you, meet with you regularly, and be a cheerleader for your career at InRhythm and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to ensure everyone leaves InRhythm a better engineer, leader, and teammate than when they joined us.
Annual Learning Goals
This is the third and final way in which InRhythm promotes learning and growth. Up until now, we have mainly focused on communities from Practice Areas to Coaching; however, annual learning goals are geared towards individuals and self-learning. Let’s get right into the details.
Each individual should create an annual learning goal plan working with their coaches that will help them learn and grow in their careers at InRhythm and beyond. This plan is truly meant for the individual to think about their career beyond InRhythm and indicate 4 things they will focus on achieving in an annual year. The individual items on the plan can be one of the following but not limited to technology, industry, book, professional development, and soft skills. In addition to leveraging the communities to help with your individual goals, InRhythm also provides PluralSight licenses to help with your self-learning.
If we compare learning and career growth to the Input-Process-Output streaming paradigm the tools, structure, and support you have for learning is the input, how you leverage this support system and your dedication to learning is the process, and career growth is the result/output. It is natural to expect growth if you commit and dedicate yourself to learning and stellar job performance. We feel the same way. As mentioned before, our ultimate goal is to ensure you leave InRhythm a better engineer, leader, and teammate then when you joined us. At the same time, we would be thrilled and excited if you decide to continue to grow your career with us! Each Practice Area will have levels defined with ideal expectations of behavior and skills for those levels. You bring the passion and dedication to learning, we provide the tools, structure, and support required for learning, and together watch you grow in your career.
Come learn and grow with us, and let’s take things to the next level together.