Published on April 23, 2017
Author Mike Long

Working at Praqma

Breaking the rules of consulting

We do things that seem crazy from the perspective of traditional IT consultancies. We are not crazy, but just in case you think we are, let me explain why we do things differently.

Our key principles are:

  • Employees are pets, not cattle

  • Our customers want to change

  • We don’t chop wood, we sharpen axes

  • We don’t sell CV’s

  • We invest in ourselves

  • We invest in the community

Employees are pets, not cattle

There is a popular term in the DevOps world that we should treat our servers and environments like cattle rather than pets. The ideal infrastructure should be made of mass-produced units destined for destruction at our will, rather than individually hand-raised with care.

Unfortunately the attitude that employees are resources to be mined also prevails in the consulting world. We take a different view on this.

In Praqma, there are no bonuses for slaving away long hours on customer projects. We expect to see you in the office regularly, collaborate with your Praqma colleagues, and in general contribute to the Praqma culture.

  • We don’t commit our consultants to more that 80% on client work

  • We encourage work on internal projects

  • We develop graduate talent together with senior experienced consultants who’ve “seen-it-all”. Nobody should ever feel on their own in Praqma, even if we do throw our consultants in the deep-end.

Our customers want to change

Many of us have had frustrating working experiences in teams and organizations that simply cannot or will not change. In Praqma, things are different. Our customers are ambitious, want to improve, and are actively asking for us to help them.

We help organizations sharpen their axes, and we believe there is no better way to build a career.

We don’t chop wood, we sharpen axes

This is a proverb we’re using internally in Praqma. What we mean by this is that we’re not just hired to make up the numbers - we are there to improve teams and organizations.

We work together with the customer’s own employees - we don’t replace them. Slowly and surely we teach them everything we know through daily work routines and by turning everything into code so it becomes persisted, executable and maintainable.

We don’t sell CV’s

Our customers don’t buy people from us, they buy services. Our quotes and contracts with our customers are very explicit about this. We have the motto “Buy a consultant, get a team”. What we mean by this is that to best serve our customers we need to be able to bring the full experience of our team to their problems.

Why do we do this?

The nature of what we do involves way more skills and experiences than any one person should rightly have. An expert at introducing Test Driven Development to teams would probably not also be an expert at setting up a HA Kubernetes cluster on bare metal. But it could be that a customer needs all those skills to succeed in improving its organization’s ability to deliver change.

By delivering a service rather than the CV we can:

  • Better serve our customers

  • Increase collaboration and knowledge sharing in Praqma

  • Increase collaboration and knowledge sharing with our customers

  • In general live more authentic lives.

How does this work in practice? In general each customer has a Senior Consultant to plan, organize, teach and direct the change process, together with one or more other consultants to help on the implementation.

We invest in ourselves

Many of the technologies and skills we are delivering today did not exist two years ago. This means we need to spend a lot of time learning new technologies, sharing this learning both internally and through our events.

We frame our company culture in terms of knowledge and experience and we believe that teaching what we learn is the best showcase for our talent.

We invest in the community

Even from the very beginnings, Praqma has taken its role in the community seriously. Starting with the Scandinavian Jenkins community many years ago, we have now grown into running many conferences, community events, and meet-up groups. We are often speaking at international conferences and are always on the lookout for how we can contribute and participate in our field.

Why do we do this?

Praqma is soon turning 10 years old, but most of these values were present even from the founding of the company. The co-founders of Praqma, Lars and Leif, wanted to build a company they actually wanted to work in, a place that is fun, and that makes a difference in the world.

We believe this is not only the right way to contribute to the software world, we also believe it is the best way.

Join us!

If Praqma sounds like a place you can thrive in, we want to hear from you. We are always looking for consultants, developers and sales persons in all locations. Reach out to us on and tell us what you can bring to Praqma!

We’re hiring! See our open positions

Familiarize yourself with our on-boarding process: Get Your Orange Wings

Author: Mike Long

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