Building your career by staying over a decade at the same company, is that a shrewd move? It certainly can be — when the conditions feel right. Duong Vu shares insight on exactly what makes him thrive in his long-term stable role as Full-stack engineer with Facilitated Work Hub and his Norwegian co-employer DNV Imatis.
At the Hub, we recently celebrated Duong Vu´s 10-year Employee Anniversary. Covid lockdown and subsequent measures not to completely cluster the event agenda — many staff at FWH reached 5- and 10-year careers at FWH in 21/22 — clouded the calendar. «I think I’m soon reaching 12 years here, actually! » Vu says, laughing. He’s in it for the long run. And the right man to explain why the right culture equals low turnover.
A culture shaped by balance
«The company management style and this environment suits me, » Vu tells me, while leaning back in our ocean blue-painted meeting room. «Developers at my stage, we look for balance in our lives. Other developers might be attracted by other things. Specific challenges, pay, whatever. I displayed these characteristics too. 12 years ago, salary was certainly what I considered first when considering jobs. But after a couple of years here at FWH, I had changed my mindset completely. »
«Work life in 2022 has so many more aspects to it, » Vu says. «How do you get along with your client? What’s the office culture like? Are your colleagues in line with you? Salary is just one out of many pointers, actually. Don’t get me wrong, I have and enjoy a good salary as well, but the overall environment is where I spend my working life, that is what matters most. The balance of all aspects I mentioned equals our culture. I’ve been here for close to 12 years already, and I’m still around. I stay here for the culture. »
Trust builds responsibility
– Could you explain what exactly attracts you by our culture, Vu?
«Sure. We are developers, we are not machines. I really like the flexibility we enjoy. You cannot code the exact same amount day by day. Our field does not work like that, not at all. When facing a problem, it does not sort itself out just by staring at your screen. The solution might as well appear when I’m in the bathroom, or at any random moment. And that moment is more valuable than a full day being stuck. Other companies are way stricter. If I spend some time helping out my kid and then catch up on work later instead, ideas tend to spring up. Which is good for me, and effective for my co-employer as well! This model, or structure, works because we take full responsibility for our tasks. This is the Norwegian way, from my point of view. »
Vu is visibly engaged now, elaborating further: «My Norwegian colleagues are really nice, and they show trust in us. They are not calling me up all the time to check or control, like some other nationalities would do. Such management style is purely annoying, by the way. Developers really don’t like that! As I said, programming is not an even flow. It comes in bursts. We organize ourselves to fulfill tasks, which we manage to do through our responsibility and their trust. It goes two ways. This cultural trait, I tell you, is KEY to why me and my teammates succeed — and why we stay. »
Motivated by equality and colleagueship
Co-employer Imatis got acquired by DNV last year. It has happened before that companies change their policy on engaging software departments abroad when restructuring after being bought. Not so with Imatis. Their Vietnamese development team at FWH was given high praise, and it did not take long for DNV to arrange a digital «Town Hall», with everyone involved invited, to clarify that their Vietnamese colleagues would stay on. Soon after, they expanded the team.
Vu and his team went on a work trip to Porsgrunn in Norway this summer, his 2nd visit there. «I could really feel my client´s appreciation for what we have done for them. Meeting up like this, mingling and working together, gave us a real motivation boost afterwards. Not only for us; the Norwegians as well! »
«We have a flat team structure here, » Vu points out. «Everyone’s on the same level and contributing. After all this time we are great friends also outside work. We easily sit down and talk about anything together, and when you know each other so deeply, our tight communication spills over into tasks as well …» Another pro based on stability and low turnover, surely.
Rounding off our talk, Vu states that he is happy continuing his career with us. «In addition to the culture, FWH provides a physical working environment that gives me a comfortable feeling. Our office has a nice, spacious design. It’s suitable for my needs, simple as that. »
We look forward to Vu´s next decade at the hub and will strive to become even better at crafting an environment that feels right — both for existing and future employees.
At Facilitated Work Hub, all employees work in stable permanent positions for one Norwegian co-employer only. Stay updated on our available careers.