[Internal Mail] Employee #6

For those of you that have known us for long enough, you will know who Employee #6 is.  He has been with us for all 15 years of our brave existence and his devotion and unconditional loyalty to our cause is truly something to be celebrated.  We're not sure how we know he is a he ...we just know.  His efforts are almost superhuman. That is probably because, well, he's not human... he is a chicken.

Here's an internal mail showcasing just how well he steps in - this time when our COO was away on business in the US...


From: Ross Pickford <>
To: Loren Rose <>
Cc: Ryan Berkowitz <>
Subject: While you are jolling..

 

We hired a new guy to help out while you’re playing with Apples…

 

 

Not sure you need to return. This oke is good!

 

 

Ross Pickford

Head of People

Global Kinetic Software Engineers

Global Kinetic | TeamNinja | FutureBank Platform

 

ZA : +27 (0) 21 527 0050

USA : +1 650 798 5056

LinkedIn

 

Global Kinetic Helps People Become Heroes Against the Odds

Siyaya Skills Institute is working with software company, Global Kinetic to help upskill people who battle with huge life challenges.  One such example is Esmerelda Page who, as a young girl, fell ill with Fibromyalgia.  The pain she suffered was so intense that she was quite unable to attend school.  Luckily, her hospital referred her to the Siyaya Skills Institute and now Esmerelda, a 32 year old mother of three from George, has met her challenges head on, conquered many of them and is living as normal life as possible.   She enlisted in the Wholesale and Retail programme with Siyaya in 2015 and is about to complete her second course in Business Administration.  She manages her condition now by taking medication daily and by keeping positive.  She even manages to earn some money by working at weekends selling Tupperware and Herbal Life at home parties.  What Esmerelda wants now is to get her driver’s license and a permanent job.

Global Kinetic, a leading software and development company is spending around R1.6-million this year in a bid to upskill at least 20 learners through the Siyaya Skills Institute.  The company believes in helping to build heroes in society by sponsoring physically, intellectually and emotionally challenged people to learn how to build long and successful careers for their future.  Siyaya is a professionally-accredited Training Provider which satisfies the requirements of the new Skills Development legislation in South Africa. Siyaya ensures the delivery of quality learning and maximum financial and strategic benefits for all levy paying clients.

Head of HR at Global Kinetic Ross Pickford says, “We used to fund learnerships which directly related to our core business in the IT arena, but we believe now that it is more important to provide training and support to those who need it most. “We wanted to work with the Siyaya Skills Institute because of their professionalism and the skill they provide in guiding us through our BBEEE and EE processes, which plays an important role in our journey as a South African company.

About Siyaya Skills Institute

The Institute was registered in 2001 and has been commissioned to draft some of the first generic training material for Services SETA (SSETA), enabling Siyaya to master the challenging world of Skills Development.

Today, Siyaya is recognized as an experienced and highly capable specialist services provider having successfully completed in excess of 9 000 national qualifications, assisting countless organizations in reaching B-BBEE and compliance objectives since 2001.

It provides reliable services within the regulatory environment, ensuring the delivery of quality learning while maximising financial and strategic benefits for all levy paying clients.

The Institute has to date secured an average of between 50% and 350% of levy payments back in respect of training for clients as well as securing company tax deductions of more than R300-million through the correct application and structuring of skills development interventions and government incentives.

The organisation’s focus is to provide solutions to its clients, assisting them in the integration of company compliance with the various prescriptive and elective legislations, while increasing the productivity and effectiveness of employees through quality learning experiences.

As an externally verified Level 1, B-BBEE contributor, Siyaya provides national services through branches in all major city centres in South Africa.

About Global Kinetic

Launching a rocket from a lighthouse

Achieving the seemingly impossible, a group of highly fuelled people work together at Global Kinetic to spearhead and develop brilliant products, including some that seriously disrupt the market.  One of the coolest places to work, this company has the nicest people creating amazing apps and products, which they do with flair and sheer professionalism, mixed with a dash of fun.

Steeped in expertise*, Global Kinetic makes both end-users and their clients equally happy because they get the stuff right every time.  They designed and created the world’s first fully immersive gamified children’s mobile banking app in Unity for Standard Bank as one example; in another they designed and developed PayToday, the Venmo for Southern Africa.  They’ve built slick and powerful mobile banking experiences for Old Mutual, Bidvest Bank and many more.   Global Kinetic is a leading software engineering company with a team of just under 100 tech-savvy and inspired developers, designers and creatives. They have great offices in Century City as well as in Palo Alto in the US.

*Global Kinetic (GK) provides solutions across the application stack, predominantly .NET or Java deployed to Azure, AWS or physical infrastructure on the enterprise side, and native or hybrid technologies on the mobile side for Apple, Android and Windows Phone.  GK implements SCRUM on all customer projects and provides professional services around the delivery, quality assurance, test automation, requirements gathering, analysis, UX/UI design and architecture.

https://www.globalkinetic.com/

Issued by Wired Communications on behalf of Global Kinetic

Global Kinetic Sponsors Bright Young Heroes

 Cape Town:  13 September 2017:  Simon Manda is one of 53 bright young people who are benefitting from a very special sponsorship from leading software and development company, Global Kinetic, which is helping scholars to access quality education and psycho-social support opportunities through its contribution to The Kay Mason Foundation.

Simon, 16, lives in Milnerton and attends Milnerton High School. He is not only bright and has passed all the assessment tests with Kay Mason Foundation, but is very special in other ways as well. When he is not studying, he knits squares for the initiative called ‘Mothers that Care” as part of his volunteer work required by the Kay Mason Foundation programme. Thanks to his mother who taught him to knit, he now makes blankets and beanies for the underprivileged in the winter time; and this year for the Mandela Day project.  Simon has been accepted by the Kay Mason Foundation and wants to study civil engineering.  He has shown tenacity and has the academic potential to become a bright young hero who will benefit from KFM training this year as supported by Global Kinetic.

On an ongoing basis, Global Kinetic provides infrastructure, hardware, Microsoft Office 365 licences and IT support to The Kay Mayson Foundation.  The annual investment is worth around R100 000 and is just one of Global Kinetic’s many social responsibility projects.  This IT support allows scholars to receive IT classes, online tutoring and the ability to do their research projects after hours.

Global Kinetic knows that while academic education is important, there is so much more a child needs to develop self-confidence, team work, leadership and problem solving.  These are a few of the trademarks of the KMF Scholar.  Global Kinetic’s Head of HR, Ross Pickford says: “We are really proud to be associated with the KMF support programmes as they enable scholars to become the best that they can be. They help to build tomorrow’s leaders of families and communities.”

CEO of the Kay Mason Foundation Noëline de Goede says:  “Thanks a million Global Kinetic, you are amazing!  We are absolutely delighted to be associated with such generous, caring and compassionate people.”

About The Kay Mason Foundation

The Kay Mason Foundation South Africa Trust provides holistic development scholarships to disadvantaged children from Grade 7 to Grade 12. Scholarships include access to quality education, additional tutoring, personal & youth leadership development and all the support to ensure each one reaches their own personal potential.

Potential + Good Education + Personal development = Youth Leaders & Positive Role Models

Kay Mason Scholars have moved through the program to become doctors, actuaries, professional sportsmen, musicians, teachers and programme managers of community development projects (amongst others) - Youth Leaders and Positive Role Models that affect real change in our communities.

About Global Kinetic

Launching a rocket from a lighthouse

Achieving the seemingly impossible, a group of highly fuelled people work together at Global Kinetic to spearhead and develop brilliant products, including some that seriously disrupt the market.  One of the coolest places to work, this company has the nicest people creating amazing apps and products, which they do with flair and sheer professionalism, mixed with a dash of fun.

Steeped in expertise*, Global Kinetic makes both end-users and their clients equally happy because they get the stuff right every time.  They designed and created the world’s first fully immersive gamified children’s mobile banking app in Unity for Standard Bank as one example; in another they designed and developed PayToday, the Venmo for Southern Africa.  They’ve built slick and powerful mobile banking experiences for Old Mutual, Bidvest Bank and many more.   Global Kinetic is a leading software engineering company with a team of just under 100 tech-savvy and inspired developers, designers and creatives. They have great offices in Century City as well as in Palo Alto in the US.

*Global Kinetic (GK) provides solutions across the application stack, predominantly .NET or Java deployed to Azure, AWS or physical infrastructure on the enterprise side, and native or hybrid technologies on the mobile side for Apple, Android and Windows Phone.  GK implements SCRUM on all customer projects and provides professional services around the delivery, quality assurance, test automation, requirements gathering, analysis, UX/UI design and architecture.

https://www.globalkinetic.com/

Issued by Wired Communications on behalf of Global Kinetic

Global Kinetic tight-wired with ZipZap

There’s no clowning around behind the scenes at the Zip Zap Circus School, because it requires many partners to fund this non-profitable organisation and the amazing work they do for the youth through their performing arts training centre.  Global Kinetic – a leading software company in Cape Town - makes it possible for Zip Zap to operate in the modern world by providing all the hardware, software, computing, IT, cabling, CCTV and alarm equipment that the circus needs for its day to day work.  Martin Dippenaar, the MD of Global Kinetic, was so impressed and inspired by the work that this enterprising circus school does that he not only booked the circus’s Dome for a Global Kinetic end-of-year party in 2014 but he also secretly trained for many weeks to be able to do a surprise trapeze act for his dumb-struck colleagues at that party.

As Zip Zap is about to move to new office premises in Salt River, the need for fast, efficient communication is essential to the circus school’s operations.  Founder of Zip Zap, Brent van Rensburg says:  “We have 24/7 consultancy from Global Kinetic; we get everything we need and, what’s more, they support us by coming along to some of our shows too.  Their support is heartfelt and we appreciate it massively.”

This partnership has been in place for over three years and allows Zip Zap to focus on its core activity – training and inspiring around 1500 young and underprivileged people every year.  Through circus training for beginners to advanced learners, Zip Zap runs eight programmes, four outreach programmes and a ‘Dare to Dream’ professional course, all of which help break down social barriers and enable these young people through performance, technical and life skills training.  Many of the learners – who are taught for free – go on to become successful performers overseas.

The Zip Zap Circus School is just one of the many ongoing Global Kinetic Corporate Social Investment projects.

About Global Kinetic

Launching a rocket from a lighthouse?

Achieving the seemingly impossible, a group of highly fuelled people work together at Global Kinetic to spearhead and develop brilliant products, including some that seriously disrupt the market.  One of the coolest places to work, this company has the nicest people creating amazing apps and products, which they do with flair and sheer professionalism, mixed with a dash of fun.

Steeped in expertise*, Global Kinetic makes both end-users and their clients equally happy because they get the stuff right every time.  They designed and created the world’s first fully immersive gamified children’s mobile banking app in Unity for Standard Bank as one example; in another they designed and developed PayToday, the Venmo for Southern Africa.  They’ve built slick and powerful mobile banking experiences for Old Mutual, Bidvest Bank and many more.

Global Kinetic is a leading software engineering company with a team of just under 100 tech-savvy and inspired developers, designers and creatives. They have great offices in Century City as well as in Palo Alto in the US.

About Zip Zap

Zip Zap is dedicated to supporting and conducting training in circus arts and performance as a powerful tool for social transformation, youth empowerment, team building and community upliftment. The programs provide opportunities for young South Africans from very different backgrounds to play, learn and live together using the medium of circus training and performance to model and demonstrate the possibility of true coexistence.

Zip Zap operates predominantly within the Western Cape. However, as the annual calendar of events varies from year to year, Zip Zap periodically tours internationally and nationally presenting performances and/or skills transmission programs.

The Zip Zap children have performed for presidents and world leaders. They have done 27 international tours and numerous international media showcases. Kids, who began as six-year-olds swinging from a trapeze tied to a tree, are now professional performing artists working in Europe and North America. Young people who grew up on the streets are now skilled and valued artists and technicians in the entertainment and film industries. Best of all, these kids have become teachers themselves. They are ambassadors and role models for others, demonstrating dramatically to young people and the wider public the possibility of a new way of treating each other.

Issued by Wired Communications on behalf of Global Kinetic.

Am I a Decision Maker or Decision Breaker?

Am I a Decision Maker or Decision Breaker?

I find myself challenged more each day since moving out of software development as my full-time gig. It’s a different space on so many levels, and I have a long way to go to get to the point I believe I need to be at, to fully operate in the space of People Person.

I covered People last week. As a People Person (because Human Resources is so, urgh…), I want to be able to engage more with everyone, understand where you come from and where you want to go.

We know that people will move away from Global Kinetic at some point. I moved a lot in my early days as a Developer. It was how I learnt, and grew as a person, and as part of each business I was involved with.
A cog in the works, if you will.

Quite often, we were completely thrown into the deep end and the only way out was to do the seemingly impossible.

How?

Speaking (yes, using our voices),
taking time to prove something ‘off-book’ to present as a better option, making a call,
and sometimes, simply by failing at the task at hand and having to start
again.

Historically, the bigger development jobs were Enterprise clients. Huge teams, big systems, countless integration points, and usually at least one really pushy boss-type person who was applying all manner of threats and pressures. 

Nowadays, many developers have never taken a product from concept to production in that type of environment.

Not everyone has been exposed to the disciplines, including the
bureaucracy, of deploying to shared environments, where downtime is not an option,
where data-sources are shared by other systems,
where your software gets the blame because it is the face of an error thrown elsewhere,
or worse; where we break other systems because of something we miss.

Development in the last 10 years has become more web and mobile device focussed, and there are countless products and solutions where there isn’t a large multi-tier system in play.

Even here at Global Kinetic, our projects vary from very strictly-managed, to ones where the client has given us near free reign with how we design the solution(‘with great power comes great responsibility’).

    • For some, we manage builds, rollouts, app store submissions, and even production servers.
  • For others, the development is done by our teams, and then handed over the fence to a configuration team who handle the builds, environments and production rollouts.

All the way back to the top again.
Am I a Decision Maker or Decision Breaker?

 Apparently, I like history lessons as a way forward. I’ll work on that 🙂

 All these differences boil down to how each person interprets the situation, and the plans and decisions made therein.

 A decision maker will use the resources and information at hand and take a decisive route when dealing with a problem at hand. They will trust themselves. They should trust their team.

A decision breaker, will sit quietly, rather doing nothing, or worse, carrying on down a path they know to be wrong, until someone else makes that decision for them, often too late.

 Here’s the rub. You may be wrong anyway!

But if we all stand up and do what we are trained to do, trust each other’s
abilities; we can only end up creating more successful solutions.

Do you know what each person in your team does?
Do you understand where your work fits into their world?
Do you question each other in an honest way?
Do you trust your teammates? Can they Trust You?
What dependencies and impediments exist?
Do you know what the bigger picture is around your project?

Where it fits into the Client’s world?
Where the client fits into our world?

 If we learn what is required of us in our roles, we are then able to make the decisions needed to best deliver on what is expected of us, and probably more!

 So, next time you are uncomfortable with something:

challenge yourself to get it right
trust the decisions of others
get the right result as a team.

 Ross Pickford - Global Kinetic

Global Kinetic

We The Peeps™

Probably my favourite part of coming to work at Global Kinetic every day, for the past 11 years, is the people.

Loud people, shy people, obnoxious people, BOSSY people, timid people, introverted people, needy people. People from entirely different backgrounds with vastly differently world views and experiences.

This in and of itself is not unique, but what I feel is unique, is our special blend.

Think of it like an artisanal coffee blend. Sure, sometimes we over-roast it, add too much sugar, forget the milk, heck, even drop the container occasionally. But overall, we are a great collective. Better as the whole and not just the parts.

The quick history lesson is that we started with 5 people (with others in the wings in the hope the contracts would get bigger).
We took a risk,
gave up the safe employment option,
and essentially worked month-to-month for quite some time.

Fast-forward 11 years, and we are a family of over 80 people, with a stable business. We have not finished, and in fact feels like we are just starting. It may not be Facebook, but we are fiercely proud of where we are, and what we have achieved.
Importantly, we are working really hard at getting to the next milestone(s).

For those who don’t know, each of us in the core team are Developers. It’s how we met, how we built the business.

Mark, Sean and Hendrik are still quite actively involved in the daily development space (architecture, development and DevOps).
Gunnar and myself finished our longest-standing development project at the end of March, and for the first time are not actively developing as our primary daily activity, but rather completely focussing on finance, payroll, and people.
Loren, Sergio and Martin moved off active project work over the previous couple of years to focus their attention on the running of the core business pieces as their primary focus.

Why the history?
I think, like each one of our personal backgrounds, the history of how we have done things as GK, what we learnt doing them (or not, in some cases) is
built into our DNA. But a step further back, is that the GK DNA is 8
people’s DNA,
which in turn is influenced and impacted by 70+ other people’s DNA.

We try really hard to have Global Kinetic be the best place for people to work, that create the best quality software for ourselves, and our clients.

Does it work all the time? Of course not. We are all people.

What does that mean, we are all people?
We mess up, we make the wrong call, we communicate differently/incorrectly/not enough, we assume, we get angry, we laugh, we cry, we make mistakes.

Most importantly though, is that we try. If we don’t try, we must try harder at trying.

There have been a lot of changes over the past year particularly. To grow, and expand we have had to change processes, take up positions that didn’t exist previously, and focus more on those that were neglected. This has meant core members moving out of active projects, putting different team structures in place, moving people around as projects change. Change is hard.

In trying things, through changing things, each of us need to remember that we are all People.

Not everyone speaks the same way, interprets the same sentence the same way, or achieves the same result through the same process. We are wired differently to each other. It is why we work as a collective.

However, it does mean that the onus is on each of us, as individuals, to make that conscious effort to communicate as best we can with each other.

To listen.
To hear what the other person is ACTUALLY trying to say.
To speak, when something needs to be said.

It is important to remember that we are not all here for the same reason.

That is not only OK, it is good.
It creates the balance and tension required to question, to push back, to suggest, to grow. For some of us, Global Kinetic is our life, for others it is a long-term career, for others just a job, for some it will be a stepping-stone, and others it is an extended family. We appreciate everyone for what you are. For who you are.
We spend most of our lives with each other. We need to care for each other as best we can.

What’s my point?

Global Kinetic is a great place to be.
We do have challenging projects, communication gaps, people that don’t necessarily get along, processes that could improve.

But, we have great People who do great work!

We have so many exciting things on the cards, and I look forward to sharing those experiences with everyone here as we continue our growth, diversity, and maturity as a business of really, RAD people.

Challenges will always exist, and we would be fooling ourselves to think that every day could be perfect, and no mistake would ever be made.

It is in our collective power to improve things where needed,
and to do this we need to communicate with each other.

There is a reason we don’t have offices here: everyone is available to everyone (not all the time, every day, because, work), so please consider that an invitation.

My challenge to myself, when I started this post, was to remind myself what makes GK a great company. And it is great, something we can all be extremely proud of. At the core though, it is a collection of people. And THAT is what I love.

Ross Pickford - Global Kinetic

Global Kinetic Core Values