Celebrating a Decade of Growth: Agiledrop's 10th Anniversary
This year marks a significant milestone for Agiledrop as we celebrate our 10th anniversary. Over the past decade, we've grown from a small team with a vision to a global web development company, serving clients around the world. Today, we look back at our journey, celebrating our growth, successes, and the lessons we've learned along the way.
Agiledrop's early years
The story of Agiledrop started in 2013 when we officially formed the company. But the real spark for this idea came three years earlier. In 2010, I attended a Drupal conference, DrupalCon Copenhagen. It was a game-changer for me. I realized there was a big opportunity to offer web development services not just in Slovenia, but all over the world.
We chose the name 'Agiledrop' to show our dedication to the Agile way of managing projects and our expertise in the Drupal web development platform. We even bought the agiledrop.com domain in March 2012, a year and a half before we officially started the company.
In our first year, we got some big clients and worked on important projects. Our team was small but everyone worked hard and we quickly built a good reputation. By 2015, we started to focus on our company culture and values. We asked people who were working with us as contractors to join us as full-time employees. This decision doubled our team size by the end of the year and marked the start of our journey to growth.
Sharing the desk with Ales in our very first office
Specialization and growth
In 2016, as Agiledrop began to find its footing in the industry, we took a moment to reflect on our strengths and capabilities. We realized that our expertise lay not just in web development, but specifically in supporting and enhancing other development teams. Our agility in onboarding and our consistent delivery of expected results made us an efficient and reliable partner for agencies, companies, and organizations with in-house development teams.
Recognizing this, we decided to specialize in providing development services for agencies. This strategic move not only played to our strengths but also filled a crucial gap in the market. We found that many agencies and organizations, despite having in-house development teams, often needed specialists to scale their capacity or provide capabilities they didn't have. By focusing on this niche, we were able to provide a valuable service and significantly accelerate our growth trajectory.
Our newfound specialization streamlined our marketing and sales efforts, leading to an upsurge in demand for our services. In response, we expanded our team by 20 members, bringing on board a range of new talents and skills.
Our team was growing so quickly that the conference room was in use all the time
Building a strong development team
We realized that our growth was directly tied to the talent we could attract and retain. We understood that to work on high-level projects involving specific technologies and frameworks, we needed a team that was not only talented but also well-trained and mentored.
We established robust processes for recruiting and onboarding. This wasn't just about hiring talented individuals, but also about ensuring they were brought up to speed quickly and efficiently. Our onboarding projects were designed to equip our new hires with the skills and knowledge they needed to immediately contribute to our high-level projects.
Mentorship also became a key component of our strategy. We wanted to create an environment where knowledge was shared freely, and where every team member had the opportunity to learn and grow. Our mentors played a crucial role in this, guiding our new hires and helping them navigate their early days at Agiledrop.
One of our earliest team members Rok giving a talk during Laravel meetup in our Ljubljana HQ
Building a global presence
By 2018, you could see Agiledrop's logo at many conferences. This exposure brought in more work, and our team size grew to 40. To maintain the quality of our engineering team, we established the role of a development mentor.
The following year, we opened offices across Slovenia, giving us access to more talent while also maintaining our culture of work-life balance. With a total of four offices, we grew to 60 members. More and more of our projects were on an enterprise level, involving much larger teams.
Iztok, Bostjan and Ales in front of Druplicon during DrupalCon Vienna 2017
Adapting to change and disruptions
The year 2020 brought with it unprecedented challenges, as the global pandemic disrupted the way businesses operate worldwide. At Agiledrop, we were not immune to these changes. With restrictions in place, we had to quickly adapt and modify our ways of working to ensure the safety of our team while continuing to deliver quality service to our clients.
We transitioned to a remote working model, establishing communication channels which were robust enough to facilitate seamless collaboration despite the physical distance. And most importantly, we had to ensure that our team members felt supported and connected during these challenging times.
The uncertainty brought on by the pandemic also meant that we had to be prepared to weather the storm. We focused on strengthening our financial resilience and made sure we could continue to operate even in the face of reduced revenues. We also ramped up our client communication, making sure that they were kept informed of our actions and plans.
In 2021, we adapted to the changing circumstances by shaking up our management structure and clarifying employee roles. We moved to a hybrid working model, combining the benefits of both remote and in-office work, which allowed us to focus even more on the employee experience of our now 73 team members.
Through it all, Agiledrop continued to grow. We revamped our strategy and launched a podcast, expanding our reach even further. Despite the challenges, we proved that we could adapt, innovate, and thrive even in the face of adversity.
Recent years and current state
Our commitment to community engagement and team cohesion remained strong. We sponsored local community events, hosted meetups, and celebrated the end of the year with a Drupal meetup marking the release of Drupal 10.
Now, in 2023, we continue to evolve and strengthen our brand strategy. We are aligning our sales and marketing efforts more closely, increasing our presence at technology conferences around the newly onboarded technologies.
Group photo from Agiledrop's 2023 traditional family picnic & 10th anniversary celebration
So, after 10 years of being in business, I can definitely confirm the saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, as culture has always proved to be vital to Agiledrop’s uniqueness and success. Our current main goal is to continue to nurture our culture, course correct it when needed, and leave the rest up to the market to tell.
We will continue to be the best possible team for a developer to join, train, and mentor people so that they can provide service at the top-notch level for clients. And for the clients, we will continue to be a trusted vendor, offer transparency and never break our integrity.
In conclusion, it's been a remarkable journey, and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. As we celebrate this milestone, I want to express my deepest gratitude to our team, clients, and partners for their trust and support. I am excited about the future and look forward to continuing our journey of growth and success.
I invite you to join us in celebrating Agiledrop's 10th anniversary. Let's connect and explore how we can work together to bring your ideas to life!
Thank you for being a part of our journey.