Month: May 2016

Analysis : The German Workplace (1/6)

Hello fans, welcome to one of six major discussion topics that we were asked to discuss in blog posts before the end of he summer. Instead of jamming in an extra sentence on my usually novel-length blog posts that update you on my glamorous, glamorous life, I decided to keep these separate in order to keep the focus on the discussion at hand.
This 1st edition, I decided that I wanted to discuss formality and expectations in a German workplace.
Derdack, being a software company, has a younger range of employees than most others, which is an aspect that I believe directly contributes to the flexibility and informality of the work environment. This youthful atmosphere, combined with the already typically lax German dress code, means that I don’t really dress differently than how I would day-to-day in school.
What is also different than originally anticipated is the relaxed atmosphere in general. Usually, the stereotypes of Germans that I have come across is that they value efficiency above everything, and that they are very formal and strict. What surprises me most about the German workplace is that, at least in my department, while there isn’t a lot of “water-cooler talk”, it’s still a very relaxed environment.
I think this definitely is indicative of the industry that Derdack is in. Since it is a software company and, as a result thereof, a very youthful company, the workplace culture is very open and lends itself towards creativity and collaboration. The floor plan is very open, the furniture modern and appealing, and I believe that a lot of the youthful atmosphere is present follows from Derdack being a software company.
An actual update on the goings on in Europe to come…eventually.
– Adam “can’t think of a cool quote right now” Hayes


Workin’ 9-5 (actually 9-6 but who’s counting)

Hey all,

This is gonna be a short one b/c I need to go to bed soon because 8 of us are leaving to go to Prague at 6 AM tomorrow.  I am not a functional human being in the morning on a good day (and it rarely is when you have to get up before 6), but I just wanted to drop a line about my first week pretending to be an adult that goes to work everyday. I would also reiterate that John Garry is horrible and you should never speak with him. (Quote him – “That’s fine as long as they follow my blog

But much more importantly, my life is happening. This Tuesday I took the train to work for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised with both my ability to navigate the public transportation system (I only had to get on the train and then it moved in a straight line), and office space that Derdack, my host company, has. I got a small tour, was introduced to some people, and then I sat down at my desk (who even am I?) and jumped right into work.

I actually got my first project assigned that afternoon, and it was a lot more exciting than I thought it would be. I was working on it (and still am because it’s a big project and I am but an intern that just completed his first week) all day each day, and even though it’s challenging at times because I’m writing code in an unfamiliar language and my project is less defined than I would like, it’s already incredibly rewarding to be a part of this experience.

In non-work news Kelly (the other IIP intern at Derdack) and I were invited to play volleyball with some people from the office in preperation for a tournament coming up (sometime soonish I guess? Not positive), and that was really fun and I enjoyed getting to know some actual Germans (Eat your heart out, Max Kneis) outside of work.


And with that unnecessary dig at my friend Max, I am turning in for the night before it gets too late and I sleep through my 7 alarms to wake up for the bus (Sorry John). Expect a blog post about Prague sometime next week!

-Adam “I promise I won’t phone it in as hard next time” Hayes

P.S. Not Sorry John


Berlin: First Impressions

Hey there everyone! I wanted to post after arriving in Berlin, but something (awful jet lag) came up and I had to deal with that for a few days before being able to string a coherent sentence together. Now that I am once again a (marginally) functional human being, I would like to share how things are going on my side of the planet.