When someone mentions 10 years, you instantly think: “Oh, that’s such a long time!”. But 10 years is more than that. 10 years is a journey.
For us, it’s been a journey from startup to established company, from a small team of 3 to a super team of 160 (and counting).
Since it’s been quite the ride, we looked back a bit to count the big moments. We’d like to share our story with you – so read on: 10 important business moments in our journey.
1. Meeting Fred Kwakkel (2008)
Like we’ve said it before – partnerships are golden.
Our first one was with Fred Kwakkel, who joined Qubiz as business development partner, right when we started in 2008. We’ve worked on many projects together and he was the one to introduce us to our first big project – more on that below. Also, together with Fred, we started SimplyCare – one of our first products targeted at the healthcare market in the Netherlands.
Also, as we gained expertise across different verticals, we increased our network. We’ve worked with business development representatives in the United Kingdom and recently, Germany.
2. First logo + first website
While we were thinking of a name for our company, Fred Kwakkel suggested that it should say, in some way, quality business. That’s how the name Qubiz came along.
And with it – our first logo. While we didn’t win any design awards with it, the logo did its job in the beginning. 5 years later, we updated it. Our new logo was clear, crisp, a lot more professional. It reflected that we were going in a more professional direction and we wanted to look the part, too.
As a fun fact: The first websites we built weren’t our own. Still, we put together our own website after a short while – check out the screenshot below. Now, remember, this was 2010 – Flash was still going strong, despite Steve Job’s threats.
3. First internship (2009)
In Oradea (where we started out) in 2008, software development skills were under development. Compared to that, Marcel, our CEO, and founder had some 20 years’ experience in Cluj-Napoca managing IT projects, putting together performing teams and building software solutions for companies in Western Europe. The talent pool was considerably more developed in Cluj-Napoca.
Early on, we started bridging the knowledge gap in any way we could. For starters, we got into the habit of organizing at least one internship per year.
Our first internship got us acquainted with four students and one very young high-school graduate – all of which are still with us today. While our regular internships last about a month, this one lasted 6. It started in September 2009, when the then-interns visited us daily for a month to learn to programme. After their school started, they would still pop over a few times per week to continue working with us. All in all, within 6 months, they were all permanent colleagues.
We also started giving presentations at the University of Oradea. The first one was in April 2010, at the Faculty of Computers and Engineering. The presentation called “Programming is a state of mind” drew about 50 people, which was kind of good for that time.
4. Starting work with LdH (2010)
Up until then, we had been working on small projects that lasted a few months each. LdH was a game-changer: it was our first big client and our first enterprise project. After a proof of concept, our contract got extended to one year.
LdH also marked the first project we applied Agile methodologies to. Since requirements would change often, we needed to be flexible in order to accommodate them. This made the classic waterfall approach unreliable. Applying Scrum and Agile methodologies allowed for greater flexibility and speed in development.
What’s more, as the project required complex database setup and maintenance, we started building expertise in the business intelligence area as well.
Probably the best part about this is that we’ve been working together ever since. LdH is currently our oldest customer and our collaboration spans over 8 years, going strong.
5. Moving into the official headquarters in Oradea (2010)
Until our headquarters was completed, we worked from a rented apartment in the hotel across the street from the construction site.
The headquarters was completed in 2010. With three levels, it was very spacious for the 20 people we were back then.
We moved in just around Christmas – what better way to celebrate the moment than with a nice Christmas Party? All our team members and their partners joined on for an evening of fun, dancing, caroling and of course: food.
Today, a new headquarters in Oradea is being built – one that will host about 250 people, with a gym and a proper chill area. Also, the Christmas party turned into a tradition – one that keeps getting better and better with each passing year – check out the photos from the last one 🙂
6. Our first iOS app (2012)
In 2012, we worked with ZOA, an NGO with a mission to support refugees, and developed our first app for iPad. The project came in after the Tsunami in Indonesia and it was a 3D hidden object game where players had to find items to make progress. After playing, users could donate to support the organization’s mission.
For us, this was a big milestone as previously we had worked mostly on web solutions for enterprise clients. With ZOA, we were adding mobile capabilities and extending our offering. Also, in time, we established a specific mobile apps unit, which covers Android and iOS.
7. Extending to Cluj-Napoca (2013)
As Marcel, our CEO, had previously managed IT companies in Cluj-Napoca, it was only a matter of time before Qubiz opened an office there as well.
So, in April 2013, our first colleague in Cluj-Napoca joined. By the end of that year, we had established a team of 5 over there, working from an apartment overlooking Mihai Viteazu square.
Two years forward, we had to give up that view because the office was too small. Luckily, we found, bought, and moved into a building near the city center. Even if we don’t have the view, our established Cluj-Napoca headquarters has a nice backyard where we can shoot hoops and host barbeques.
8. Receiving the Microsoft Silver Partner status (2014)
We worked extensively with Microsoft technologies. So, on 17th of April 2014, we received the Microsoft Silver Partner accreditation.
Dan, one of our most experienced colleagues was particularly happy about this – check the photos. Since then, we went on to become Gold Partners. But that’s another story – one which we don’t have photos from.
9. First 100 colleagues (2015)
By the end of 2015, just before our Christmas Party, our team grew to 105 colleagues in Oradea and Cluj-Napoca. This is pretty big for two reasons.
One: mid-way through 2014, our team counted 50 talented colleagues, 35 in Oradea and 15 in Cluj-Napoca. This means, that, within a year, we kind of doubled in size. Two: this was a reflection of the work we were doing – happy clients means more work.
The nicest part about this is that we didn’t stray away from our core values, as a team. When expanding, a lot of companies hire because they need the manpower, even if it’s not a match regarding values or aspirations. We’re happy to say that we’ve stayed the same fun, proactive and dedicated team – even if we doubled in size.
10. First international award (2017)
Back in 2016, we got a call to enter the European Business Awards. If you haven’t heard of it, the European Business Awards is the biggest cross business competition in Europe, designed to promote and encourage good practices.
After we were selected from 33000 companies in the 2016/2017 edition of the contest, we qualified for the second stage of the competition. And that’s how we landed our first international award: National Public Champion for Romania.
This year, we did it again – we won the Workplace & People Development Award for Romania. That pretty much makes us the best company to work for in the country.
Bonus: When we got outdoor signs (2016)
The first 8 years of Qubiz, we were pretty busy building cool stuff. And we were so accustomed to our offices that we didn’t even notice we didn’t have any outdoor signs. This made it a bit difficult for clients or potential candidates who came over as they weren’t exactly sure as for where to enter.
So, in 2016 we took a major step forward and got outdoor signs for both our offices. Look at it shine – ain’t it pretty?