Every year at the Web School Factory, some time is left free to let us do an internship. This year I had the opportunity to do 6 months at Gandi, a Registrar for domain names, as a Junior Web Developer and now that I'm a the end of it, I would like to write how my experience was.
First, let me introduce you to Gandi. This company, founded in 1999 distributes domain names, sells hosting solutions and is number one in France for domain names. Gandi does no advertising, but instead the customers who are happy with the service spread the word. While I was working there, I regularly saw emails from customers telling how satisfied they were with the customer service and what they recommend us to improve our offer. Gandi is not perfect, but tries to be as good as possible. "No Bullshit" is the company's tag line.
When I arrived at Gandi, I integrated the team working on the new website which is available here: https://beta.gandi.net/. Beginning my internship was quite hard as I had to learn the different frameworks and languages in use and also understand the whole stack of the website. However, my tutor and my other colleagues helped me and took time to explain the details. That's something very important at Gandi: you're encouraged to find solutions by yourself, but if you need help, you will always find somebody who will take time for you. As a result, once I was quite comfortable with the stack, I took time my turn to explain the details to the new colleagues.
As it is quite widespread in the Open Source community, Gandi also has tee- shirts with its name on it. As you can see on the onlineshop, some brands who are sharing the same values are visible with Gandi's logo on the tee-shirts, but there are a lot more tee-shirts than those displayed on the website. Therefore, there a some colleagues who are wearing different Gandi tee-shirts, but you never see them wearing something else at work! That's also something which I found interesting. Employees are proud to work here and everytime newcomers ask where they can get tee-shirts.
Of course, all is not perfect, like in most companies. People are very autonomous and are quite free in their work and furthermore, there are a lot of great developers and operationals (people who are maintaining services online) who are working here. But, some of them are strong-minded and have their opinion. So, when there are disagreements between them about how to do things, work can not advance correctly. Even if they all have good reasons, someone should choose which solution to follow, but as the hierarchy is quite horizontal, some situations can get stuck. However, working methodologies are changing and progressively everyone makes efforts to understand others and enhance communication.
Finally, I must say I'm very happy to have worked at Gandi, I learned a lot and changed my way of working. For instance, as there are various environments used by Gandians: Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, and Arch Linux for the OS, and Sublime Text, Atom, Eclipse, Vim and Emacs for the text editor, I changed my development environment. When I came, I was using Sublime Text on Ubuntu GNOME and now I'm using Vim in Tmux, on an Arch Linux with GNOME. My computer is not the same anymore.
Did you try the Konami code on Gandi's currentwebsite?