2021 Recap: Lessons learned from continuous growth
Here’s how Dynatrace has evolved throughout the past year.
The past year at Dynatrace has been one of many successes, and one of many challenges.
The pandemic continued throughout 2021 and made digitalization even more prevalent. Dynatrace was a key player that enabled online services to stay online and grow. And this growth reverberated also throughout Dynatrace as a company. Since August 2019, we had 60% growth globally in our R&D Labs — going from 650 to 1000 employees — continuing our expansion trend. In 2021 alone, we founded 3 new labs in Europe (Linz University, Tallinn, and Innsbruck) and started and/or finished expansion works in 5 existing labs (Hagenberg, Klagenfurt, and Graz, in Austria; Barcelona, Spain; and Gdansk, Poland).
Whilst we celebrated 2 years since our IPO, we also celebrated spring and summer back in the office — after a long period of time innovating from home — and we were awarded as the best IT employer in Austria for 2021.
As 2021 comes to a close and we get ready to say goodbye to our CEO John Van Siclen, who has lead the success and growth of Dynatrace over the past 12+ years, we look forward to the next phase of growth and leadership under our new CEO Rick McConnell.
What we’ve learned in the past year
The end of the year is always a great opportunity to look back and reflect upon all that’s happened in the past 12 months. We’ve decided to take this chance and summarize all that we’ve learned during this time and how we’ve used this to develop Dynatrace further.
Organizational growth brings new organizational challenges
Going from startup size to enterprise in such a short timespan brings its own set of challenges. One of them is how to organize your employees in a way that empowers them and doesn’t make them less efficient by adding more bureaucracy.
Our Agile Competence Centre and management team have worked hard to create an Agile framework (Scaled Agile Interface) and organizational structure that reflects our startup mentality and drive on a greater scale. We call it: Talent at Scale.
The new R&D structure rolled out at the beginning of December and will be tested and optimized over the next couple of months. It aims to streamline communication and make our employees’ career paths more transparent. Stay tuned for a future blog post with more information.
Open source is the future
Dynatrace has been supporting internal and external open-source projects already for a long time. Keptn is one of our biggest examples, but Monaco is also slowly catching up with it.
We firmly believe that open source is the future of tech and where the industry is going. We will continue being part of the community and investing it. And we’ve decided to make our open-source efforts official and founded the Open Source Program Office.
Investing in research pays off
In tech it’s crucial to constantly look into the future. Many parts of Dynatrace were created because of people taking risks and looking into new technologies and different ways of doing things.
Collaborating with universities is a key to staying at the cutting edge of technology, that’s why in 2021 we opened a Dynatrace Research Lab within the LIT (Linz Institute of Technology) at the Johannes-Kepler University.
We have also worked closely with the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria (FH Oberösterreich) to develop a 2 ECTS course on Business Operations and Process Mining where we shared our expertise in data-driven product management to train the future digital business workforce.
It pays off to invest in university research and cooperate with the brightest minds to find solutions to your problems.
Growing also means employee enablement
Growth is not only about recruiting more people and hiring them. It’s also about investing in the people you already have and support them in their own personal growth.
We’ve launched various initiatives in the past year to ensure that Dynatracers are able to develop themselves and grow in their careers.
Our new Dynatrace Advance portal is packed with training videos and onboarding missions, that help Dynatracers get started at the company and learn new skills that are valuable for their role within the company.
As already mentioned, we have created a new, transparent, career development model. This makes it easier for our employees to learn what roles are available and which skills they need to advance in their career.
And for those who want to learn more about other roles at Dynatrace, there’s the possibility of spending a couple of days a year shadowing and trying out other roles or responsibilities in other teams.
Hybrid works for us
Since the beginning of our new reality of working from home, we have been faced with the question of what to do “afterwards”. Before the pandemic, we were mostly working in-office, with some rare remote positions. Now, most of our employees are working from home most days a week. Although we cannot deny our success despite people working remotely, we have also seen that our employees were jumping at the opportunity to go back to the office when it was safe and possible to do so.
Meetings were more efficient in-person and innovative brainwaves kicked in better in front of a whiteboard. Our key learning is that hybrid is the best way to go for Dynatrace. So, neither fully remote, nor fully in-office.
Every single Dynatracer is different: some find working at home more peaceful and better for concentration. Others may find it lonely to work from home and prefer the hustle and bustle of the office. We want to give each employee the possibility to choose for themselves what works best, whilst still maintaining our culture and spur innovation through real-life exchange.
Hybrid requires adequate spaces
In continuation to the previous point, since hybrid work is here to stay at Dynatrace, it also means having to rethink our current office spaces to comply with brand-new requirements.
For example, we have decided to increase the number of soundproof cubicles in the office, to allow employees to have Zoom calls without disturbing other co-workers. Furthermore, we will implement a booking system for shared workspaces, which allows us to stay sustainable when it comes to office space and not expand offices for empty desks. And finally, our offices will be redesigned with collaboration in mind. Since Dynatracers will mostly come to the office to collaborate with others and have meetings, and not too often for solitary computer work, we will create more spaces that allow for this change.
What will 2022 bring?
2021 has kept us on our toes and we don’t expect 2022 to be any different. Continuous growth will bring more challenges that we need to learn from and adapt to, but there’s no saying what the future will bring. However, we are looking forward to finding new, and innovative ways to face those challenges.
Join the adventure of value creation, hyper-growth, and innovation as part of the Dynatrace galaxy and explore our job opportunities. We promise, it won’t get boring! 😉
2021 Recap: Lessons learned from continuous growth was originally published in Dynatrace Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.