Tallinn Office Story - "A Developer's Dream"
The story of the Vaimo Tallinn office began at the end of 2010, when our current head of the Products & Tools Department, Wilko Nienhaus, started working from a tiny room in the Tornimäe business centre. Although it's a very small country, Estonia is famous for its brilliant IT minds and it's a great place to find talented developers for Vaimo’s growing family. We can safely say that Wilko set the stage for the fast and continuous growth of Vaimo Estonia.
The upstairs loft of the current Vaimo Estonia office
By 2012, a small handful of exceptional individuals had been assembled and Vaimo Estonia started growing organically. Soon, the time came for the Tallinn team to relocate to a proper office, and so the Vaimoers moved from small, shared office spaces in different locations to the first official Vaimo Tallinn office, which was an apartment situated on the edge of Tallinn's Old Town. When renovations on the space were complete, the team bought the most important thing - a new coffee machine - and then continued our quest to conquer the world of eCommerce. Sadly, the team never managed to find a sofa for their first office.
The team at the time was comprised of:
-Wilko Nienhaus, Head of Products & Tools; started at the end of 2010
-Kaarel Taniloo, Backend Developer; started at the beginning of 2011
-Urmo Schmidt, Backend Developer; started in August 2011
-Brendan Peo, COO; started in September 2011
-Juri Kostjunin, Frontend Developer; started in December 2011
The Vaimoers went go-carting for a team event
The talent kept pouring in to the Tallinn office, but this meant that the quarters eventually became too close for comfort. It was time to find an office that could sustain more than the 10 Vaimoers that were present at the time. The team outgrew their first office much quicker than expected and they ended up having to relocate a few people to an office hotel that was better for meetings and calls. This was not a long-term option, as the team often needed to rely on nearby cafes to conduct interviews.
Vaimo Estonia is located in the high-rise on the right - "City Plaza"
The current office is open, with private offices enclosed in glass
In 2013, a large, two-story space opened up in a high-rise next to Viru Keskus, in the very centre of Tallinn. The space used to be occupied by a cafe, but the opportunity to renovate from the ground-up was rich with potential. The team had a chance to remodel the office to reflect the style of the Vaimo Stockholm headquarters, with industrial concrete walls, abundant light, and minimalistic furniture in Vaimo's signature colors. As these things usually go, the building process was slow and the day before the big move, the office looked like a scene from a post-apocalyptic site; but by the following morning, it was clean and spotless. In February 2013, the team of 10 moved in.
The current office features ceilings that are several meters high, with bare concrete walls
The open office features two stories with a lofted second floor, floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides, and soundproof meeting rooms. It's also important for Vaimoers to have fun at work - that's why the Tallinn office has a pool table, bean bag chairs, musical instruments, exercise balls and adjustable standing desks. The office also features a large kitchen area, where the team can charge up their batteries in the morning with coffee, tea, fresh fruits and smoothies, and where everyone can gather on Fridays for a chat and participate in regular internal presentations.
The team went indoor rock climbing for one especially memorable event
Two sides of the current office are flanked in glass to allow for maximum light
Today, Vaimo Estonia is comprised of over 30 eCommerce experts who occupy a better part of the 6th floor of Tallinn’s City Plaza building. While most of the Tallinn office is compromised of developers, the office also boasts people from hosting, marketing, project management, delivery teams and sales teams. The Tallinn office culture and design closely resembles that of Vaimo's Stockholm headquarters, because Tallinn was the first Vaimo international office and the goal has always been to stay unified, across different offices and countries. All Vaimoers should feel at home and welcome in the Tallinn office!
Here, we find the Vaimoers enjoying a barbeque in the summer
Some interesting facts about the Tallinn office:
-Percentage-wise, the the Tallinn office has the highest number of developers.
-Vaimo Estonia is the base office for the global hosting team.
-The majority of the Vaimo marketing team is also based in the Tallinn office.
-The team has snacks and beers every Friday while having "Flash Talks," which entails someone speaking on an interesting (work-related or not) topic for a few minutes.
-Sometimes, these Flash Talks have morphed into other things, like sharing family photos or reading poetry.
-The office has team events every other month, where Vaimoers can spend time getting to know one another out of the work environment. Past events have included visiting Sauna World, go-carting, indoor rock climbing, and visiting a local brewery. The office also partakes in the SEB Marathon every year, with several Vaimoers running the full and half marathon.
Wilko Nienhaus ran the half-marathon this year, along with several other Vaimoers
In closing, the Tallinn office atmosphere is simply amazing; the team is still fairly small and everyone is welcoming, friendly and professional. Almost everyone participates in team events, and everyone pitches in to keep the shared space cozy. A BIG thank you to Kaidi Ilves and Wilko Nienhaus for helping put this story together!
Vaimoers celebrate after successful go-carting