Softhouse Balkans – IT Company from Sarajevo: Satisfied employees are a guarantee of business success

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Softhouse Balkans FOTO: VELIJA HASANBEGOVIĆ

IT Company Softhouse Balkans was founded in 2014 in Sarajevo as one of the five equal branches under the Swedish group Softhouse Consulting. Prior to starting a business in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a company has been operating in Sweden, but its consultant, Himzo Musić, pointed out the potentials and knowledge of the young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the company in Sarajevo was formed.

The uniqueness of this company is reflected in the fact that they combine the best from Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a Swedish system of working and initiatives that embody safety for employees, and from BH i tis a start-up culture in which young, smart and ambitious people are working to gain additional knowledge and education.

Apart from acquiring international experience and knowledge and applying it in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they directly contribute to development of IT market in our country, employees are more than satisfied with conditions and opportunities for development offered by this company. During our visit, they told us they act as one large family and that they are proud to be part of the Softhouse Balkans team.

Amir Čaluk, Scrum Master, says he has an international experience and that work in Softhous is closest to world standard and approach to work.

– Old, former system still remains in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, the power is in the hands of managers. In Softhouse the power is given to the people working on software development, communicating directly with clients and offering them technical solutions while the leadership creates predispositions in order to do their job the best possible way – he says.

Emir Sijerčić says that transparency in work is what distinguishes Softhouse Balkans from others. All employees have an insight into all the details about the company, and are involved in many decisions, which is not common in BH market. In addition, the company focuses on each employee individually and supports the development of individuals in accordance with the goals of the company. He started as a QA, or a quality controller, and tested software created by developers. At one point, he said, he saw the opportunity to become the Scrum Master which he was interested in. He expressed the desire for development in that direction and it was fulfilled in two days.

On the other hand, Admir Šatara says he has learned many things in Softhouse because the company offers an opportunity for continuous learning and acquiring new experiences.

– The company saw a potential in each of us, desire for new challenges and gives us support. We have many benefits in terms of advancement in our work through various education and other activities. We are enabled to develop our own environment in order to feel great and fulfill our everyday duties as best as possible – he says.

Softhouse Balkans does not have its own products, but sells local knowledge, develops products for clients who have their own customers. They simply say they live from their knowledge. They work mostly for the Swedish market, and for the client, Certus Company, they have been developing software for one of their products for two years now.

They emphasize that they live and develop with this company. Recently, their qualities have been recognized in the Czech Republic as well, where they help ComAp client to develop professional software for industry safe critical environment.

– As for our services, so far we have primarily focused on software development, but now we see that our strength also lies within the knowledge of agile methodologies when working with product development. Many companies tend to think that they know how to do this, but we see that we are among leading IT companies in this skill. That  is due to a long experience in agile development within our Swedish group as well as skilled colleagues in BiH. This is of course reflected in our service portfolio, as we, beside developing software for our clients, also educate them in how to organise  the product development with faster time to market. This is very interesting for the clients who have understood the benefits of agile such as  a more cost-efficient development and focus  on a direct cooperation between developers and client, which is very important for a good delivery – says Vernisa Rejhan, Operative Director of Softhouse Balkans.

Himzo Musić and Vernisa Rejhan

The company is planning to expand to the Balkans this year by partnerships with other companies that have agile approach, because, Rejhan says, it is very important that the companies with which they cooperate have the same values, that is, humane approach to the employees, and that they are professional towards the country in which they operate.

– We are looking for such partners, because we cannot do it all by ourselves. There is a lot of work in Sweden and we are exploring the possibilities to enter into cooperation with a company from Banja Luka for joint delivery to the Swedish market. That is very pleasing to us, since such cooperations contribute to our presence in business even outside of Sarajevo – she says.

Filip Eckstein, kompanija ComAp:

“We started to work with Softhouse Balkans in order to develop the next generation of smart power system controller for distributed generation of electrical energy. What makes this international cooperation especial is that we mutually learn how to do things different. Agile approach in software management as adopted by Softhouse Balkans shows an intensive feedback-driven teamwork, where the development team is highly focused on one project. The sense for transparency that is introduced even at the managerial level makes Softhouse and ComAp strong partners for the future projects”.