RebelDot cafe

Why we added an actual café into our new headquarters.

Two years ago, I was excited to spread the word about our decision to leave the main Rebel office situated in a nice office building in downtown Cluj, to adapt to the new paradigm of working – working from home.

This time, I will be sharing with you just how this whole thing turned out, why we decided to move back to our HQ, and how this newly redesigned space is helping us get closer to our vision of creating communities based on fair relations.

Adapting to working from home: Leaving our day-to-day office for an actual home, turned into a social space.

Right after the pandemic hit, we were just leaving our HQ as a natural next step in adapting to the new not-so-clear context.

We figured, since our colleagues were already improvising their personal home offices, ours should transform into a social space, a place where people could connect outside the limitations of whatever conferencing platforms we were using at that time.

The place where we used to meet, work and connect on a regular, the 3rd floor office where we made so many memories and experienced the beginning, ups and downs and eventually flourishment of RebeDot, became empty as we moved on towards working remotely from a house on a residential street.

Or how we like calling it, the Rebel Playground.

RebelDot yard

Imagine a house hidden on the narrow streets of Cluj-Napoca, a welcoming little office, an actual home turned into a social place where people could create digital products, but, most of all, meaningful relationships with each other.

Team BBQs, movie nights, product demo sessions, yard sales, client meetings. These were just a few of the events we all enjoyed in this comfy little house during the pandemic.

It was our way of adapting to the “future of work”.

Truth is, we had no clear forecast on how we were going to do our daily jobs in exactly two years from then.

After all, we lived through some truly “uncertain times”, right?

However, what was clear was knowing that the office was not going to disappear but just change.

And so, it happened.

RebelDot office

People started to get back to the office.

We spent two years, growing from 60 to almost 200 people, more than tripling in size while working remotely, enjoying the comfort of our homes, but missing real human connections.

For that face-to-face feedback, those silly early-morning jokes, or the daily “anybody want to order something to eat?” questions.

And, to our surprise, as the pandemic went by, we’ve seen people joining our informal office more and more, up to the point where it became a sort of gateway, the kind of place where you go to escape the day-to-day routine and chat with people.

People gradually become more interested in working from the office a few days per week.

In fact, when we asked our colleagues, as part of our yearly company meeting, what they would change at RebelDot, the most frequent answer was “a bigger office”.

And so the next logical step was finding one.

But the idea that we could have more spaces where internal communities could blossom organically, a context where people already working together could connect in a natural way..

This is what intrigued us.

And this is what led us to reinvent ourselves once again and come up with yet another bold decision, owning it, just like we did when we set out to leave our main office for a smaller social space in response, wanting to adapt to the remote-working paradigm.

“Redesigning our old office and deciding to move back there was a decision none of us had foreseen. And honestly, I am happy with the outcome. 2 years ago, I knew that the next few years of work were going to be remote, and I also felt the office was never going to be the same again, hence the decision to leave our bigger HQ for a smaller & not-so-office-like space. However, imagine how I felt seeing that people are increasingly coming back to the office, overbooking that unofficial playground on Alverna Street.”

Tudor Ciuleanu
Rebel Cafe

Moving back into our old office space, this time reinvented.

At the end of last year we asked our colleagues what they would want to change in RebelDot… well, they asked for more office space.

So, we went back to the drawing board.

We acknowledged that a lot of things have changed since the last time we stepped foot into our main HQ, but we also knew that our desire to connect with each-other was greater than ever.

The past years have taught us an important lesson about the kind of environment that makes us the most productive, and what fosters creativity and innovative thinking.

But also quite a lot about how much of an impact being around each-other can have.

The new RebelDot office space is in no way what it used to be.

I mean, yea, it is the same space, but reinvented to suit hybrid working and deliver to our people’s need of integrating work with life.

Our HQ on Buftea street has been reimagined to ignite creative thinking, relationship building, fun and comfort at work.

A ton of attention to detail has been invested into every single square foot of this office, from the redesign of our open space to the small writings on the glass doors, the music playlist and even the snacks in the kitchen.

Many of us started getting used to working from coffee shops, so we brought the coffee shop to the office.

In our old office we used to have a boring front desk area and a person waiting for visitors there.. We thought this was to way to go, but what we didn’t know back then was how impersonal this approach was.

What used to be a standard reception, now turned into Rebel Café, the place which pretty much gives, as well as maintains, the pulse of our days at the office.

We even welcomed onboard Amy, a highly talented barista who, in no time, became that one person always welcoming us with good coffee and a genuine smile.

While everyone on the team can choose whether they would like to work from the office or from home, providing people the environment they need to be the best at their game is crucial for our company culture.

The layout of our Cluj HQ is designed to bring productivity, relationship building, and relaxation as well as fun together in the same area. We have organized the space into meeting rooms and team rooms, cafes, lounge rooms, and common areas, as well as a game room. None of the spaces or desks are permanently booked, it’s everyone’s office.

Our team is divided into people working from our offices in Cluj or our office in Oradea, hybrid and remotely. This space is our main HQ, and we want all of our people to know that we are part of a bigger community than the one that can be observed while walking the floor of our office. That’s why we also integrated a caricature wall showcasing all our faces and signatures – a wall of fame thingy.

RebelDot wall

Everything for the people.

We are a human-centered company, and we intend to continue to place great value on the relationships we have with each other at work, be it with clients or colleagues. We love our people. We also believe work should not just be fulfilling, but also fun – that’s a great deal of how we make sure we stay in tune with our wellbeing: having fun together.

We want our new space to be a community place. That’s why friends, family, and the friends of our friends are always welcome here.

Code of Practice - Disinformation

The 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation

To give you more perspective, we are going to create a path of understanding between how it all started, what it means, and how it’s going to affect you as an individual, and your business.

Back in May 2021, a new Code of Practice on Disinformation was established, in order to keep under control and optimized guidance, following players within various industries – media and publicity agencies, fact-checkers, researchers, major online platforms, and even civil society organizations.

"The Commission now has very significant commitments to reduce the impact of disinformation online and much more robust tools to measure how these are implemented across the EU in all countries and in all its languages."

Věra Jourová, vice president for values and transparency at the European Commission, said as part of a press release announcing the new code of practice.

According to the European Commission, the strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation has been signed and presented on June 16th, 2022, initially signed by 34 parties, including major social media platforms like Meta, Twitter, and TikTok, and tech giants including Adobe, Google, and Microsoft.

The new Code aims to achieve the objectives of the Commission’s Guidance presented in May 2021, by setting a broader range of commitments and measures to counter online disinformation.

What does Code of Practice on Disinformation mean?

Consider the Code of Practice on Disinformation as a tool through which relevant players in the industry agreed, for the first time in 2018, on self-regulatory standards to better fight online disinformation.

The revision process was launched in June 2021 and, after the signature and presentation of the revised Code on June 16th 2022, the new Code will become part of a broader regulatory framework.

This broader regulatory framework will also include the Digital Services Act, a piece of EU legislation that was approved in April 2022 to better protect European users from online disinformation and illegal content, goods, and services.

Moving forward, we are going to further examine and list the benefits of this new regulation.

What are the business benefits of the code of practice on disinformation?

Demonetization - cutting financial incentives for purveyors of disinformation

The new code aims to ensure that the people who sell or deal with specific goods do not benefit from advertising revenues when propelling disinformation.

This means stronger measures to avoid the placement of advertising next to disinformation, as well as spreading, widely, any sort of misleading information.

Transparency of political advertising

Keeping an eye on the importance of political advertising, especially if we are thinking about shaping public opinion and life decisions. A new measure of transparency will be settled, aiming for users to easily recognize political ads, by reading the labels of the initial sponsor, ad spend, and the display period.

Ensuring the integrity of services

One of the most discussed topics and seen as the most effective way to put a stop to it – reducing manipulative behavior. It is commonly used to spread disinformation by creating fake accounts, bot-driven amplification, impersonation, and malicious deep fakes.

Putting together a sort of, so-called, cross-service, for a better understanding of the unpermitted manipulative behavior, in order to spread disinformation, will be also agreed upon among the signatories.

They will also be required to periodically review the list of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) employed by malicious actors, and will implement clear policies, covering the range of behaviors and practices identified.

Empowering users

To prevent disinformation from spreading to various users, specific tools would be able to recognize, understand, and flag, misleading and untrue information.

How so? By being able to access only authoritative sources and media literacy initiatives.

The tools will be adapted to limit the propagation of disinformation.

Empowering researchers

The Code foresees that online platforms provide better support to research on disinformation. Researchers will have finer access to platforms’ data, seeing all the preferable characteristics of non-personal, anonymized, aggregated, or manifestly public data.

Working towards putting in place a governance structure to simplify access to data requiring additional examination.

Empowering the fact-checking community

The new Code establishes extended fact-checking coverage across all EU Member States (and spoken languages in the EU). The online platforms will have to make sure that they have consistent fact-checking practices, including independent fact-checkers.

Given the element of independence in fact-checking, the business model of the online platform will have to ensure a “fair” financial contribution towards this. The platforms will also have to facilitate open access for these fact-checkers to perform their work.

Transparency center and taskforce

When mentioning task force, we are referring to representatives of signatories, the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services, the European Digital Media Observatory, and the European External Action Service which is chaired by the Commission.

With this initiative in place, all the citizens will gain access to an overview of the implementation of new measurements, providing transparency and regular updates of relevant data.

Future-proof and fit-for-purpose, by establishing a forum – inter alia, to review and adjust the commitments in view of technological, societal, market, and legislative developments.

Strengthened monitoring framework

As you already know, there is always a need for precise and relevant frameworks. The new code will come with a strong monitoring framework, including specific service levels with the support of the EU Commission at the Member States level.

It is predicted that by the beginning of 2023, signatories will provide the Commission with the first baseline reports on their implementation of the Code.

In addition, every major online platform, as already defined in the DSA Act, will also report every six months, while others within the industry will report on a yearly basis.

The commitment for this new measure is to look toward establishing structural indicators and metrics for interpreting, analyzing, and measuring the real impact of the Code on Disinformation.

Tackling Disinformation in 2023

By the beginning of 2023, the signatories must provide the Commission with their first report after implementation. Until then, they have 6 months to implement the specific measurements and commit to each one as they have signed up.

For a more detailed discussion and our take on the new Code of Practice on Disinformation, feel free to get in touch. Until then, you can read our article on content moderation in coordination with this topic.

RebelStore

The story behind RebelStore

Our super-simple scheme on how things turned out.

How it all started - RebelDot

Ever since becoming RebelDot, we have paid equal attention to how we treat our customers and our colleagues.

With every person in our team being authentic and valued for their attitude first and foremost, we knew that there was something that we could do to complement their authenticity and our culture as a whole.

We are a tech company, and while our focus remains on technology, we wish to break the pattern of “we need to do this because others within the industry are doing it.” With this statement in mind came the idea of gifting our colleagues with “Rebel” merchandise.

We thought about merchandise, but the challenge was doing something different than the rest of the companies. Something that our people would naturally embrace, something that was not going to be “forced” upon them, but so cool that you cannot help but just wear it.

We designed hoodies, t-shirts, tote bags, and coffee mugs that put the concept of being a rebel first, more like a reinterpretation of our logo, a way to highlight the essence of what RebelDot stands for.

Of course, it was a total success, and in a matter of time, we started seeing people rocking our merch in different cities of Romania and even other countries in Europe.

What was unexpected was seeing friends of our colleagues/rebels and friends of their friends asking where they could also buy our “Rebel” merch.

Pretty amazing, right?

Where are we now - RebelStore

Two years ago, we talked about what it would be like to have our store.

1st of March 2022 – we launched RebelStore.

We didn’t know from the beginning what implications it would have, but we learned on the go.

The so-called go with the flow, that’s exactly what we did.

I did not mention that we had in mind the idea of a community store – what does this mean? Having a store, but not a common one, all our profits were redistributed to different social causes. In this case, we helped promote our local designers and visual artists while, at the same time, we helped the community around them to grow, develop and succeed.

It was two months of intense work, from meetings with the marketing & web development, all the way to finding the best distributors for our merch, and not to mention – the photography sessions.

Our first campaign, entitled “We give and receive hope”, was aimed at helping the Ukrainian refugees from around the shelters in Romania. Within the first month, we managed to raise 5,700 RON, which was donated to a local school Elf, sustaining their efforts towards offering educational support to Ukrainian children.

What are the next steps looking for us

One of our biggest goals would probably be to help as many organizations as possible. Furthermore, to support the local communities with our online purchases.

To do so, we have some big plans in mind, such as collaborating with multiple local artists and their affiliate brands to make RebelStore known on a bigger scale.

We are confident that, no matter the number of people involved in this project, they will all have the same values and amount of empathy we are looking for in this special project.

On the other hand, we plan on launching a new collection, which is already in the making, as we have all the graphics and materials in place. It will be a new set of hoodies, t-shirts, tote bags, and coffee mugs. In one word, reinventing – keeping the same articles but making them a little bit more artistry by giving other artists the chance to put a spin on our rebel concept.

For this especially, we are working with a studio from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to make it happen. The new collection will be available soon, but we’ll make it public once it’s live.

It takes people

It takes a group of people to put things into motion, not to mention connecting everyone under a genuine and realistic vision to do something for the greater good.

To sum up, we truly have high hopes for this project. And we count on each and one of you to make it better. But more, to reach that level where our store is a go-to place whenever you want to donate a specific amount of money to charity or any social organization.

 

RebelDot 2021

Looking back on 2021: RebelDot’s values in action

Hi,

It’s me again, this time with a recap of some of the coolest stuff we did this year @RebelDot.

For this article, I thought I’d ditch the usual format of listing all our achievements and rather talk about our core values and specifically how everything that we did in 2021 is, in a way or another, tied to each of these 5 values – togetherness, growth, care, fun and fulfillment.

Although I have tried to discuss them separately, keep in mind that they all exist in harmony and that each of the initiatives mentioned as specific to one value, can easily be interpreted into any of the other 4 of our guiding values.

Let’s proceed, shall we?

Togetherness

After almost two years of leaving the office to work in a hybrid setup, we gradually came to the realization that it is a blessing in disguise.

Having to adapt to this new context we started thinking creatively, more than ever, about the ways we can engage our people virtually.

With about 78 new people in our team, and an overall number of 150 rebels (70 more than last year, around this time), we started placing emphasis on the informal nuance of our interactions and gave our shot at extending this casual friendly vibe outside the office.

We did so by setting up events that broke the tech bubble and introduced people to new experiences, things that we’ve probably never tried or even thought of trying, moments of novelty that we got through together.

Ever thought about getting a sailing certificate?

Probably not. And neither did our 10 rebels who went to Croatia for a week to do so. Or going to a team building where you get to literally build something for the community around you? Or how about learning how to cook some gourmet pasta dish through an online masterclass thought by one of our full-time Delivery Managers, part-time “remote chefs”?

These are all just a fraction of the experiences that made togetherness seem less and less vague for our people and gave them more reasons to look forward to.

And, by the way, this sense of togetherness didn’t stop at our colleagues but was infused well into our client relationships too. In fact, one of our biggest clients to this day became our close partner after having spent a full day at our cozy office, sensing the “rebel” atmosphere, listening to our company’s story, our individual tales, and ambitious vision, all while enjoying a BBQ in our mildly popular backyard.

rebeldot yard

Growth

When it comes to growth, there are a couple of actions, part of our yearly strategy, which we do to make sure that we stay on top of our game, delivering state of the art digital product, and building healthy relationships. Yes, I am speaking of formal learning programs here: leadership & feedback trainings, workshops, and access to digital libraries. We very often even read books together, and later discuss them at our morning coffees, day to day meetings and of course, the #book-lovers Slack channel.

But these haven’t been the engine of our growth this year.

An important yet sometimes forgotten component of growth is the acceleration of growth that happens while spending time and overcoming day to day challenges with the right people. Now when I say right, I don’t mean likeminded and cultural fitted people. Think the opposite.

By adding 78 new people to our team, we’ve learned that real growth happens when we embrace our differences in opinion and culture. It’s when you stop doing thigs because ‘this is how they have been done before’ and consider new, rebel ways of doing things.

In 2021 we onboarded no more than 27 interns on areas such as React Native development, .NET development, People and Culture, Product Design and even Blockchain development. It is not a practice that we are new to, as we’ve been creating opportunities for students ever since the company took shape. Still, it is the most internship positions we have ever offered.

RebelDot culture

Here’s a word from our People and Culture department on why creating internship opportunities was an integral part of our agenda in 2021:

“We wanted to be more intentional in growing new talent through our internship programs, while also creating mentorship opportunities for our current rebels (as in RebelDot we also believe in the power of taking care of others). This year was particularly tough in selecting a limited number of interns, as along the recruitment process we realized that the competition was super strong and that we had to make difficult choices between many high-caliber candidates. And this is why we decided to add a few extra spots in our programs, as it would have been a pity not to continue with candidates who were fit in terms of technical skills, as well as from a cultural and values perspective.”

This lowered the company’s overall age to 28 and made youthfulness and adolescent-like energy a default vibe at the office. We probably spend more time on Tik-Tok than we did in 2020, and let’s just say that our parties have gotten a little bit more intense.

rebel hoodie

It would probably be a bit of an assumption to say that our clients felt these aspects of organic growth too, but one thing that is for sure when it comes to growing our clients’ businesses is that we made sure to always be there, from the napkin wireframes and all the way to releasing their digital products in stores. Just like we did in all these years.

Besides, we are now proud to have also amplified our service offering, starting 2022, we can run the products we are building, going beyond digital product discovery & design, product adding post-launch support as continuation of the full product development process we follow at RebelDot.

Some of our rebels also went on to land some important certifications, or pivot to roles that increased their responsibility but also catered to their ever-growing aspirations and potential.

Care

For this aspect I am going to share my personal perspective for I became truly inspired by the way care for both my colleagues and the surrounding community is practiced here, at RebelDot.

I’ve learned at university that nowadays, each respectable company “has to have” a CSR plan. Basically, for those of you not fans of the corporate lingo, think of it as a carefully articulated plan to help others for the betterment of the world..

I’ve never really doubted that companies and the people part of these entities simply have a genuine willingness to do good, but “packaging” it in this super corporate practice just isn’t it for me.. I mean, it might be the norm, it might make doing good mainstream, which is very much needed, but this sort of “branding” simply put a superficial if not even selfish nuance to doing good.

And that’s totally not the norm at RebelDot.

Now don’t get me wrong. Obviously, the People and Culture department is making sure that we hold a solid awareness of the social causes, as well as the means in which we could support our community, extending well beyond just developing digital products.

Still, it saves plenty of room for random acts of kindness, the kind of unplanned help that you offer because you’ve been moved, inspired or asked for in that particular moment.

I remember when I started working here, ready to start showing off my academic skills to create a fancy CSR plan then seeing Tudi, our CEO, casually approaching me and my colleagues on a daily basis to let us know about social causes that he found and that needed our immediate help.

Imagine how great I felt to have some of my (once esteemed) university learnings disregarded in such a beautiful way. To have this reality check and observe that acts of generosity happen naturally here, without really planning months ahead for causes that maybe need urgent actions. This was one of the first rebel plays I noticed and loved and adhered to ever since.

Fun

There was a time when we used to say that coding is fun. Eventually we started to dust off the vague industry cliches and really dig into the essence of our values. We realized that building apps is more challenging than it is fun. But being part of an atypical team navigating a big mess is what (truly) makes it fun.

It is the process and the people. The ways in which the seriousness of a project is alternated with the informality of your colleagues in what is supposed to be a stiff, professional stand-up meeting. It is the inside jokes that you and your team develop, the endless memes on “that Slack channel” or the shamelessly extended lunch breaks where you bond together over some cheap takeaway noodles.

Not to mention about the periodical after hours or late Fridays at the office, where roles start to dissolve and where the authenticity of each rebel somehow harmonize into an almost identical collective willingness to share stories, get to know the protagonists, and build genuine friendships.

It wouldn’t make sense to start listing the fun initiatives that we participated in this year, because, really, you’d probably finish reading this article next year. It is not something super specific, like coding or a team-building, but more like onboarding the right people and simply letting them be.

rebeldot anniversary

Fullfilment

Having a fulfilling job clearly is not just about the work itself. While we constantly try to take care of this aspect by handpicking ideas and founders we truly believe in, matching them with rebels who show an interest in those particular visions, there are other aspects which, taken altogether, can ignite a deeper meaningfulness to the job.

We do believe that you are much more than your role which is why we strive to create a context where your true colors can surface and where you can progress on all levels. Take the example of Vali, one of our day 1 colleagues, who actually started out as an intern and is now a veteran React Native Developer.

He also happens to be a very talented beach volleyball player, competing regularly in both local and national tournaments. This year we found out about his intention to compete in the biggest national contest so we sponsored the entire freaking competition. Hell, we even designed the jerseys for all the participants. No second thoughts, just straight action. It wasn’t even part of a strategy of some sort, but a spontaneous wish to do so right after the moment we found out about this. Just like our “CSR” initiatives.

RebelDot values 2021

Come work with us!

If you consider yourself a kind & supportive human, you have a sweet spot for all things tech and you’re up to new challenges, you might have a home with us. 🏠

What we are looking for is not know-it-alls, nor ideological fits.

We want to grow together while creating a space in which diversity is important and your different perspective will contribute to building great digital products. 🚀

So if you think we might be a good fit for your personality and career ambitions, have a look on our careers page and give it a shot! 

As we continue to expand our web and mobile apps development team to support more companies with our technical expertise, we have around 20 open positions and an internship in the works, so plenty of opportunities for you to become part of our team of rebels.

We look forward to meeting you!

RebelDot culture

We are celebrating the RebelDot 3rd anniversary 🎉

Last Saturday we celebrated our 3 years anniversary at @RebelDot.

[….] After months spent watching the number of people on Slack increase week by week, we now had a chance to see just how much we grew during the past year. [Who would have imagined that as a company that has togetherness and care at its core, we will have a period longer than 1 year in which we will not meet in person.]

Fast forward one year, we are looking at last week’s anniversary party pictures.

RebelDot celebrating 3 years

We celebrated ourselves and the amazing things we built together in our 3rd year as rebels. Here’s what has been keeping us busy. 🎉

48 new rebels have joined the team, RebelDot getting closer to 150 people (collaborators included).

Probably the best thing that we have achieved this year is that we continued to grow while strengthening our culture and company values.

Even at distance, our People and Culture helped us grow our team remotely, onboarding no less than 48 new rebels.

In 2018, we started with the bold goal of creating a company that brings great value to its customers and that is valued by employees for its culture. Back then we were 30 rebels with big dreams and an outlook that was less than great. Today, 3 years later, thanks to our great colleagues, after a 500% growth in size, we are looking at an extremely bright future.

The new way of doing work was an open invitation to knowing people beyond their day-to-day roles in RebelDot through their homes, peers, friends, and kids that popped up in the backgrounds of our Teams calls. It conveyed a sense of closeness and intimacy that nurtured the organizational culture beyond any coordinated effort.

rebeldot retrospective 3 years

NFT Marketplaces, Banking, Telemedicine, Energy, GreenTech, or PropTech are just a few of the industries we’ve been tackling this year.

For the 3rd year in a row, I am fortunate enough to have met yet new business founders driven to build promising ventures with the help of technology and create new market opportunities through innovation.

Last year, a lot of companies were not sure if they were going to keep up with their digitalization plans, but it looks like the “uncertain time “ that we navigated amplified the need of startups, SMEs, and large enterprises to find partners that can bring their digital product ideas to life or speed up their digitalization process.

The pandemic was never an obstacle to the emergence of new great ideas.

This year we kick-started over a dozen new projects, doing what we know best, being reliable tech partners to our clients, and building web and mobile apps from scratch.

Despite the growth, we continue to keep an almost equal balance between the size of clients we work with (startup, SME, Large Enterprise), consolidating our expertise in industries like Banking, Telemedicine, Energy, GreenTech, or PropTech.

 

RebelVentures — because we can’t keep our hands off cool startups.

At RebelDot, we build digital products for startups and brands all over the world. Most of the time, we take them from the idea stage and take them through the entire development process, through design, ideation, MVP creation, and a full product launch.

The thrill of joining forces to solve problems with the help of technology it’s probably what has kept us in the business for over 13 years. And sometimes, listening to your own heart does only good.

Hence, we’ve decided to launch RebelVentures with the aim of investing in the startups that catch our eye. So far, we’ve invested in several startups around Europe, and we have one major investment in a Romanian startup (to be announced soon).

From the office to working from home, and then to hybrid.

Moving our headquarters from a corporate building into an actual house grew our sense of community and closeness.

We’ve turned the office into a social area where bonds are tightened, where we meet to take the edge off a challenging project and chat about anything, from holiday plans to weekly wins or struggles, or just exchanging cat pictures”.

The last few days, the office has been at full capacity and if last year I was thinking about remote work is becoming a norm, I now find that people actually prefer mixing the two for both productivity and other holistic reasons. This is why we’re currently looking for our new, larger playground.

RebelDot playground

Found genuine ways to give to the community around us.

Having a not so intentional, but rather impulsive way to give back allowed us to find along the way many causes that could benefit from our fast, call it Agile approach to finding solutions.

We went from formal NGO donations to speaking at student events, supporting monthly hackathons, and integrating little habits like only sourcing locally for each of the present bundles we occasionally offer our people.

RebelDot CSR

We’ve also built a pro bono app for CERT Transilvania, an app meant to support the local rescue teams.

Since we love supporting rebels in their passions and side hustles, this year we decided to help to organize the beach volley tournament Valentin, one of our React Developers, is involved in.

Beach Volley jersey

Visidot, our internal startup has become part of a short few selected in the Wise Guys accelerator.

Visidot, our very own startup, the digital paper log that we’ve built last year continued to reach new heights, having just got out of @WiseGuys’ pre-acceleration program in Estonia.

Backed up by some solid digital campaigns, Visidot started to gain traction on a both national and international level, landing some important clients in industries like tech, as well as real estate.

It is also fortunate timing since many other companies are considering this new hybrid scenario and getting back safely into the office.

We’ve used our voice to drive a digitalization action in Romania.

Posting on LinkedIn also turned out to be an impactful indirect means to give. The post I wrote a while back about the ridiculous level of bureaucracy in Romania and the need for a digital alternative was recently quoted by Romanian Deputy @Sabin Sarmas in his celebratory post, announcing a digitalization bill recently passed in the Government. Again, seems like little things like that, small daily impulses can, in fact, build that “better world”.

I am grateful to be here, now, and to have experienced yet another just-as-challenging year together with such driven and amazing people.

rebeldot digitalization

1538 applicants and 27 interns: our Spring and Summer Internships.

The spring and summer internships we have organized this year were probably one of our greatest joy bringers. Not only they gave us a chance at meeting new people, but it brought a new wave of fresh perspectives to our team.

I want to congratulate all the students who became Rebel Interns as we were extremely selective — only 1.7% of the applicants were accepted

Today, we are actively growing our .Net, as well as React Native and Blockchain development teams, making RebelDot a community that is fueled by learning and innovation.

RebelDot tshirt

The future will be Rebel! 🚀

I wrote this with a heart full of gratitude for the people that make RebelDot a company in which we thrive by being authentic day by day.

If last year you would have asked me where I think RebelDot will be on its 3rd anniversary, my guess would have been a lot different than the reality we are experiencing today.

We have a lot of work do to in the next year, and although I am not able to fully envision where we are all going to be 365 days from now, all I can say is that we are looking at a REBEL future.

RebelDot farewell old office

Leaving our HQ behind & embracing the future of work.

We are now moving out of our Headquarters in Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania.

As I am writing this, we are on our way to begin a new chapter of our journey.

You can imagine we are both nostalgic and excited.

Nostalgic because, as we walk out of this office for the last time, we can only think of all the memories we made here. Excited because we are bound to reinvent ourselves once again, embracing the future of work, as well as the future of RebelDot.

In the past few days, we were all busy with packing boxes and going through all the hassle that comes with moving out (all of which has been done while keeping our social distance).

Shortly, the place that we used to call home for the past 6 years, became loudly empty.

RebelDot moving out

It is said that art is how we decorate space, but this was no museum, and we didn’t have any interior design skills whatsoever. Still, we decorated it with our presence, attaching meaning to every lifeless spot in the office.

From that warm corner in the kitchen, where we would gaze through the window on a rainy day, to the water dispenser that we’d travel to when feeling stuck, or the meeting rooms that had known and witnessed our biggest ideas.

Origin story.

As RebelDot, we have spent 2 years in the office on Buftea Street. It’s the place where some of us met for the first time. The walls of our office witnessed intense interviews and created room for some of our most memorable brainstormings and client meetings.

But the history of this office dates way back.

Some of us have been working here for almost 6 years, long before our current CEO acquired the services division of Imprezzio Global, transforming it into RebelDot.

To them, this has been already a space of transformation.

RebelDot Buftea office memories

Back to the present.

We knew that remote working was the future of work, but we didn’t expect to be plunged into this whole new thing overnight.

Luckily, as an agile organization, we have adapted to the new conditions pretty fast. In just a matter of days, everyone mobilized and each rebel was delivered a home-office set-up which included laptops, screens, smartphones for our mobile developers, the peripherals needed and even office chairs.

In no time, we all started working from the comfort of our own homes, wearing comfy slippers & bottoms and sipping our usual coffee (or champagne) in front of the video camera now.

RebelDot Remote Meetings

Embracing the future of work. 

Embracing this new kind of working environment, at first, we feared that productivity was going to lower and that it will be a drag for us to adjust to the new working environment – our own homes.

We were wrong.

In fact, looking at the reports following the first two months of working remotely, we noticed that our productivity levels went through the roof, which had its own downside.

With the line between our homes and work getting so much thinner, we had to develop strategies that would ensure the well-being of the team and support our people’s work-life integration.

That’s why, in the weeks that followed, our People and Culture department focused on ensuring that everyone was engaged and safe, carrying out various initiatives, from online cooking nights to emotion-management sessions with renowned psychologist doctors.

Once everyone seemed to have got used to the new way of working, we have officially released a statement, to publicly announce that we have adopted a home-first policy for at least two more years.

We decided to switch from working in an office building to periodically see each-other in a house that looks more like a residence than an office.

Before the pandemic, the office was designated to stimulate productivity. Noticing that this wasn’t the case anymore and that we can still perform when being at home, we decided that the new space should be more like a playground, a social area where bonds are tightened, where we meet to take the edge off a challenging project and chat about anything, but not work.

That’s why, when we started to do our research for this new home, we had a few specific requirements in mind, some details that were going to change the aspect of your casual office into a warm and welcoming home. Besides the decorations that we were going to add, we specifically wanted the house to have a chimney, a spacious garden and lots of natural light.

And guess what?

We found the perfect house.

It was obvious that this change was going to take place, eventually, but, to most of us, it was, indeed, a sudden transition, more like a roller coaster ride. Still, it was a transition that we went through together, a ride that we were able to enjoy, taking care of ourselves as well as each other.

Just like we made all those memories at our previous office, we are now looking forward to doing the same, remotely.

RebelDot Work From Home

RebelDot to be a remote-first company until 2022.

After 5 months of conducting client meetings from that one spot in the balcony where the light hits differently, of countless mornings jumping from the bed straight to writing code, and of dozens of calls joyfully interrupted by our kids playing in the background, we now settled on a decision.

As of today, RebelDot will pursue a Home-First policy for the upcoming year. We chose to make this important step forward consequently to a series of internal discussions and diligent analysis of the current context. Doing so, we are confident that this will impact our long-term growth, utilising the ongoing conditions as an opportunity to get dynamic and reinvent the way we work.

With our current rebel network widely spread across Romania and Northern Europe, our main offices in Cluj-Napoca and Oradea are now spaces where we meet to take the edge off a challenging project by dining together, playing team-building games, or having casual conversations.

RebelDot Office Building

As we prioritize employee engagement and well-being, our People and Culture department is now significantly busier. Getting onboard no less than 15 people since March and with 6 current open positions, we take the time to make each of our team members feel part of a fun and diverse group of friends who happen to deliver awesome digital products together.

Having shipped home-office set-ups in 15 different locations around Romania, it is needless to say that we had our people transform what were once warm corners of their homes into small yellow spaces where some of our client’s biggest ideas take shape.

RebelDot remote

Here is to the next months of working from home, to the wonderful mornings sipping our coffee together on Slack, and to the many more awesome digital products that we will get to work on.

For a much more detailed look into how each of us are dealing with working from home, the perks and challenges that come with it, you can read our article about the Life in our Rebel homes.

If this snippet into our culture got you excited about the idea of being part of our team, you can always check the opportunities that we have available! 

RebelDot and Upheaval announce strategic partnership.

RebelDot and Upheaval LLC, innovators of patent-pending blockchain technology the Weave, announced a strategic partnership, to develop, integrate, and bring to market the Weave blockchain, with global reach and scale.

As a result of this strategic partnership, healthcare and other organizations across the world can soon get subscriptions to the Weave, and in doing, integrate their existing digital systems with a robust blockchain technology that scales, protects, cures over time, and regenerates. The Weave’s unique shared-block, multiple-blockchain technology creates a holistic online environment that allows any organization with an Internet connection get a subscription. Access for individuals, including a secure mobile app to track personal health records, is free. The Weave brings the power of network effects, and in-place blockchain integrations to healthcare participants such as insurers, providers, pharmacies, drug makers, and devices.

“We believe the Weave can deliver on the promise of blockchain for healthcare, with a solution that’s secure yet accessible, immensely scalable, and high performing,” said David Iseminger, Upheaval’s CEO. “With RebelDot’s development experience, blockchain expertise and systems integration knowledge, this partnership amplifies the offerings of each of our companies. It’s a win for our future customers.”

“The Weave has unique technical structure, especially as an enterprise blockchain,” said Tudor Ciuleanu, CEO of RebelDot. “In healthcare, the Weave will bring new life and advanced capabilities to dated systems.” About growth potential, Tudor added, “Our customers are from many industries. The Weave can create significant value beyond healthcare – real estate, manufacturing, IoT, finance, government, and others. We see the Weave quickly gaining market traction upon release, and we see RebelDot growing at scale alongside it.”

With the partnership, healthcare and other industries will finally have a blockchain solution that integrates with their existing systems, streamlines their processes, and delivers big data analytics. Subscribers will realize a better healthcare experience, for their organization and for their patients.

About Upheaval

Upheaval creates innovative software solutions, including the patent-pending Weave blockchain environment, that elevate and transform industries. With the Weave, organizations connect real-time, real-world interactions and create network effects that empower every participant.

To learn more about Upheaval and the Weave, visit: http://theweave.io

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are-stos-replacing-icos

RebelDot becomes the first software development company to accept crypto payment in Romania.

Cluj-Napoca, 7 DECEMBER 2018- Starting January 2019, RebelDot clients will be able to pay their invoices in cryptocurrency – making the company the first in the nation to officially accept crypto payments.

‘’We always strive to come up with new ideas and be the ones starting regional trends, thus the decision to accept cryptocurrency starting January is simply solidifying our beliefs. As such, this new payment method will helps us be even more flexible for our clients. The internal process to put this plan in motion was heavily analyzed and we’ve looked at both market trends and the legal context of Romania. Accepting crypto payments is a natural next step for us, as in 2018 we integrated blockchain technology (which is at the core of cryptocurrencies) into the strategic direction of RebelDot.“ says Tudor Ciuleanu, RebelDot CEO.

According to Forbes from April 11th , the market cap for all cryptocurrencies grew to $565.1 billion in 2017 and was expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2018.

“Although the crypto market has decreased steadily this year, the potential of crypto is still there, it’s only a matter of timing. As a result, I believe it’s a good moment to consider the crypto market and blockchain technology as a strategic move for every company.’’ mentions Tudor Ciuleanu, RebelDot CEO.

 

At a local level, according to a study ran by  Norstat, 1 out of 10 Romanians say they have already bought cryptocurrencies and 1 out of 3 are planning to buy some soon. In terms of the specific cryptocurrencies, 72% of the people surveyed mentioned that they own Bitcoin, 29% own Ethereum and only 14% own Ripple.

‘’We were all surprised when, a few years ago, there was an article saying that Romania is in top 5 countries around the world regarding internet connection. Now, according to the study realized by Norstat we’ve managed to reach again the top but this time the subject is cryptocurrencies. We are in top 10 countries around the world when it comes to the percentage of population that own cryptocurrencies (1 out of 10 Romanians). I think this is a good sign for Romania and it shows once again that Romanians are brave people, willing to embrace challenges. ‘’ added Tudor Ciuleanu, CEO of RebelDot.

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Tudor Ciuleanu company meeting

RebelDot CEO, Tudor Ciuleanu, is the only Romanian investor present at Crypto Invest Summit in Los Angeles.

Cluj-Napoca, 17 0ctober 2018- After acquiring Imprezzio Global’s Services Division, now known as RebelDot, at the beginning of the year, CEO Tudor Ciuleanu makes a new step on the investors’ market with his participation at Crypto Invest Summit in L.A., as the only Romanian investor present at the event.

“I’m very excited that I was invited to be part of Crypto Summit together with investors and leaders across the world. As far as I know, I’m the only Romanian investor present there so it’s also a good opportunity to showcase the potential of Romanian software companies in this vertical. Looking forward to meeting as many brilliant minds as possible.’’, said Tudor Ciuleanu.

Crypto Invest Summit is the ‘’West Coast’s Largest Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Event’’ that will take place during October 22nd – 24th. The summit brings together under one roof investors from all around the Globe, as Josef Holm, co-founder of Crypto Invest Summit and CEO of Krowdster explains: “We all want to invest, but we don’t know where to begin. We’re bringing the best investors, successful entrepreneurs, smartest lawyers and accountants under one roof to show us how it’s done.”

Speakers like Steve Wozniak will be taking the stage at the event as well, to showcase the potential of the industry and talk about what to expect from blockchain in the future.

Tudor Ciuleanu is planning to invest in startups that will bring innovative ideas and scaling capabilities to the table: ‘’Cryptocurrency and blockchain are emerging trends that are gaining more and more attention from the investors. I’m looking for a startup that can surprise me with their innovative idea, scaling capabilities and passion for what they do. Passion, although not quantifiable is a key ingredient weighing in my decision process.”’  

 

Apart from his presence at the Crypto Summit, Tudor Ciuleanu will also be joining another blockchain event in Malta at the beginning of November.

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