5 Years of Guidewire's Spain Office
Our Guidewire Spain team recently celebrated five years in their current office. Originally established over seven years ago, this team quickly outgrew their initial workspace. Since then, Guidewire Spain has proudly called Calle de Cardenal Marcelo Spínola their home.
From its humble beginnings with just four employees, the team has flourished, now boasting over 133 members. Standing together, the team comprises of mostly software developers and consultants for Guidewire's ecosystem of services and products. Teammates Talida, Cristina, Stephane, and Manuel reflect on Guidewire Spain's growth over the past few years and the pivotal role the office has played in their professional and personal development.
Manuel: Hello, my name is Manuel, I’m a Consultant 1 with Guidewire Services Center (GSC) and I’ve been at Guidewire for two years.
Talida: I’m Talida, a Senior Consultant and I’ve been here for three and a half years.
Stephane: I am Stephane, I’m a Consulting Manager, I’ve been at Guidewire Almost six years.
Cristina: Hi, I’m Cristina and I’m a Consultant 1 with Guidewire Services Center. I’ve been here almost a year and a half.
What do you enjoy about your role?
Stephane: I didn't know much about the insurance market when I was starting out here (I was coming from the banking sector) but the way Guidewire is structured and how their products are designed, it made me feel like this role was the right choice. In its early days, we were given lots of opportunities to innovate and grow the business. Obviously, I really enjoy being able to support my team to develop their careers too. 🙂
Cristina: I was looking for a change in my life when this opportunity came up, and it was exactly what I needed. Besides all the benefits that I get to enjoy, I have found that you can make a real contribution to the company, not only with the projects, but with the activities that contribute to keeping our core values strong. I like that I can always learn something new.
Manuel: For me, the day to day interaction with peers both inside and outside of projects is what makes this role worth it.
Talida: My favorite thing about my role as a Senior Consultant is that it's the perfect blend of client interaction and team leadership. It's immensely rewarding to see the positive impact our work has on their businesses.
What were the early days of the office like, and how does it look today?
Stephane: Guidewire Spain was registered in 2015, pre-sales started in 2016, and the Delivery Services (now Professional Services) team started with 6 employees in 2017. We were told to "multiply by 2 every year", don't get me wrong, there was a max set in that equation... At that time, we were all located in small offices around Cuzco (center of Madrid). We moved to our current office in August 2018 when Professional Services in Spain could no longer fit in the previous space. We were all impressed by the new offices’ collaborative spaces, social area, kitchen… Everything!
The team has grown a lot since then, but we have been excellent at maintaining our culture and the collegial atmosphere we had in the early days. It's a very inclusive place where each person contributes as part of the puzzle. We host all types of events, and have a reasonably high engagement. Join us for a week and you will see that there is always a very positive atmosphere!
Talida: Right after I joined, the pandemic hit, and I had to work from home for one year. During that time, I learned that the office isn't just a place; it's the people. Even though we couldn't meet in person, we were able to stay connected and had fun together.
I have found that the hybrid work environment is the ideal choice for me. It lets me dive into heart-to-heart conversations, build connections, enjoy moments, and strengthen bonds with colleagues I haven't had the chance to collaborate with directly before.
Today, the atmosphere in the office is always fun. There's always someone up for a game of darts or pool, a coffee buddy to chat with, or a chance to clear your mind with a puzzle. You can even dive into creative hobbies like crochet or knitting. We have everything I could wish for in an office!
Manuel: The office itself isn't huge but it's the perfect size for the number of people that work there weekly. It can get very busy when there's an important event (such as the 5th anniversary event!). Maybe that's what makes it so special, the fact that you can easily meet and have a chat with everyone who in the office during your day!
Cristina: I have contributed to shaping how the office looks like today. I recently helped in setting up the creative space, which consists of arts, crafts, knitting, puzzles, and things like that for the team to enjoy. The office has an awesome atmosphere and we have lots of cross-functional teams.
What has made Guidewire Spain successful so far?
Manuel: Definitely the people and the culture. Everyone is incredibly professional yet friendly. The location is good, the amenities are good... But the office wouldn't be as successful without the team effort that everyone makes.
Cristina: I would say that the biggest factor in the success of this office has been the people that work here.
Talida: The biggest factor in our office's success has undeniably been the people and the culture of our company. The culture we've cultivated is focused on collaboration, innovation, and a shared commitment to keep everyone engaged.
Stephane: For me, it's clearly the respect we have in the culture and the ideas that each new employee has brought to Guidewire Spain.
What's your favorite memory with your team?
Talida: One unforgettable moment for me was our first social event post-pandemic. Picture this: a gathering of familiar faces, only recognized from their Slack profile pics! It was like a real-life game of "Guess Who?" without the flipping cards.
Cristina: I have to say the end of the development phase of the project I was working on which was very successful, but also some of our great activities like Carnival or Pride month.
Manuel: Apart from the 5 years anniversary party? I have to say our Christmas Dinners or Summer Parties. It's great to see so many people reunited outside of the office and having a great time!
Stephane: There are a lot of great memories, every event is unique. I personally love what we did during the 5 year anniversary event because of the connections we made between us and our visitors, and between our past and future as a unified group.
The most valuable thing I’ve learned while working in this office is…
Cristina: …How a real project works, how to manage scrum calls, how to communicate efficiently. Its difficult to put into words, but there's a LOT that I've learned during this last year.
Stephane: …The fact we are so much more successful (in our day to day work) when everyone represents and cares for our company values.
Talida: …that I'm never alone in any project. Regardless of the issue, error, or challenge I face, there's always someone ready to lend a helping hand. This support network has been a game-changer for my personal and professional development. It's like having a team of experts on speed dial, boosting my confidence to take on new challenges with the knowledge that I've got extraordinary colleagues who are ready to save the day!
Manuel: …That every idea is worth a try. Everyone is always listened to with care and attention, and their opinions taken into consideration. This has allowed me to not only freely express myself, but also learn and try out new things that I had no idea about!
What does this milestone mean to you? Are you excited about Guidewire’s future?
Talida: Reaching this five year milestone personally feels like an incredible achievement. I've been here for a good part of this journey and I've witnessed the progress we've made as a team. We've gone from a cozy team to almost filling the full office, we’ve doubled our social events, and we got to work together on so many projects. And that transition to the Guidewire Cloud... we definitely nailed it together!
As for what the future has in store, I may not have a crystal ball, but I've got a strong feeling it's going to be awesome and even more successful than what we had so far. Bring it on!
Cristina: I think that the future of the Madrid office is bright. There are tons of things we can do next, but I hope the atmosphere remains the same going forward.That's the one thing that truly makes our office unique :)
Stephane: Going from four employees in 2016 to 133 employees in 2023, our growth defines our journey in Guidewire Spain. Five or seven years is a small period of time in the lifespan of a company, but what sets us apart is also how we react to certain complicated events such as the COVID-19 which challenged our interactions during a long period of time. I love to see that many of us participated in restoring our dynamic. This is what makes our office identity special.
Manuel: Time flies, and there's still so much to do! It's great to see how much we have grown as a team, and I hope that in five years during the celebration of our 10th anniversary, we can look back as fondly as we’ve been able to do today.