"Our company was established in September 2001. That makes it 10 years now. We are proud and happy..."
It was 10 years ago when Igalia was established by a small group of young professionals, some of them just out of university and all of them with a growing experience in the open source software world. These computer engineers wanted to build a company in which you could feel as in an open source project. A company based on people; one that would attract talent and nurture collaboration, neutrality, independence and universality principles directly inherited from the open source software communities. Igalia was born out of these principles that shaped its structure and internal processes.
Today Igalia is composed of 44 people. It has its main headquarters in A Coruña and a smaller office in Pontevedra, while 16 people work from home in places like Barcelona, Helsinki, Brussels, Madrid, San Francisco, Boston, Ourense, Seville, Terrasa and Santiago de Compostela. The total yearly invoicing remains well above 2 million Euros, 70% of which comes from international services and projects.
A Company Model that Works
Much of our success is the result of our particular company model: Igalia is organised as a cooperative of associated workers, governed by an assembly in which everyone has the right to speak and vote. We offer every igalian the chance to walk the path to become a partner and legitimate co-owner of the company. This trajectory is defined in three steps: starting as an employee, everyone becomes a full member of the assembly after 1 year in the company, and a shareholder 3 years later. Currently Igalia has 25 partners and everyone else is on their way to join them.
Our hiring process has always been based on common sense and sustainability. When we welcome new colleagues we expect them to go all the way to become partners of the company. Besides technical skills or experience, we look for communicative, active and responsible people, who are also committed to the open source software values and philosophy and who embrace our approach to doing business.
Throughout its ten-year history, Igalia has taken care of its people introducing a comprehensive set of worker benefits including a private health insurance, flexible working hours, preventive physiotherapy, a plan to provide one personal laptop for each worker and a set of facilities in the offices such as showers, a kitchen and leisure spaces aimed to make igalians feel at home.
Actually many igalians do work from home as telework is an option for anyone who prefers to work that way or for those whose personal or familiar situation suggests it would be better. Igalia takes care of teleworkers very well, paying for their travel expenses when they need or want to travel to the offices to meet face-to-face with other colleagues. Teleworkers also have an extra help budget to set up everything they need in their home offices such as an Internet connection, a printer or office furniture.
Since 2005 all the igalians gather twice a year for the Igalia Summit, one in spring, one in autumn. These company-sponsored summits are a mixture of professional and recreational meetings in a selected friendly location during a relaxing weekend. The main purpose of a Summit is to enjoy team building activities, know each other better and take a look at the past, the present and future of Igalia.
Quality Results and Activities
Since its establishment, Igalia has focused in delivering quality to its customers, fulfilling their expectations and meeting every legal or technical requirement in projects while promoting open source software. It has been ten years of sincere efforts towards the definition of quality deliverables, the correct estimation of times and costs and setting up project development environments that are transparent to our customers; involving them in every stage of the project.
Doing things right and keeping our commitment to quality above all else, has led us to become internationally known experts with expertise in many open source projects, including: WebKit and WebKitGTK+, GStreamer, MeeGo, Epiphany, Linux and GNOME. These are projects and communities which we are committed in supporting, through writing code and documentation, organising hackfests and sponsoring events. We do this as a means to give back to them and thank them for helping us to grow both as a company and as individuals learning skills, making friends and earning a living doing what we like to do, which is a privilege.
Applying our experience and skills together with the open source technologies and practices, we have been able to provide innovative solutions in Accessibility, Rich Internet Applications, Browsers and Web Technologies, Compilers, Multimedia, Network Infrastructures, Operating Systems, Mobile devices and Embedded Systems, Server Side Infrastructures and many other areas; Satisfying customers from all around the world, including the public administration, other SMEs from Spain, Europe and other locations and also many big multinational companies from the first line in Information Technologies.
Our controlled but steady growth and the need to pursue better and higher goals every year, has taken us to develop business lines outside the open source consultancy and the highly specialised software development projects that we are known for. We now have a 5 year long experience in open source training too, an activity in which our Master on Free Software embodies as the perfect example. A one year long course in which the students learn not only technicalities and skills in many open source technologies, but also in open source licensing, business models and project management.
In our search for new areas of growth we are also pushing forward some other innovative products such as NavalPlan (soon to be released as LibrePlan) or FileTea, products that represent our bet for the development of in-house ideas and our interest for innovation. We now have a full department dedicated to business development, innovation and R&D activities that is continuously working on new project ideas and establishing new partnerships.
Celebrations for our 10th Anniversary
So can you believe it? Igalia is now 10 years old! It is doing well and we are proud and happy to be part of something that matters, something good and something that is ours. So by all means we are celebrating it!
We are delivering a huge party in our Coruña office next Wednesday 23rd of November to spend time with family, friends, hackers, customers, collaborators, students, teachers, partners and everyone else that helped to make Igalia possible so far. Invitations are flying out now!
The party will start at 20.00 and it will include food (lots of food), with a buffet served in the office where people will be able to chat and meet. Then Xavier Castaño will talk about Igalia and its history, so that guests can get to know us a little bit better through his lively presentation. We will also have a museum showcasing phones and devices we worked on during our history and running demo applications for anyone to play a bit with them. The museum will also include old logos, press clippings about Igalia, t-shirts, our first check, graphs of our evolution and our timeline.
There will be a non-stop video show with clips from all kind of events in which Igalia has participated, including those from personal collections, previously unreleased. Together with the videos, a photography exhibition will embellish our walls while trying to reunite a whole decade of companionship and collaboration. We will also have some nice surprise presents for our guests!
The rest of the week will be busy for the igalians. We will hold our periodic assembly meeting just before heading for our 2011 Autumn/Winter Summit in Brión, A Coruña.