Zircon and Long John Silver – What’s the Connection?

Designing engineering software and digging for buried treasure may appear to be poles apart, but bear with us.  Some of our posts can be a little on the dry side so we thought we’d loosen it up a bit with this one – but there is a serious point!

In the classic adventure story “Treasure Island” Long John Silver was the owner of the Spy-Glass Tavern on the quayside of Bristol Docks.  The Spy-Glass Tavern was almost certainly based on the Hole in the Wall pub which still stands overlooking the water on Redcliff-back.  The pub was so named because it had a spy hole that enabled 18th century sailors and smugglers to keep watch for customs men and press gangs – if you weren’t quick enough to exit by the back door (because you were legless?) you could end up swinging from a gibbet or wake up to find yourself in the Royal Navy.

Still with us?  Well, the Zircon office in Trowbridge now has its very own a hole in the wall.  Not so we can see the approach of undesirables but to enable the team to communicate better.  As you’ll see from the careers section of our website we specify that we’re not keen on recruiting “impenetrable introverts” – whilst not wishing to be seen as “geekist” or nerdist” we’ve taken great pains to build up a team of people who are good at communicating with other members of the human race (it’s no good being a genius if nobody else has a clue what you are doing or talking about!).  OK, a few of us here may share a few personality traits with the lovable characters of Big Bang Theory but on the whole we’re a pretty sociable bunch who not only like to talk but are good at collaborating.

So when the workload picked up over recent months and we took on more people there was no space in the same room as everyone else.  Keen to integrate them with the rest of the team we decided to knock the wall down between us and them.  The lower part of the wall, however, carried essential services like cables, so we couldn’t do that.

Being creative sort of chaps, well-used to solving problems, we decided to just cut a couple of holes in the brickwork – that way everyone could chat to each other, share ideas, throw paper darts and do all those important things that go on in offices, but without having to re-route the cabling or have the roof fall in.   It means that nobody feels ostracized and that good communication is encouraged – very important if you are working on projects where a number of people need to collaborate closely.

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