Getting Stuff Done Days in Apiumhub: R&D in software development

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Getting Stuff Done Days (GSDD) is an initiative used by many top companies to improve the quality of the software development and boost a proactive, continuous improvement-based engineering culture in their organizations. This year Apiumhub is implementing this approach as well. GSDD can be seen as an alternative to Google’s famous 20% time policy and it fits perfectly in the culture of Apiumhub to have dedicated time for R&D in software development to increase effectiveness, improve technology, develop new methods, automate and innovate. 

Getting Stuff Done Days (GSDD)

When Google made its initial public offering in 2004, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote in their IPO letter that employees are encouraged “to spend 20 percent of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google,” in order to help the company be “more creative and innovative.” They were referring to Google’s early days when they had launched some of its important products, including Gmail, AdSense and Google News. 

In the years since, other tech companies have developed their own ways of giving employees time to pursue side projects or R&D in software development. Atlassian adopted a “20 percent time” policy in 2008, and LinkedIn launched its InCubator program in 2012, where developers pitch projects that, if approved, they can spend up to three months working on full time.

Getting Stuff Done Days in Apiumhub: driving excellence through freedom & innovation

What is driving us: 

  • Knowledge 
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Be on top of the current trends and technologies and be able to apply them to benefit our clients. It goes together with one of our values: Never stop growing.

  • Excellence

Take time to review the existing work and refactor properly if needed. It supports our value: Make it yours

  • Productivity

Break the routine and allow the team to have another perspective on some parts of the project. Strive for continuous improvement.

  • Motivation

Our team is composed of tech savvy professionals who need intellectual inputs to keep their motivation. We seek to provide this opportunity.

Who benefits from this:

  • The products

GSDD’s main aim is to improve the product quality. Providing GSDD means providing time to think outside the box and experiment with new features or approaches that might not be considered in the day to day workflow.

  • The team

One of the things that can be done in GSDD is to get in contact with other people in the organization and detect needs or understand problems better. Finally, take into account that these kinds of programs attract better professionals, talents that are willing to investigate and do things better. It is about sharing ideas, being proactive and working on the stuff that our team believes will have a positive impact. 

  • Our clients

GSDD improves the mood and motivation of the teams and contributes to enhancing the products that results in a direct benefit of our clients. 

There are rules:

  • Initiative proposals

Before the GSDD every member of the team can propose an idea to work on, and organize a team around it. There should be a document for each initiative that proposes the work ahead. 

  • No individual work
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Pair programming, mob programming, group work … you name it. One key factor of GSDD is to enhance teamwork, so no individual work is allowed. Two people at least.

  • No meetings

Management has to be in the boat. This is a commitment that is transversal to the company, so the team has to feel backed up and supported so no meetings or deadlines jeopardize GSDD.

  • Summary of conclusions

GSDD has deliverables. Each initiative must give results, lessons learned and a summary of conclusions for later consideration. 

What can the team do?

  • Experiment

Check new technologies, check new approaches, evaluate other providers.

  • Refactor

Solve tech debt, focus on underperforming parts.

  • Research and study

Consider alternates, analyze data and define metrics.

  • Emphasize

Identify needs and pain points.

  • Be Creative

Let the team decide on what they can do.

Companies that use GSDD  approach

N26, Bitpanda, Apiumhub, Atlassian, Linkedin and many others. 

If you like the initiative and you are willing to work in such a company, please, check our job offers and apply! We have more than 20 positions available! We are searching for software talents who are willing to make things better! 


  • Ekaterina Novoseltseva

    Ekaterina Novoseltseva is an experienced CMO and Board Director. Professor in prestigious Business Schools in Barcelona. Teaching about digital business design. Right now Ekaterina is a CMO at Apiumhub - software development hub based in Barcelona and organiser of Global Software Architecture Summit. Ekaterina is proud of having done software projects for companies like Tous, Inditex, Mango, Etnia, Adidas and many others. Ekaterina was taking active part in the Apiumhub office opening in Paseo de Gracia and in helping companies like Bitpanda open their tech hubs in Barcelona.

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  Apiumhub client BeYou has transformed the way to conduct Citizen Science Initiatives into a digital and gamified experiment; a project funded by EIT Food.

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