Joining forces: Spindle and Voys go on as one
Written by Roelinda Klip on 3rd January 2023
October 2014: during a workation in a small town in Spain the developers of telephony provider Voys decide that they want to start a ‘devhouse’, a place where they could celebrate nerd culture. It would be the perfect place to work for developers. After some brainstorming around the fire pit, Devhouse Spindle was founded.
Fast forward to today: over 60 developers work at Spindle, building open source communication solutions that connect people all over the world. We kept working closely with Voys, and now the time has come for an exciting new step: we’re joining forces again with Voys to be able to make an even bigger impact together.
But first, let us take a trip down memory lane and look back at 8 awesome years of being Spindle.
Products we’ve proudly built
Our pride and joy is our award-winning VoIP telephony platform VoIPGRID. It’s the platform Voys and VoIPGRID partners deliver to their customers, making over 32.000 businesses available anywhere, anytime. Next to VoIPGRID we started working on other innovative communication solutions. We built the Vialer App, an iOS and Android app that allows you to make phone calls with your business phone number by using your smartphone. Next up, we created the Vialer Webphone: a nifty softphone that makes calling with your browser possible.
Then there was Lily, the personal assistant for teams who love their customers. It was a CRM system on steroids. We put a lot of love in this product, but unfortunately couldn’t find the silver bullet in the end. Founder Mark wrote an honest piece on it.
As we started to opensource more of our products, we noticed that there was no open source community around VoIP technology. Together with other enthusiastic parties we started the Open VoIP Alliance to share information and learn from each other.
There’s no such things as too many side-projects
At Spindle we loved our side-projects. Ranging from Flindt, a role-based feedback tool for companies working with Holacracy, to Jetpacks on our VanMoofs…
…and from organizing the UX Bookclub to developing Groningen’s first open source beer called 503.
Our purpose: making an impact
Developing software that enhances communication is only part of our story. Together with Voys, we started a foundation in 2017 to facilitate access to connectivity for everyone. We called it 48percent.org, since 48% of the world population didn’t have access to communication technology at that time. The internet is a powerful tool to increase equality in the world, but only if everybody is able to use it freely and safely.
The money we make is used to support initiatives all around the globe that enable access to connectivity. By helping to close the digital divide, we want to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Sharing our love for code
Over the years we shared our passion for code as much as we could. We wrote almost 150 articles about tech and our way of working. These articles found their way to many people and were read over 150.000 times!
One of our favorite things to do next to coding was enthusing kids to code and showing them what working at a software company looks like. Thanks to great initiatives such as ChecktheBizz, IMC Weekendschool and JINC Bliksemstages we were able to welcome many school classes every year. Besides these events we enjoyed our activities with RealTime and ASCI, study associations with enthusiastic tech students located in Groningen.
We also joined and supported a lot of interesting tech initiatives that were held in Groningen, like PyGrunn, Django Girls, Refresh Conference, Women Devs meetup and Startup Weekend. If you ask us, Groningen is the place to be for developers!
Moments to remember
Of course, nearing the end also means reminiscing. We had so much fun in those eight years! From the “Hello World” Spindle launch party to driving our very own fleet of VanMoof Spindle bikes through Groningen, and from organizing hackathons and pizza sessions to open sourcing our ping pong protocol on GitHub. Even after work hours we often spent time together, running the 4Mijl, joining Hackbattles of The Next Web, taking part in volleyball tournaments and joining many pub quizzes.
We certainly knew how to celebrate our successes and special occasions. Creating beautiful pies for completed dev milestones, opening up our new offices for everyone to see, lots of epic Christmas parties, summer barbecues and more.
The absolute highlight of every year was the haysession: a weekend away with all Spindle colleagues for some next level team bonding. Weekends full of outdoor activities, playing D&D, waterskiing, tasting sessions and making music at the fireplace. Definitely moments we will not forget anytime soon.
The perfect place to spend your day
After our start in the Mediacentrale, we were fortunate to create not one but two epic places to work, giving old buildings a new purpose in The Big Building and Het Kwadraat. Working together with a lot of other companies under the same roof is something we can highly recommend!
And then it was 2020 and a pandemic happened. From the 16th of March, 2020 we started working from home. Because we had all the tools to make working from anywhere possible, this transition went surprisingly smooth. In fact, now that we are able to work at the office again, most colleagues still divide their time between working from home and working at the office. Hybrid working is here to stay.
With this hybrid way of working our big office was partly empty every day. At Voys they experienced the same thing. Sharing one space was a logical step, and last month Voys joined us in our downstairs office.
The office is not the only thing we share. Over the years we started sharing our strategy, systems and tools more and more. Through Voys we heard firsthand what customers liked and wanted to see improved in the products we’re developing. We noticed over and over again that working closely together led to better products and happier customers. On top of that, we pursue the same goal with our foundation 48percent.org.
Saying goodbye to Spindle – but our story continues
All these elements led to the decision to spend our future together as one Voys again. We look forward to building even better products and making a bigger impact with 48percent.org. Consequently, this means we’re saying goodbye to the Spindle brand in 2023. We’re definitely going to miss it – but of course, we will make sure to continue sharing our love for code and support great tech initiatives under the Voys flag!
Thanks to everyone who went on this awesome, crazy and beautiful journey with us!
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