Star Wars and Secret Source – our long love affair

4th May 2022

Today is Star Wars day and “May the 4th (force) be with you”. 

May the 4th be with you

Before we tell you about our (slightly too geeky) love affair with Star Wars, did you know that the May the 4th pun wasn’t first used by the clever marketing department of Lucas Film or Disney it was actually first used by a British newspaper in 1979 to congratulate the election victory of Margaret Thatcher in 1979?  Anyway, as Obi Wan once said “move along, move along …” 

We’re a team of developers and designers so there was always going to be a bit of an obsession with science fiction but it was clear from very early on that Star Wars was our franchise of choice. Yes, we have inside jokes about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and many of our team won’t miss a Marvel premier but Star Wars has always been the one closest to our heart.

I think our first official Star Wars company policy was our “What Star Wars Character Are You?” question that we introduced in 2017 into our team page and onboarding. Rachel, now our CEO was Rey, Zaida (then an intern now a team leader) was R2D2, Raúl our senior Ruby on Rails Developer was Luke, Juan, our wise WordPress guru was Obi Wan, Borja was Starkiller (not even in the films but in the video game!), handsome Ruyman was Han Solo and Ted the most knowledgeable of us all was R2D2.

Although our Star Wars question just started as a bit of fun, it turned out to be a really great ice breaker for new people. On our new starter’s first lunch with us there was no more awkward conversation about where they lived or their last job but an animated discussion on their chosen character. That innocent Star Wars question taught us a lot about psychological safety and the importance of creating an atmosphere where people feel comfortable.

Our Favourite Star Wars Films / Series
1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. A New Hope / Mandalorian
3. Rogue 1
*poll taken amongst all staff in April 2022

Our Second policy was actually written into law (well, our certified and registered convenio (employment contract conditions)) where we ditched the standard developer levels of junior, intermediate and senior and adopted our own. Our interns were called Padawans, our juniors and low intermediates Jedi Knights and our high intermediates and seniors Jedi Masters and Ted was simply known as the Grand Master. And whilst we’ve changed these levels now to a slightly less interesting numerical system, when Richard our founder stepped down from CEO last year and was in search of a new title, he was given the honourable name of “Supreme Leader”.

And finally, if you look on our about us page you’ll find our R2D2 mug. Why have we put a random droid on our about us page? well, in 2020, as part of some branding work, we were asked what our spirit animal was … it had to be R2 …

“Always there when you need him, R2D2 is the trusted partner ready to help in any situation. Reliable and trustworthy, R2 is the ultimate confidant. Agile and flexible enough to work through solutions under pressure, R2 remains cool and calm and even maintains a sense of humour.”

So on this special day, to all the readers of our blog “May the Fourth Be With You”.

One more thing … for all those fellow Star Wars geeks out there – our 404 page is dedicated to you.