A couple of weeks ago the site http://research.quanbit.com/ was launched. This site is the visible face of an ongoing effort inside Quanbit to progressively broaden our development field and start making room for self-motivated internal development.
So, why do we need a research department? One of the first reasons I can think of is because it enhances creativity. We consider software development as a process that requires a lot of creativity and, as many other things in life, creativity has to be trained and exercised. A research department is a great place for doing that; you can come up with new ideas, discuss them, evaluate their viability and impact, create proofs of concepts and so on. But enhancing creativity is not the only purpose of our research department. During our life as a software company we came across two interesting patterns:
Project are triggers for finding niches or unexplored alternatives (“And what if we combine…?”) that we would never get to evaluate if we only drive our priorities by project/client constraints.
Being a developer that generally finds himself in one of these situations, I know this can be quite frustrating. So we decided to start betting on research and slowly give us the time to show what we do besides customer-driven projects, publish what we develop in-house and how we eat our own dog food or just share some thoughts that we consider are worth writing about. We know it is going to be a slow process and it is going to take time, but we are confident that this will bring new life inside Quanbit and that is why its worth taking the chance.