Meet the tech team
Travel means getting to know new places, new cultures and new bits of home. At COSI, we’re transforming the traditional travel experience by offering unique opportunities for guests to live like locals and enjoy an entirely new experience in the surrounding neighbourhood. This means no more cookie-cutter rooms with the same small spaces that only really serve as a place to dump your luggage.
These uniquely designed spaces are also digitally enabled for the traveller of the future. No more receptions, waiting in the lobby or wondering if you left your key card at that cafe you go to every morning. With the digital guest journey, you can enter the room with a PIN generated just for your stay.
At the heart of our innovation is the tech team, who work cross-functionally to collaborate on new digital solutions. Right from the start, our team tackles the problems facing various teams, as individuals take on responsibilities for developing creative features to complex processes.
This is done through regular meetings with various teams like the operations team.
“We are also involved in testing the technology. This is a big thing. It’s great to work with the tech team to see what they can provide us with to improve overall processes, but they need our input for reference. It’s not just them creating features and telling us to work with it, but it’s a regular process of creating, gathering input and refining for a better product”
- Jens Kühn, Operations Manager
Sustainable, scalable tech-solutions
Our team develops tech that’s made to scale. How do we do this? By working from the bottom-up with our designs, it means that low-level tasks can be solved in simple and efficient ways and then scaled to a higher level. An example might be a simple formula to sum numbers that eventually builds into a bigger and more complex code. This was the case when analysing financial reports that could take weeks on end to collect, summarise and then submit. Now, the finance team only needs to click a button to do their reporting, thanks to some creative team members on the tech team who jumped in to help.
For the tech team, this also means watching solutions scale at a fast pace and making a real impact on the rest of the company. The team is also growing, with new engineers and UX designers being added to take on more challenges from our newest business unit, COSI Go, which creates digital solutions for the hospitality industry. Our team is dedicated to creating flexible features that fit different hotel needs in small teams. One of our COSI Go customers even wrote to us after implementing some of the tech our team created:
“Since I’ve been working with COSI Go, I can finally enjoy my weekends again”
- Hotel Wiegand, Hannover
With each addition to the team, COSI gains more creative minds with different backgrounds. In the tech team alone, there are over ten different nationalities that have helped the team take on a new mentality to solve problems with diverse perspectives.
This isn’t unique to the tech team either, as COSI boasts 41 nationalities as of April 2021.
An alluring, creative work environment
We value flat hierarchies and transparent communication. Along with this mentality, we fuse our work with creative problem solving, especially in the tech team. Our goal is to differentiate ourselves from other traditional tech setups.
One of our AI engineers told us that at his previous company, he had to follow strict structures without being able to think creatively, which led him to go home in the afternoon and creating his own code in new ways:
“I mean, if your work isn’t being used, then you’re not going to be motivated. But, when you are creating something challenging, you’re super interested in what you’re doing and here, it’s used and valued. In our case, our culture is empowering people to be creative and make things that challenge you and make you want to create more”
-Daniil, Senior Data Engineer
Many of the features our team is currently working on require a ton of creative thinking and problem-solving. For things like using AirBnb data and other open-source data for pricing, it takes time to understand the task, how the data works and how to effectively gather and use the information for usable features across our properties and those of our partnered hotels with COSI Go.
Flat hierarchies and self-driven responsibility
A lot of the time, people think that flat hierarchies just means no management, leadership or direction. It’s a myth that continues to be spread by rigid structures masquerading around as flat hierarchies, but, in reality, are afraid to let up and give ownership to their team.
At COSI, we have a defined flat hierarchy, so expectations are set to common company goals while individuals can still be relied upon for specific tasks. For example, a goal might be given to help improve the efficiency of our housekeeping app, but the overall solution, problem-solving and approach are self-driven for the individual responsible. This person can rely on the help of the entire team, people across different teams as well as knowledge or resources from their manager. In the end, the only thing that matters is that the goal is achieved.
Other tasks can be chosen as well depending on the team and company goals, so COSI team members are open to pursuing challenges they’re most interested in supporting other team members in their tasks as well. The goal is to create a motivated, passionate team that cares about the advancement of COSI as a company in the travel industry while leaving room for creative solutions.
“It’s not just about working on small tasks, but really working on having an overall impact on processes. We’re the opposite of just being soldiers who take on tasks and finish them before getting more. It’s about being part of COSI and shaping the culture around you”
- Luca Demmel, Head of Software Engineering
Since this is a fundamental part of the culture at COSI and not just in the tech team, we make sure we embrace it as much as possible and communicate it to all members of the team. It has also been incorporated into the hiring process to ensure everyone joining has the same mentality and flexibility to be open to this working environment.
The future of the tech team
As COSI adds new business units like COSI Go to our repertoire, the overall setup and number of engineers is likely to change, as we accommodate new features for our partner hotels or improve on business performance in different areas.
COSI Go is set to become the leading provider of digital solutions for the hospitality industry and allow smaller hotels to digitise at an affordable price point for their business model. The hospitality industry has been left out of much of the digitalisation going on in the world and creating easy yet sophisticated tech to launch the travel industry into the new era is our team’s goal.
In other words, COSI Go is our SaaS (Software as a Service) that we would provide to other smaller hotels in the industry to ease them into the digital era. We know this is a large endeavour, but it’s our belief that by hiring the right people who are diverse, open-minded, motivated and ready to change the travel industry, we can truly make a difference.
Interested in joining our tech team to help us change the world? Check out our open positions here!