Once again, Scandio is happy to introduce you to one of our teams. This time, our C-Team developers have offered to talk about themselves, their latest big project, and the different methods and processes they encorporate daily. As there was almost no difference between the various members’ answers, they agreed to present them as a whole.
Please introduce your team briefly (What do you do, who are you?)
Team: “We are the C-Team and, except for Aleksei who works in Berlin, we all live in Munich. Our team is a bit different from most other teams in Scandio, in that we are all working together on the same project. In particular, this Scrum project for a Munich-based home appliance manufacturer, involves over 100 developers working in 14 closely-knit teams. These teams, several of which we support, work together using SAFe, an Agile framework.
Basically, in short: We are all developers and help to build content management systems in the Smart Home environment.”
Is there a clown in the team? If so, what makes this person special?
Team: “There’s actually no one who stands out in particular because we’re generally in a good mood most of the time. Most likely we would mention Alex, who surprises us again and again with his consistently positive mood and way of thinking.” (All laugh)
What is your favorite team dish? (Are there common eating rituals?)
Team: “Since we are all actually very rarely together in the office, we don’t really have a favorite meal. We used to go to McDonalds together, but that tended to lead to food coma. So, that won’t be happening anymore. Nowadays, there are a few small groups at Scandio who get something to eat at PEP (a shopping center around the corner).”
How well does the idea of self-organized teams work for you? Do you have certain procedures?
Team: “For our team, this is actually less important, since we’re only working on one project. So, except for some small things like running job interviews, there is hardly any organizational activity required.”
Can you tell us something about your team evenings?
Team: “Before the Corona virus, we used to travel regularly to Warsaw to work with other developers on the project. There we could do a lot of cool things, like going out for dinner together or be shown some of the nice sides of Warsaw by our colleagues. Apart from that, we try to do various activities at our team evenings. For example, we already survived an escape room and went to play lasertag together.”
Since you are all working in one project: Can you tell us something about the processes in the project? What are you currently working on?
Team: “At the moment we are working on a new product in the smart home area. We are developing a process to make the creation and development of recipes for the device more intuitive. However, this varies constantly, depending on the new features that are assigned to us in PI Planning. It also depends to a large extent on which skills are available in the team for the respective area. So we work in a very broad range of topics.
As a general understanding, we often say: Through our developments, you can browse through recipes and tips on your smartphone, keep an eye on the processes of your smart home device - and (still) control it.”
How do you get along in your team working from different locations?
Aleksei (the only one working from Berlin): “For me it doesn’t really make a difference whether I’m remotely connected via chat or zoom, or whether I’m there in person. If I have a problem, I can always call or ask in chat. I am surprised myself that at how few disadvantages for me there have been. As long as the technology works, there is no problem. It’s just a bit of a pity, because I think our Friday beer would taste better with my colleagues on site”.
Team: “We often use virtual whiteboards, which are generally used in PI planning and in every Scrum team. This works like sticky notes on the wall and everyone in the team has access to them. Because we work a lot with other developers and generally in a large project together, working from different locations is just a normal part of it. That makes the whole Atlassian stack, like Jira, Bitbucket and Confluence, essential for us.”
What is the funniest support question or utopian requirement of a customer for a project?
Team: “Our current customer has high demands, but utopian requirements are never a part of it. If anything, the ideas and goals regarding deadlines are sometimes a bit ambitious, but even there we always find a good solution for everything. Because we only have one customer and are always in dialogue with them, we are able to assess very precisely what is realistic and what isn’t.
However, sometimes we have to configure a device from a different manufacturer so that we can carry out remote tests with it. That means literally telling the other party which button to press and when, which is sometimes quite strange. There is a simulator for this usecase, but in exceptional cases we need to use the real device.”
How often do you have meetings? What is the general procedure?
Team: “We have a weekly half-hour meeting in which we talk about the project and what happened in the last week. This is mainly to bring the project responsible up to date, as he or she cannot always be present. But we always try to include the interpersonal aspects in our meeting. That means not only checking off what happened in the project, but also getting a feeling of how everyone is doing. We have already tried this with a “smiley light”, but a smiley is not the best way to sum up a whole atmosphere or feeling.”
Let’s be honest: Where do you prefer to work, in the office or in your home office?
Team: “If it weren’t for Corona, we´re sure we’d all be in the office more often. But that’s how laziness often wins out and you can save yourself the way to work. Actually only David and Felix are almost always in the office. And since we always work remotely and are networked anyway, it doesn’t really matter whether we are sitting together in the office or not.”
Many thanks for your time and the exciting insights into your team!
You want to join Scandio and want to work in a Scrum Team on an exciting project in the Smart Home environment? Then take a look at our job offers.