Too much talent effect: Coordination vs Cooperation and the curious case of Miami Heat

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As a worker of an IT company, I took a moment of thinking and asked myself, why no company, no matter what budget it has, hires only senior employees or in our field only senior developers. This is a question, which I kept asking myself for days and days. But, a couple of weeks ago, I may have found an answer in one book Friends & Foe, when to cooperate, when to compete and how to succeed in both which was written by Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer. They found that too much talent in the company creates a reverse correlation with the efficiency of the team. But, to understand this explanation we need to see an example outside of our working field.

As a big Real Madrid fan, I took a moment of thinking after a disaster season of Real Madrid, I compared the results of 3 different teams of Real Madrid. When the team was an all-star team, they have not achieved trophies in comparison with the value of players the team has e.g. Zidane, Figo, Owen, and Ronaldo.

While the team was a one-star team led by C. Ronaldo, they achieved more trophies. And now without stars, the team achieved a disastrous season.

In 2014, a research was made by 5 researchers, one of them is Adam Galinsky, about association for psychological science with a title too much talent effect. Studying the effect of a number of talented players and team performance and results. 37% of the sample size indicated that the team will perform better when the talented players are more. But, by looking at the results of the team, there is a difference. By looking at the teams result in the World Cup 2014, it was found that there is a positive direct relationship between team results and talents in the team until a certain point. Once this point is reached there is a negative direct relationship between talents and team results. This study was not just on football teams, it is extended to basketball teams, e.g. Miami Heat, they got in 2011 Chris Bosh and Lebron James, and they have already Dwyane Wade, to make a Dream team.

But they lost the final in the same year. In the next year, Wade and Bosh got injured and they won the cup in that year and Lebron James became the superstar inside the team and the study stated that the main reason of this win was the decrease of the talents in the team and this talent isolation was the main reason of the win.

With this study we can conclude that by having no or low talents, the team will lose and by increasing the talents too much, the team will also lose. As by increasing talents, coordination decreases and competition increases. And now let us apply the same case to the companies. You may ask me why by increasing talents, the employees have more cooperation, the answer is included in the book Friends and Foe. The book is based on scarce resources e.g. if you have a chance in working to improve your position, that means that there is no opportunity for other teammates to improve their positions. So by increasing talents, competition increases and coordination decreases. Teammates become opponents.

I hear some people telling me that MSN in Barcelona succeeded in 2015 and in NBA we see all team stars e.g. Warriors in 2018-2017 that include Klay Thompson, Durant and Green. So what we can understand that there are some other reasons that affect team performance. And may cause too much talent not there in all cases. But these reasons, the study did not care about because it is hard to be measured via numbers. So we still have a mystery in how it is gonna affect the performance of the companies.

So, in order to avoid this mystery, our company N47 started not only to hire qualified workers but also to apply internal development and education for them, by sending them to different conferences to different countries. e.g. this year 2019 our colleagues are going to 13 different countries to attend different conferences. This internal development will increase the efficiency of the team along with increasing the cooperation among them via spoiling what the employee has learned in the conference to his colleagues.

In a nutshell: It is not just the personal characteristics which define he can cooperate or compete with his colleagues, it is also his company strategy.

Why you should join our company and why NOT

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It is sooner or later in life to think about a profession ๐Ÿ’ผ and about the company in which you want to practice it. Either you’re out of education, youโ€™ve just finished your studies ๐ŸŽ“ or you’re already working, but you need a new challenge.

In our industry -IT services ๐Ÿ’พ – where software/web developers play the biggest role, there are, according to several studies, the key features for developers to enter a company.

Based on Stackoverflow’s Developer Survey in 2016, we picked the most important expectations of the developers for their company and made them a guide. We have divided these into 5 levels.

1st Basic requirements

  • Salary ๐Ÿ’ถ: Every developer knows his value in the market, so we value him and give him what he deserves.
  • Respect: Dealing with each other in the company, as well as with customers on site are the nuts and bolts for us and are treated with the highest priority. Unfortunately, there are still companies in the 21st century where bullying plays a big role.
  • Competencies: Our employees are encouraged to expand their know-how, which plays the most important role in IT. We live in the technology age, in which permanently new programming languages, frameworks, etc. come on the market. There is no time to lay on the lazy skin.
  • Social bonding: We are a team and that goes beyond all locations. It is very important to pursue common goals. In this case, you will not be treated alone, but in the team and no matter which location you are involved with.
  • Support: Every employee is considered as a family member, so that operational issues are discussed and addressed in retrospectives, in addition, private matters also find an open ear. You can just click on the management to get support for private affairs.

2nd Lunar effect ๐ŸŒš

  • Operating System: We do not tell anyone what OS to work with. Everyone should be able to decide for themselves with which they feel comfortable.
  • Computer specification ๐Ÿ’ป: It is very important to have fast computers as a developer. One should use his time effectively and not straining with slow devices his nerves.
  • Software ๐Ÿ“€: Additional software, e.g. IntelliJ, WebStorm, etc. needed is of course provided by the company.
  • Noise Level ๐Ÿ“ข: Many employees complain about excessive noise levels. To spare our employees, our premises are in fairly quiet locations.
  • Workplace: Of course, ergonomic chairs, monitors, keyboards, etc. are provided.

3rd Main motivators

  • “Tough Nuts”: With us, you have to face up to new challenges, so that work does not become routine and thus boring.
  • Further education: In order to keep up to date his know-how, we offer each teammate the possibility to attend trainings, conferences, workshops and the like. Through our blog, you can see in which different countries and conferences we have been.
  • Recognition: You want to be praised for your work and you get that praise from us.
  • Interesting projects: We work for different clients and projects so that a lot of variety is required. Boredom, routine are foreign words for our working world.
  • Confidence: Confidence in employees and leaders is a lost character trait. Most companies are only concerned with competition among employees. This has no chance in our company. We trust each other and treat everything confidentially what concerns our employees.

4th Creators

  • Relax spots: Either take a break in front of the Playstation ๐ŸŽฎ, Nintendo or use the couch for a nap ๐Ÿ’ค.
  • Foosball table โšฝ: In our office, there is a foosball table for professionals. Of course, beginners are allowed to play as well.
  • Fitness: A small room with fitness equipment, even a treadmill is available for everyone. It is also allowed to enter the office 7/24 ๐Ÿ•–.
  • Food: Tasty coffee โ˜•, soft drinks ๐Ÿฅค, sweets ๐Ÿซ, water ๐Ÿšฐ and fruits ๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ‰ are always free for the team. Enjoy it.

5th Unconventional

  • Team events ๐Ÿฅณ: At least twice a year, all employees of the 3 locations ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ come together. We work ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป, dine ๐Ÿฅ˜ and have fun ๐ŸŽ‰ together. The upcoming event is in Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ in July, the previous one was in Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, let’s see where the next one will be. In addition, events take place at the 3 locations, for the specific staff onsite. Of course, the ticket ๐Ÿ›ฉ, accommodation costs ๐Ÿฉ and meals are paid ๐Ÿ’ฐ by the company.
  • Lunch ๐Ÿด: Every 14 days we choose one restaurant to have lunch together. Of course, this is also paid ๐Ÿค‘ by the company.

After writing so many positive points โž• about our companies digitale neubelebung, 47 North Labs and digital natives, it’s time to list the negative points โž–…

I really tried to find some, but I did not find anything!

Impressions from UIKonf Berlin 2019

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With little doubts in the beginning, big uncertainty and the questions in my head “Is this the right conference?”, “Should I’ve chosen another conference?”… But it happened and Iโ€™m satisfied at the end of the day with my choice. Some of my colleagues were surprised of my choice (Berlin), but yes, I can definetly say “It was not a mistake”.

So how was it?

Day 1: Social events

Iโ€™ve chosen to be with the walking tour group. There were possibilities to be in different groups like Bicycle group, Boat trip groupโ€ฆ But this was my choice. We were split into two groups by 12 people and a local tour guide. We visited different spots, like the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the popular Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin French Cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate, etcโ€ฆ

The day finished in a big restaurant where we received our conference badges and promo materials of the conference. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and new chance to meet and introduce yourself to new developers. Some of the participants were professionally oriented and immediately started to talk about iOS topics. Some were on their way to the bar ordering german beers and the popular โ€œwurstsโ€. There also was a small group that played some kind of table tennis game. Iโ€™ve attended in all of these social activities.

Day 2: Opening day of the UIKonf 2019

After the opening words and the short introduction, the conference officially started. The first day consisted of 9 presentations. The strongest impression of the day was the presentation of Ellie Shin about Mock Generator for Swift and how they at Uber solved the problem of mocking. They optimized the app to build the mocks in around 10 seconds instead of the previous time needed; it was more than 1 hour.

One of the best presentations of the day was from the lovely Julietta Yaunches. She talked about consistency principles in programming, how to keep the coding style consistent and not make big changes every day, how to decide when to introduce something new in your code, etc.

It were good presentations from Kristina Fox about Internationalization of the iOS applications, and the opening presentation from Kaya Tomas about Accessibility and Inclusion in the apps. A topic I wasnโ€™t aware before this conference.

I also have to mention the presentation of Glenna Buford about how to organize the network stack of your iOS application.

The day finished with a social event named Ambassadorโ€™s dinner. The local participants of the conference had the task to show the other participants (foreigners, including me) the typical restaurants and bars in Berlin. I was in a group that visited Hofbrau Munich Restaurant in Berlin. We had some good discussions with colleagues from all over the World. Throughout the evening we enojyed some tasty good german beer and pork meat.

Day 3: 2nd day of UIKonf 2019

The second day had 9 new presentations and 9 new speakers.

The best of the day in my opinion was the presentation of Kate Castellano. She talked about applications with backend driven UI.

Among the better presentations was of Neha Kulkarni about Advanced Colors in Swift.

I will also mention Erica Sadun. She talked about Swift Strings. In her presentation she showed best practices about using strings in Swift, interpolation of strings, etc.

Also there was a choice to visit 2 workshops on MyTaxi boat stage near the conference hall. I visited this stage and it was about the management process, recruiting and organizing the teams in MyTaxi company. The 2nd presentation was about Tips and Tricks they are using for testing their apps.

The day finished with a big party in a local restaurant near the river Spree. It was another good party. A lot of talks with colleagues, a lot of drinks, good atmosphere. All finished at 1:00 am.

Recap

I can freely say it was a good conference, perfectly organized… I didnโ€™t regret in any moment that Iโ€™ve chosen this one in a bunch of other conferences. First of all, Iโ€™ve learned a lot of new things, Iโ€™ve heard about topics I wasnโ€™t aware before, I saw how it would be to talk infront of 500 people.

Maybe in these events the most important thing is the social component. New faces, positive people, talks, sharing experiences, enlarge your professional contact list.

All 18 speakers

Iโ€™m not sure what was the intention of the organizers to have only women speakers. 18 speakers – 18 women. It was not explained, but we cannot complain because the speakers dealt with the challenge perfectly.

Worth the money, worth spending my time at UIKonf in Berlin. I have a feeling I will visit it for sure again in the future.

47N at the Career Days 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele)

Deeply honoured by the pleasant and heartfelt invitation of our esteemed colleagues from the South East European University in Tetovo, we are pleased to take part in their Career Day in 2019.

But the biggest honour is the point and the moment when you are representing your company at the auditorium and the audience, especially more weight adds in this when you are doing that in front of the students, the future and potential candidates for employment and key factor of making the progress in this segment of our working process.

At the entrance to the University pleasant surprise. Although the day was looked like autumn time, clouds, rain, much less like it was in autumn in late October, but it’s April.

Watch Out Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

But again it was not a problem for the huge number of visitors to the event. The huge parking space in front of the central university building, packed to gather all the guests and participants of the event, it was completely full to the max.

The hall where the event was held, crowded, visitors, presenters, students and guests, photographers, cameras and even tv crews.

Wonderful atmosphere, pleasant and positive experiences, wonderful discussions, presentations to the guests and interested students.

The greatest pleasure is, of course, the moment and honour when you represent your company in front of the outside world and you are familiar with the scope of activities you are dealing with, work and spend your time, but also the idea, the plan and the strategy how it is developed and where it is targeted to act the company in the coming period and in the following years.

Even greater satisfaction is the interest of young students who want and seek practice, their knowledge and the first steps in the software development, programming and digitization segments.

โ€œThe purpose of organization of this Fair is to show that the University is very interested to hear the voice and demands of companies. We are very pleased that our academic product is very important for companies and this is evidenced by the massive participation of companies in this Fair. The Career Centre data show that in terms of unemployment of 22% in the state level, over 60% our newly graduated students are employedโ€ โ€“ said the Rector of the University in his speech at the opening of the Day.

The Fair was attended by over 80 well-known companies from the country and generally belong to the private sector, but the public sector was present as well, where many educational institutions and non-governmental organizations participated.

Lots of positive talks, good conversations with students, a lot of them wants to be part of our team, internship or later to be employed and regular part of the crew.

The rain outside, but warm sun inside, pleasant, good atmosphere, warm talks and positive attitude.

It’s really nice to be part of this Day, we all hope that the number of this kind of visits till the end of this year and next year will x10 and also the number of students we meet x100.

Our goal and representation of our company here is done and we are fully satisfied!

47N Playground: Be up-to-date with the latest technologies and donโ€™t waste resources

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Our company is established from techies ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป for techies ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป and therefore we love โ™ฅ๏ธ technology. This passion brings us always forward ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธto learn the latesst technologies and keeps us hungry for solving also our own issues with some cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž and fun-making technologies ๐Ÿคฉ.

To be an attractive technology focussed employer

A simple agency lifestyle with working on preselected technologies from clients for a long period can (and will) be boring ๐Ÿ˜• for every technology enthusiast. ๐Ÿงโ€โ™‚๏ธ To keep everybody on a high level of motivation ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป, we think a company has to develop his own spirit and in our case, these are solutions with the latest frameworks, technologies, languages, gadgets,โ€ฆ

How not to waste time and money?

But in agency life is hard to reserve some resources ๐Ÿ’ฐ just for a playground ๐ŸŽฎ or disposable products. Therefore you will need a setup, where you transform the need for discovering ๐Ÿ” new areas and costs ๐Ÿ’ฐ into an intelligent investigation ๐Ÿค‘. By this frame, we decided, that every outcome of our playground should result as a standalone solution either for our company or as a resealable product. By doing this, our new unit LABS ๐Ÿงช and researchers ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ are born.

How our unit LABS are working?

First steps into new area!

In LABS ๐Ÿงช we get in the first touch with latest technologies and for sure we will face with all the issues โ˜„๏ธ, problems ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ, bugs ๐Ÿž, challenges ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐ŸŽค and we learn a lot about the bad sides of new technologies. If we overcome all this problems and troubles ๐Ÿง—๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธ, we move this new technology from our #playground to #weStandFor, which means that we are that good in that new technology and faced and solved all issues, that can occur. Now we are ready and stand for the latests technologies! ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿฅ‡
Thus, the outcome of an e.g. 3 months focus in LABS is a great knowledge about a brand new technology and a gorgeous new product or solution. I think we can be proud of both! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

The movement of technology from #playground to #weStandFor. Every stack has his own topic leader, so don’t miss changes and updates.

To manage this pipeline from playground ๐ŸŽฎ to the output โœ… we set up a backlog with great projects. Everybody in our company is free to add some projects to our backlog and come up with ideas ๐Ÿ’ก. In this accelerator program, we decide the sustainability and the potential of this suggested project ๐Ÿ“Š and evaluate the sexiness of the technologies ๐Ÿ™€. If we all agree with this internal pitch we plan and start having work and fun! ๐Ÿฅณ

What does this mean for our partners and clients?

With our LABS unit, we can offer you an overview and solutions by using the latest technologies ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป, which can give you more security ๐Ÿ”, to be an early adaptor ๐Ÿฅ‡ on your specific market or even save money ๐Ÿ’ต!

What does this mean for our techies and applicants?

At 47N you have great development possibilities ๐Ÿ“ˆ and learn always new technologies. You are not stuck into a technology for years ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ, that you miss new things. In our LABS unit and also with our Hackdayz you have the opportunity to develop awesome products and contribute a great environment for yourself and your teammates. Join us today in Zurich ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Konstanz ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช or Skopje ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ.

47N a young company with great potential for developers

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yes, this is exactly what you think from reading the title, in the next few paragraphs I am going to talk a lot about 47N, not because I am an employee there and I have to, but because I am in love with the company I chose.

It all started when I decided that working in a big company doesn’t give me the joy that I want out of my professional life. If you spend 8 hours/day at work, it makes sense to find somewhere where you’ll feel like home, where you can develop & improve yourself professionally and personally ;).

I remember the day that I came to 47N for an interview and the first thing I heard in that interview was,

We are here to help you be the best & achieve your goals.

Fatih Korkmaz

I was like REALLY, that day I knew that this is the one for me. 47N as a company doesn’t search for geniuses, we search for team players because even if you don’t have the best players in the world, you can be the best as a team, and these guys are living proof of that:

What defines a team player?

DEMONSTRATES RELIABILITY

You can count on him/her to get the job done and deliver good performance.

COMMUNICATES CONSTRUCTIVELY

A team player speaks up and expresses his/her thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others and for the work of the team.

LISTENS ACTIVELY

Good listeners are essential for teams to function effectively.

SHARES OPENLY AND WILLINGLY

Team players are willing to share information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed.

EXHIBITS FLEXIBILITY

Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-changing situations.

Googliness

Now that we know what a team player is, let’s have a look at the company, I always call 47N Mini Google, because we have the Googliness.

Googliness means being focused, and striking a balance between short-term and long-term objectives. Being proactive. Google’s Code of Conduct says โ€œif something is broken, fix it.โ€ But being proactive also means anticipating moves ahead of time so to take action preemptively.

We can all agree that nobody can work for 8 hours straight, everyone needs a pause, for this, we have a lot to offer from space with PlayStation, Nintendo, foosball table, snacks, drinks, small gym…

More we are also open 24/7, you can come here on weekends study, chill on the terrace, grill…

Now that we talked about what defines a team player? how does 47N look like? And what we are searching for? What are you waiting for?

Contact us as fast as possible and get yourself a place in our train to achieve greatness.

Entrepreneurship: in touch with Saygin Yalcin.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Who is Saygin Yalcin?

Saygin Yalcin was born in simple conditions in Bremen ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช and after his studies, he moved to Dubai ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช with a single backpack ๐ŸŽ’ but with a goal a vision to become a successful entrepreneur. ๐Ÿค” And he reached his goal! ๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸปWith sellanycar.com and a big deal (souq.com) he opened the door to become a successful entrepreneur. ๐Ÿคต๐Ÿผ Now he is awarded as the smartest and most influential man in UAE and still going on with his success. Even in social media he became a brand and influencer.

What do we get out of the conference?

In 2019 we established a new unit in our company called LABS. ๐Ÿงช Because as a digital agency ๐Ÿ’ป we โ™ฅ๏ธ technology and we want to use our Labs as a playground ๐Ÿคผโ€โ™‚๏ธ for upcoming technologies and a platform for developing new products. We are not looking just for business solutions also for mainstream solutions. With the talk of Saygin we want to checkout his thoughts, this though roadmap ๐Ÿ›ฃ and how he reached the top and motivate our employees to bring also in our company the next big thing.

What are our expectations?

Our expectation is to have also the view outside the daily B2B. To motivate our teammates to go for the next thing and to show that as a digital agency we are ready to change the world. To make simple manual processes automized and to have a bigger vision than just implementing tickets. Technologies are a tool to create awesome solutions and we want to create awesome solutions for businesses but also for people.

Travel Details:

When: ๐Ÿ“… Sa. 11. May 2019 19:00 โ€“ 23:00 MESZ
Where: ๐Ÿข Hugenottenhalle, 63263 Neu-Isenburg
Travel: Drive to Frankfurt by car ๐Ÿš— – not a big deal
Price: 99 EUR ๐Ÿ’ต per ticket

Want to meet there? Just contact us.

My expectations from UIKonf Berlin 2019

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After more than 6 years this will be my first conference. This time as a guest. I remember well the moments of my presentation in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2013. Stressful experience, a lot of sweat, with my suit that was one number larger than it should be. That was 2013 and the topics were economics and management. Now Iโ€™m an experienced iOS developer and going to Berlin for a conference that should give me new ideas for personal development, but also to give me directions how to think for the future challenges.

Conference generalities

The venue of the UIKonf is RADIALSYSTEM V in Berlin.

From 26-29 May 2019 in Berlin, some serious iOS developers will come from big companies that will present their experiences in the iOS World.

The motto of the conference is simple:

โ€œUIKonf is an independent conference for serious iOS developersโ€

Speakers

For this conference, the organizers decided to have only female speakers. All will come from big companies and with big experiences. We have female iOS developers who work or worked for Uber, Slack, LinkedInโ€ฆ

Part of the speakers

Costs

The travel expenses are the cheapest for this conference viewing from my perspective. Fortunately, we Macedonians have direct flight connection to Berlin. The cost is around 150โ‚ฌ.

The ticket to attend the conference costs 539โ‚ฌ.

They are also offering free tickets to members of underrepresented groups in tech (this includes disabled people and generally people who are unable to attend without financial assistance).

The accommodation is something that is not completed from my side. The hotels near the conference building costs around 100โ‚ฌ per day.

Schedule

This conference has an excellent organization.

The first day 26 May is the day for social meetings, time for visiting places in Berlin, acknowledge the other attendants and will finish with a kick-off party where the people will take their badges.

Next two days 27 and 28 May are the days when the speakers will expose their presentations. 30 minutes per presentation with question and answers part of the end of each presentation.

29 May is the last day. This is unofficial part of the conference and the people can meet with the sponsors, dissect code problems in lab sessions with experienced experts, signup for a workshop or just hang out and code with new friends.

Expectations

I have big expectations. The names of the speakers, their experience, the companies they worked for are guarantees for something big and something good.

Iโ€™m going by myself and expect to meet new people, make new friendships, share experiences.

Berlin as a city is something new for me. I had heard very good things of Berlin. Good parties, restaurants, parks, two different sides of the city. I have friends that live/lived there.

With the correct size of my suit this time – it should be a good experience in my life.

Project story: Automate AEM deployments for a Swiss bank

Reading Time: 5 minutes

A large bank in St. Gallen, Switzerland had the need to improve the AEM deployment process for its various staging environments. It was one of my first projects for 47 North Labs and was settled to run for 6 months starting in October 2018. The following blog gives a short project overview.

Getting started

Starting to work for a new customer is always exciting to me because every company and team has a unique mindset and culture. Usually, it takes a few days or weeks to get to know the new teammates. But this time it was completely different, as I already worked with each of the three team members and their supervisor together in one before my previous company. It was nice to meet old colleagues and we had a very good start.

Deployment process before automation.
Source: www.dreamstime.com

Technology Stack

The technology stack was already defined and the servers ordered. But it took a while until the infrastructure was ready and for the time being, I worked on my local machine.

Jenkins was set as the central tool for build orchestration, deployments, and various DevOps tasks. All the pipeline source code is stored in GitLab and the main business application we’re dealing with is Adobe Experience Manager (AEM).

A relatively large amount of work was needed for the initial setup like enabling connectivity to the relevant systems, basic shared library, and getting to know the internal processes. Read more about Jenkins behind a corporate proxy as an example for this setup: https://www.47northlabs.com/knowledge-base/update-jenkins-plugins-behind-a-corporate-proxy/

Implemented Pipelines

The bank has two different AEM projects: one for the corporate website and another for their intranet. They require a slightly different deployment pipeline and both have three environments: development, staging, and production.

Besides the deployment pipelines, there are pipelines for copying content from the production to the development environment and restoring a complete production environment into the staging environment in order to have an exact copy and a good baseline for approvals.

Many auxiliary jobs like start/stop AEM + Dispatcher, checking the health of instances, fetch last backup time, and execute Groovy scripts are used in the deployment pipelines as well in an independent executable job.

An example of a Jenkins Pipeline
Source: https://jenkins.io
An example of a Gitlab Pipeline
Source: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/pipelines.html

Advantages of automation

The automation of the various processes brought faster deployments. But more important transparency and centralized logs about what exactly happened and higher quality as repetitive tasks are always executed.

One example is the backup check, which needed coordination and forced to long waiting times. Now an API is used and the automation pipeline has instant feedback about the last backup time and shows a note if a backup is missing. Before, such a step might have been skipped in order to save some time.

With each built pipeline, some more little and reusable helpers were introduced which made it then again easier and faster to create the next pipelines. Think of a construction kit.

Deployment process with automation.
Source: www.wikimedia.org

Project finished โžž client is very happy

After several months of close collaboration, more and more pipelines have been implemented and are used to support the crucial deployment processes countless times.

I enjoyed building-up the AEM automation and believe it’s a very good aid for higher quality and further extensions.

After a warm welcome and six months of working together, it was time to say good-bye as the project had a fixed time span. The client’s team was very kind and gave me even some great presents to remember the exciting time in St. Gallen.

Present from client: Swiss beer, chocolate, bratwurst and biber

Beyond the evolution of agility

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Hey you! In the following article, I try to dare a hypothetical outlook on future constellations of people in the context of entrepreneurial and individual interests.

Currently, especially in the IT sector, the concept of agility and associated methods and artefacts should be widely known, recognized and used. But the question arises for me, after the “naturally even better” solution from the point of view of all participants. Because do we not strive for a world in which we should at least not carry any organizationally open questions with us? Obviously, I do it. In short, you could also speak of a supposed cost reduction and efficiency increase in the entrepreneurial sense. Stop, that was maybe too fast.๐Ÿค”
Before we venture into the world of free pluralism, it is worth describing the title of the blog to better understand the approach of the coming end of the mentioned agility.

Evolution describes in a biological sense the phylogenetic evolution from lower to higher forms of the living. No matter what exactly the living thing means for us today. However, you can use this progressive development of certain contexts insofar as they represent the nature of our social behaviour or cooperation.
If we now move into the realm of the world of work, here too we can see an evolution in the interaction between the employee and the entrepreneur. Historically, and also in terms of civilization, one can point out the following timeline: of a hunter making his spear in the sense of the struggle for survival for himself and his clan and passing on this skill to the next generation (as a transfer of knowledge or covert order to continue this); about the very first entrepreneurial forms in an ambivalent employment relationship, to actual profit-making production and proven profit-seeking.

Taking into account the number of people and the needs such as food, some can detect a strong delineation of the opportune sides over time. Looking at our modern development, we came from a partly dictatorial working world to a moderately structured hierarchy, into a flimsy open working culture of cooperation. The move, from the largely totalitarian work systems to a self-determining working method, was logical and not surprisingly the first to be found in areas that were difficult to understand and predictable and still are.
The IT ๐Ÿ™„ and development departments were among the first to use well-known industrial artefacts like Kanban in their favour. Over the past few years, this has become a discipline of its own, which in turn has created a responsibility or even a hierarchy. Someone could say, considering the commonly used agile model that necessarily, with control and control mechanisms (Scrum Master, Plannings, Charts, etc.), the claim of self-determination was forced back into a corset.
Everything now has flown over, you can perhaps consider a “return” of things. Somehow, the conflict between the nature of life and the artificial world seems to lead back to the origin. But humanity has and will resist it again and again in this age of the earth.

I do not want to talk about facts, but at least in the area of IT, a closed transition to this form of “things” is almost inevitable. Similarly, there is almost a certain social compulsion to join this. This change can be seen simply in the number of companies that already use agile methods in subareas or their organization. And there are more and more.

But the question of whether it is the absolutely definitive way is only discussed obscure. To publicly confront oneself with a potentially critical attitude is now considered unfashionable and unattractive. It is now a domain of the younger culture to want to deliver themselves to a self-reflective surface. Sometimes one tries to get rid of the already mentioned corset again. Interdisciplinary is the keyword here. But is not that also an escape forward or even back to the past? There has always been a claim to position employees self-sufficiently in the right place in the company. Incidentally, here is a small digression to the “Peter Principle” quite amusing. But I want to concentrate more on the group dynamic aspect.

The dilemma.
As with any innovation, its manifestation and burgeoning acceptance, so to speak creates a generational conflict. If the current protagonists of this culture are, almost without exception, supporters and optimizers of this agile system, there will be a radical discourse for a new kind of corporate structure in the future as well. When? Soon! Relative to our desire to make our participation in the entrepreneurial activity completely uniform and decisive. Because that’s where single individuals try to take the majority to lived self-determination. Then at least e.g. almost every meeting would have a really measurable result. ๐Ÿคญ

Does that automatically include a forced change? I think you have to use the needs and their changing meaning for humans. After all, it was all about survival at first, but in the future, it’s all about not drowning in the mush of the growing mass of potential workers. Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin could certainly be used as a paradigm for a playful and beneficial naivety and, so to speak, a relaxed attitude to life, but so much smart serenity is generally unlikely to be expected. And you and I are full of aspiring ambitions!

Accordingly, the need for a seamless lifestyle that unites both the private and the business. This now applies tangible and more manageable for us. In order to achieve this, thinking and acting must be equated strategically and tactically with an entrepreneur. The modulation of these two life parallels requires a revolutionary act. The employee of today already carries the seed in itself. Not only the claim to shape his working environment according to his needs becomes clearer, no, also the desire for the determinability of his own work, at every convenient time. Hierarchies of today will disappear (the so-called flat hierarchies seem to serve me rather as bread and circuses instrument).
The top and the bottom will remain at a logical level. It is about the personal benefit and the equal distribution of personal claim (profit) in its existing phase of life. Certainly, the fight of transition to such a new system will not be easy, because man is often a little narcissist and the envy in the way preventing. The “New” need reliable friends!

It will again lead to the formation of a new social order, which, however, does not, as it once did, take its impetus from individuals, but represents participation in a global cultural process. Of course, this is more than worrying, but you probably will not even notice, because you’ve always been involved in a change process: Evolution.

So far, all of it has been pretty daring theory and you can also give up irony or cynicism ๐Ÿคซ here if you have a sense of humour. However, it would be totally overstated to see a reissue of a “labour power” or a dissolution of any democratic aspect. It will simply be the next evolutionary step. There are branches that will eventually cease to exist. But in best case, a new one could emerge before this end.

How could this be in the distant future?
Any demand-driven venture will be reduced to a few but stable organizations. There will only be more or fewer entrepreneurs. Ensuring production and service will be the driving force for all. Each participant joins according to his abilities but is paid in equal parts. There will be no more reward in its monetary form. The remuneration is rather the assurance and availability of other services. Here, not the weakest link determines the beat, as it is e.g. for some scrum teams today, but the sole urgency and benefit to the common good. It automatically uses the right and necessary resources. The self-determined freedom seems to be more than tempting, but now everyone can suffer an entrepreneurial defeat. The motives to succeed are a true basic need. No safety-net but many new opportunities and potentials to enrich his life through his contribution to the community.

In the end, I want to sprinkle a lot of positive energy over the whole thing.
After all, so-called agility has actually given us more courage and freedom in thinking. It is the key to opening the door that will lead us into a new era. The question of whether this article will now have a direct benefit, I would deny. It is also unlikely that a current entrepreneur will engage in radical new concepts in the short term. The dangers for the company and also the social responsibility are simply too big. Also, I can imagine a momentary separation of powers and equal distribution of the consideration, very difficult. Too many dependencies, even in a small artificial trial environment, determine our actions. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ But …

It is important for me to offer both the employee and the entrepreneur a world full of new perspectives and exciting opportunities. It may be that I have dealt with this topic too superficially, but I would be happy to receive more opinions and ideas from you. Only those who do not completely ignore the suggestive future will most likely remain successful. In this sense…

stay agile!