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The Art of Scaling People (English)

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The Art of Scaling People (German)
How to grow a dev team from startup to company

Veröffentlicht in: Business, Technologie
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The Art of Scaling People (English)

  1. 1. THE ART OF SCALI NG PEOPLEHow to grow a dev team from startup to company Dominik Hamann, Lead Architect
  2. 2. AN IDEA TAKES OFF "A few months ago nobody ever heard of Trademob, now it seems like you are everywhere." Google mobile Northern Europe manager
  3. 3. A CRAZY RIDE IN NUMBERS Trademob, Dec 2011 9 months later... (Berlin team) 1 server 60 servers in 3 locations 1 office 6 offices in 5 countries 10 req/s tracking 500 req/s Tracking10 apps, 10 ad networks 150 apps, 100 ad networks 8 employees 60 employees
  4. 4. WHY SCALING PEOPLE IS HARD: It’s an O(n^2) problem.
  5. 5. STARTUPS ARE ULTRA-EFFECTIVEThere’s full agreement and near-zero loss in communication
  6. 6. STARTUPS GROW INEFFECTIVEPeople can reasonably handle 5-7 business connections
  7. 7. THE “SOLUTION” IS HIERARCHY Big corporations have done it for years...
  8. 8. THE PROBLEM WITH HIERARCHY• More layers reduce the number of connections• But: Every layer of indirection reduces information, domain knowledge, emotional attachment and buy-in by 50%!• From a logical perspective, the best solution is to keep hierarchies flat cut through the red tape
  9. 9. TL;DR: STAY OPENCommunication is everything, don’t create walled gardens!
  10. 10. WHAT WORKED FOR US• Daily Standup: Move to individual teams when too large• Biweekly All-Hands: Move to team leader presentation later• Weekly Tech Talk (internal learning)• Mentoring & Institutionalized Coaching• Tech Open Hour (for other departments)
  11. 11. FLEXTEAMS• You start with a handful of great generalists• You end up with a few specialized Agile teams• What to do in the middle?• Flexteams: Clear responsibility with part-time resources• Scrum Light/Kanban without Product Owner or Scrum Master
  12. 12. ON PROCESS“Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity.” Clay Shirky
  13. 13. IT’S A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD Good reasons: Major downsides: risk mitigation stifling creativity predictable results boring people transparency creating frustration responsibility losing trust
  14. 14. SOME RULES OF THUMB• Get full buy-in for process and apply “just-in-time”, not preventively• Soft process (checklists, conventions) before hard process (enforcing by hard-/software)• Need for process determined by risk category• Think twice about establishing a process - but if you do it, do it right!
  15. 15. ON HIRING“Hiring well is the most important thing in the universe. Nothing else comes close. It’s more important than breathing.” From the Valve Handbook for New Employees
  16. 16. THE TEAM IS PRIORITY• Keep the balance - mix different types of peole• Hire people smarter than yourself• T-shaped employees: generalists with special knowledge• Aptitude and attitude before skill - select for team fit• One arrogant person can drag down a whole team.
  17. 17. DOUBLE HEADS• We’ve had continuous success filling positions “twice”• Start fast, specialize later• Most big decisions need to be done first• Great way to get first-timers started• Risk: Mismatch, too late separation of responsibilities
  18. 18. ON TRUST“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.” Warren Bemis
  19. 19. IDENTIFICATION & TRUST• An atmosphere of high freedom and high responsibility• “No fear at work” / “Don’t shoot the messenger”• Admit mistakes openly and let the better idea win• You can’t buy trust - no matter how much you pay• Let the team take the credit - “We did it!”
  20. 20. THE NEXT GENERATION• Build up future leaders from the start• Communicate the big vision and sync regularly, skip the details• Have a permeable career path for talents• Thequality of a leader can be measured on the leaders that grow up under his wing
  21. 21. YOUR JOB WILL CHANGE• With a larger size of the company, focus will change.• You will code less and manage more.• Embrace it and get Help!
  22. 22. THANKS FOR WATCHING and please... (I never really got it ;-)
  23. 23. THE ART OF SCALI NG PEOPLEHow to grow a dev team from startup to company Dominik Hamann, Lead Architect