Why Having Impact Matters for Good Developers (GOTO Berlin)

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Why is it so hard to create an adequate working environment for good developers? Why do we have insecure managers, lots of hierarchy levels, and micromanagement instead in so many companies? It's so simple to make things better: Remove the classic tech lead, avoid the Peter principle and let small teams organize themselves. Agreed, that's not easy, and there are challenges. But I see it work everyday around me. It means that developers have to care for a bit more than just code, but the rewards are freedom to have own choices and to have a real impact on the product. Let's see how this works in reality, what works great and where there are still things to improve.

Published in: Technology, Business

Why Having Impact Matters for Good Developers (GOTO Berlin)

  1. 1. What motivates developers? How to build a company to maximize motivation? Having Impact Matters Jesper Richter-Reichhelm (@rirei)
  2. 2. Money is important ... but intrinsic motivation is even more important
  3. 3. Check out his TED talk at http:// bit.ly/1gqPsVe • • • Daniel Pink Autonomy Mastery Purpose
  4. 4. Linda Rising • • • Check out her keynote at http:// bit.ly/1fJ87dz Purpose Making progress Reaching goals daily
  5. 5. My takeaway • • • • • Self organization Improving yourself Incremental work Meaningful work Changes
  6. 6. Company takeaways Organize a company to maximize motivation • • • • • • Small teams Collaboration Innovation Agile principles Job rotation Team as Function
  7. 7. Emphasizing function Art Product BE Dev FE Dev Each team is formed around a function
  8. 8. Emphasizing rank Classic view on company organization How you see a problem, defines it.
  9. 9. Wooga if it followed a classic org chart CTO VP TL TL TL VP TL TL TL 80 developers TL TL TL TL
  10. 10. CTO VP TL TL TL VP TL TL TL 80 developers TL TL TL TL Varying team sizes make this very hard
  11. 11. Emphasizing functions No TL but instead self organization!
  12. 12. Wooga’s IT ‘org chart’ 3 managers 80 developers
  13. 13. Team lead tasks • • • • • • Matching requirements to tech Future requirements Development processes Planning processes Knowledge sharing Cross-team collaboration
  14. 14. Developer tasks • • • • • • Matching requirements to tech Future requirements Development processes Planning processes Knowledge sharing Cross-team collaboration Higher requirements for each developer
  15. 15. Team lead tasks • • Hiring Feedback Some things are still done by managers
  16. 16. 2009: 20 employees
  17. 17. 2013: 280 employees
  18. 18. Scaling the company by adding game teams
  19. 19. Wooga is an incubator for game team startups
  20. 20. Game Teams
  21. 21. Each team makes one game
  22. 22. Small teams Start small, grow if successful Prototyping Production Live 2 members 6 - 10 members 8 - 15 members
  23. 23. Agile? Sure, but following values not methods agilemanifesto.org
  24. 24. Teams can ignore CEO’s advice and decide themselves Independence
  25. 25. Freedom
  26. 26. Constraints • • • Weekly rhythm Transparency Fail fast
  27. 27. Standard Framework
  28. 28. Diversity breeds innovation n or anba m, K c ru lse? S ng e ethi som T ls? oo Data Ar tS tyl e? Fram ewo rk Innovation Cent er? ing ramm rog P ge? ngua La ? Exte rnal Serv ices? Innovation allows self improvement and learning
  29. 29. Responsibility keeps freedom in check
  30. 30. The game team is responsible for ops & biz “You build it, you run it. - Werner Vogels
  31. 31. Small team + freedom => maximum impact for everyone Impact
  32. 32. Perfect recipe to attract great developers Small teams Agile principles Independence
  33. 33. The tradeoff: Threat of anarchy and chaos humanepursuits.com/2012/04/05/anarchy-on-your-lapto
  34. 34. Teams collaborate instead of competing Good counter for ‘anarchy’ Collaboration
  35. 35. Exchanging Knowledge flickr.com/photos/swamibu/2868288357
  36. 36. Exchanging Knowledge Share knowledge by talking (less writing) flickr.com/photos/wili/233621595
  37. 37. Being transparent Don’t hide mistakes, make your team comparable flickr.com/photos/marcomagrini/698692268
  38. 38. Personal trust removes barriers flickr.com/photos/gviciano/4060850226 Meeting people
  39. 39. Check out slides at http:// slidesha.re/ 18tMwBs Collaboration distributes knowledge Share knowledge Be open and transparent Build a community
  40. 40. People
  41. 41. Hiring flickr.com/photos/vgm8383/2803305840
  42. 42. Finding unicorns flickr.com/photos/vgm8383/2803305840
  43. 43. Lifelong learning Most important trait for a dev flickr.com/photos/carlosporto/775089650
  44. 44. Open, sharing, motivated ... Social Fit
  45. 45. Tech Crunch Series of interviews for final decision on hiring
  46. 46. Developers do Tech Crunch and ‘vote’ at the end
  47. 47. Feedback Problem: Manager does not interact daily with developer
  48. 48. Feedback • • • • • Solution: Feedback based on peers Declare peers Send questionnaire Interview peers Summarize feedback Feedback Talk
  49. 49. Trust
  50. 50. “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.” - Agile Manifesto
  51. 51. Only works because you CAN trust people 3 managers 80 developers
  52. 52. Hire good people, then get out of their way! In doubt, don’t hire Trust people
  53. 53. Wooga in a nutshell Independent Teams Transparency Trust
  54. 54. Same approach, but it’s even in the name! :-)
  55. 55. Check out the article at http:// tcrn.ch/19QWs6z
  56. 56. Organic interaction of service teams
  57. 57. Grandfather of ‘service teams’ ;-)
  58. 58. Works for Wooga, works for others! Independent Teams Transparency Trust
  59. 59. Give it a try! It works
  60. 60. Thank you
  61. 61. Jesper Richter-Reichhelm @jrirei woo.ga/backend wooga.com/jobs Check out other slides at http:// woo.ga/backend

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