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18.08.2012 Facing a Change

There has been an organizational change at work. I have heard that we Finns are good at redoing our organizations. I am not sure if we are world class like the story goes but the organizational cycle time is something between nine months and two years. This time it took exactly two years. In August 2010 I got mail asking for volunteers to become full-time Scrum Masters. Back then I was writing automated tests for a backend and saw that taking my hands off things and start coaching people would be breath of fresh air.

Since then I have helped to create two teams. The first thing as a Scrum Master was to take on a new team. There were the eager six of us and the teams were disbanded and rebuilt to create new kinds of skill sets in the teams. Half of my new team consisted of members of my old team and the rest were from the teams next door. The next iteration was a year ago when we created a team of fresh recruits. There was one old-timer with a technical background and the others were new to the company and to the product. If it was just for the team I would still be there. It must have been the best of my teams, ever.

The problem was that I started looking and I found something. The reasons are plenty. First of all, change brings discomfort and doubt. There had been less work for full-time coaches for a while. We were running many things on a project level and I saw that there was going to be less work for improving the working environment of the team. Staying put, I would have to add a new skill. That was a sign to look for the best new skill possible.

I have a past with automating the process of development. The last thing I did in my previous job was setting up continuous integration and the first thing in the current one was improving an in-house test automation framework. Since then I participated in creating visualization for build jobs on several Jenkins hosts, data entry tools for company-wide performance metrics and during this vacation my own configuration manager for deploying my freetime projects on Heroku.

I facilitated several A3 workshops before my vacation and the results were generally gravitating towards making the process of releasing products easier, faster and more robust. I was not the only one to notice and on the first day back at the office I found out that there was a new team whose purpose is to coordinate efforts of getting everything deployed automatically. That was exactly my place and exactly one month later I am part of that team. Some things will change and some will remain the same. There will be Kanban which I will continue to think and write about. I have also created a new category in this blog called continuous. There I will tell about my journey in following the DRY (Do not Repeat Yourself) principle and automating everything that would otherwise be a manual, repetitive and boring operation in the way of the creative part of a developer’s job.

My current projects in the area are the mentioned corporate adventure and on my own time building a low-cost deployment pipeline for the cloud.