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What would you like to do?
Impression of 1 week exchange

I had a long overdue holiday planned. For many people this would mean going somewhere and relax. Turns out I'm not the sight-seeing person , I'm more of a people-seeing person: talking to people and exchanging new ideas is what makes me tick. Having been a consultant for several years, you learn the most from new environments. Interns would have that opportunity to apply , but why can't people with more experience?

So I launched on twitter the idea of what company is willing to do an exchange. After receiving several replies I got invited by Ramon Van Alteren from Unomaly and deciced to take a leap of faith.

It felt like the excitement of starting a new job. Scary , because you don't know what to expect. But exciting because you go discovering new things.

I joined a team in their sprint and they made me feel very welcome immediatly (kudos to the company culture!) Now after a couple of days into the experiment it's time for some reflection.

Observations (about the experiment)

  • To get a foot in the door it helps if both parties trust that there will be knowledge exchange (by reputation)
  • It really helped that the team was dedicated (no other interrupts) only to this exchange/experiment
  • Understanding the business domain (logging) really speeded up knowledge exchanges
  • Having a goto person helps to feel safe
  • On the floor , both parties need to feel the value flowing to keep the energy high
  • Because it's pro-deo, there is less pressure on what they want you to say
  • When you know your job is feedback, you start being more direct
  • Seeing feedback in the same time (sprint) , feels awesome

Observations (about engineering)

  • We all struggle with terminology: as engineers are often talk our own "internal" language with concepts that are not always understandable for an outsider
  • We are sometimes stuck in internal reasoning/limitations until someone really questions that belief
  • It's hard to get objective feedback from customers , but other perspectives really help
  • Everyone is struggling between what we want to do and what we can do (priorities, lack of resources)
  • Explaining the product/market fit is hard and an ever ongoing work in progress
  • Hiring is a problem everywhere
  • Creating a non-interrupted environment avoids energy drains
  • It's ok to go home early so you're fresh in the morning

to be continued. And hope this can inspire others. I will try this again soon (challenge me!) +1000K karma to the whole Unomaly team.

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