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.