ZOOM has been building a new platform following native cloud patterns, processes & techniques and we used people to build it.
After much effort and many months, ZOOM recently launched our first native cloud product, Elevēo WFM, on our shiny new native cloud-based Elevēo platform. As is the practice at many agile software companies, we went through a retrospective immediately following our go live. During this phase, we considered what went well, what did not, and how we address those areas with room for improvement in the next cycles. I found myself thinking about the teams and individual resources required to build a new native cloud software platform.
It takes quite a few skilled people to build a new platform. For us, we needed talent that did not exist in our organization which meant new job titles, descriptions, salaries and recruiting. We hired people with automation experience, experience with containers, anything cloud, those with experience scripting infrastructure, quality assurance, and those familiar with processes like DevOps, agile and cloud operations. We also shared knowledge about microservices, APIs and Kubernetes in house looking for resources with experience or curiosity who could help us reach our goals.
Ours is an agile shop following a Kanban based process with formal product management, product owners, scrum masters and enterprise architects to create lasting patterns and secure architectures. Today we have specialized delivery teams dedicated with infrastructure, DevOps, UX, platform development and other disciplines.
Even though you hire those with experience, most resources have never built an entirely new platform from the ground up, so there has been and continues to be a great deal of learning for us. Fortunately agile development allows for re-prioritization, trying, failing and trying again while still keeping things moving forward.
We have learned so many things:
- Culture is critical
- Maintain momentum and an environment where learnings are shared.
- Communication and prioritization must be clear at all times (especially with remote teams)
- Hire as many people who are known to your teams as possible. (Most of our best hires are referrals from other employees)
- Make quick decisions when culture or skill is not a fit as that is best for all parties. (Be agile in how you manage people)
- For specialty skills, get the best people you can. Some more experienced resources are expensive, but worth it when you surround them with less experienced but energetic and bold people ready to make an impact.
- Most of all, be flexible, but also push hard to finish and then celebrate wins together. You will hit roadblocks, so encourage the team to find creative solutions and then celebrate how they conquer those mountains.
To learn more about Elevēo WFM visit: www.eleveo.com