Programming in the pandemic - Gravitee: Growing out of the vacuum 

With only a proportion of developers classified as key workers (where their responsibilities perhaps included the operations-side of keeping mission-critical and life-critical systems up and online), the majority of programmers will have been forced to work remotely, often in solitude.

So how have the fallout effects of this played out?

This post is written by David Brassely, co-founder, former developer and CTO of Gravitee, an open source API platform start-up. 

Brassely writes as follows…

In the past year, the impact of Covid-19 has had a drastic effect on the world in general. More and more organisations have had to adopt enhanced digitalisation strategies to assist their customers and remote workers. For companies in all sectors this has meant a dramatic change in the way businesses work.

This blog will look at how we have adapted our internal processes in order to meet the increased demand by our customers to digitalise their businesses.

Luckily at Gravitee.io we are a remote company by nature. Having a remote model has meant that we have not been as impacted by the pandemic as some companies but we have had to reconfigure some of our working practices.

To enable us to deal with the effects of the pandemic the development teams have had to:

  • On-board new members of the team completely online.
  • Deal with increased demands from customers who have had to change their operations.
  • Cope with increased pressure from outside the workplace such as the impact on mental health, schools being closed, worries about the health of friends and family, to name but a few.

Throughout this year, our development teams have doubled, our new recruits have been on-boarded completely on-line. We have had to be inventive to keep up team morale, Gaëtan Maisse joined the team at the start of January as a Senior Software Engineer, he talks a little bit about his Gravitee.io journey.

“Before I officially joined Gravitee.io, I was made to feel welcome in the team. I was invited to the online Christmas party, this gave me the chance to see my new colleagues face-2-face. I received a Christmas Card and a generous Gift and was sent my laptop in advance. In the first few days I met with the team individually through 1-2-1 appointments and this gave me the opportunity to introduce myself and get to know my colleagues a little better. I also did some pair-programming with another “newbie” to learn the new features of the Gravitee.io API Platform and luckily I had the rest of the team on hand for questions if required. For me, even though it would have been nice to have been on-boarded in an office I was so grateful to my colleagues for the extra effort that they went to welcoming me into the team.”

As we are already used to remote working practices before Covid-19 hit, we were able to adapt quickly to the changes that we were presented with. It did however mean that we had to cancel several of our in-person team get-togethers but we have managed to successfully build the teams remotely. We offer new recruits a budget to buy some furniture/equipment to enable them to create a comfortable workspace in their home.

Brassely: Tough challenges, but worth looking to new futures and better times.

Our development teams collaborate on Slack/Google Meet, for video calls and screen sharing in both meeting and pair programming scenarios. For collaborative dev and pair programming some of the team trialled a new plugin of IDE. We will use Scrumvee to estimate the different tasks planned for the next sprints. All the tasks are listed and followed with Github in a few different projects.

One impact of the pandemic is that our customers have changed their practices significantly, particularly speeding up the digitalisation of their businesses. This means even more focus & challenge on managing the growing API ecosystem. Due to the nature of our platform, Gravitee has been able to help more and more clients effortlessly manage this growing complexity during this challenging time.

As a prime example, we work with many retailers. The shift from bricks and mortar to online retail has been dramatic, with several customers commenting that throughout November in the lead up to Christmas that everyday was like Black Friday. With the demand from consumers to make more purchases online, the demand for API efficiency, speed and security increased. More transactions, more security and a greater need for speed.

This has meant that in 2020, we doubled the team to support them. We have been fortunate to have been able to on-board high calibre developers, mainly by on-boarding new candidates that have been recommended by existing team members to enhance the team and not overload the existing development teams.

On-boarding

It is always a time-consuming process onboarding new people to the team and it was a steep ramp up for our new recruits, but luckily we have been able to meet the demands of our customers so that they have been able to provide a solid service for their consumers.

Throughout 2020 and during the start of 2021 the Gravitee.io team has had to adapt greatly, on-boarding new team members, meeting customer demands and dealing with market pressures. It has been a steep learning curve to find the right caliber of candidates to accentuate the team, on-board them and bring them up to speed. Due to the fact that we engaged with the new recruits and they were made to feel part of the team long before joining, we’ve adapted to new practices and dealt with the shift as best we could. Who knows what 2021 will bring … ?

 

 

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