The FT technology team held their inaugural (and pleasingly successful) internal conference at the start of February. How we came to put the event together, and how it all went so right we will put (irritatingly smugly, I expect) in a later post. First an account of the day itself, the benefits of holding such an event and some of the ‘takeaways’ we gleaned from it. We named the conference after this blog, calling it ‘Engine room 2015’ and we hoped it would be an opportunity for people to exchange ideas about how we work and what we work with/on. The organisers sold it to the rest of the department as a chance to ‘lift your heads up from the coal face for a day and maybe even choose a better pickaxe’.
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What is QuickStart?
Here at the FT we have been trialling a new method (at least for us!) of beginning a software development project. Essentially, the entire team (developers, testers, product owners) assemble in a room with the aim of producing a quick and dirty prototype based off a given value statement. We also invite people from other teams who have an interest in what we’re about to do: either they’re going to use the functionality we are developing or they need to provide us with something for it to work. We call this a QuickStart session.
The idea is that we learn about complexity to a good level of detail early on, allowing us to provide reasonable, evidence-based estimates to the business.
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