Tech4Team: Gembani preaches the importance of automatic testing

agilist

Context

Tech4team a new and innovative platform, that helps improve the communication between ticket sellers and buyers for sporting and musical events. With offices in Massachusetts, France, and in the UK, in 2016 they were as many startups are when they are beginning to gain momentum; knowingly understaffed, and their codebase not as structurally sound as need be. They called on Nick for advice on where to take, and how to structure the engineering team.

How we helped

In their particular case, they had not set up automatic testing, which is very common in many startups, Since the beginning, engineering had not taken the time to build itself a sound ecosystem. With this in mind, Nick coded the beginning of a test ecosystem allowing the team to quickly learn the basics of test automation. This was the beginning of very fruitful collaboration. Automated testing in software development is a must, like adding oil to your car, or trying out a new product, it is the life blood of any company.

When the company had found their new CTO Nick met with him to explain the current technical situation of Tech4Team, so that there would be no blind jump in the company, and that he could be armed and ready to lead his new team. As Nick often expresses “you cannot be afraid to get your hands dirty, and dig in, to solve root cause problems” in other words you cannot be shy in experimenting with potential solutions that can save major time in the future.

With the help of the new head engineer, Nick institutionalized a Tech day every other week for the engineering team to work on anything they wanted, that he still joins to this day once a month to ensure they work more on the higher value problems. The idea is to allow them complete freedom, and hope the senior engineering staff inspires more junior engineers to solve high value problems.

A point of view from an experienced well informed outsider is always a good strategy to help steer engineering resources into solving the right problems. You can a trust trained dentist to his job, but let’s make sure he’s pulling out the right tooth.

Where are they now?

Currently Nick is maintaining a healthy business relationship with Kevin Vitoz (CEO), and continually encouraging clear and direct communication between all employees no matter their importance or experience, and to give the engineering team more space for them to be the best they can be. In this day and age, we have the choice whether to work for a boss or whether to work for a leader, especially in the innovating world of software development.

Tech4team’s engineering team is much more waste conscious today. The team have learned technical practices that will help them and any engineering team they join long into the future. Many of the practices we experimented on during tech-day have now become common place practice for the team

We needed someone that could point the finger where it hurt, and make are team move forward... ... after 20 minutes of speaking with him, (Nicholas Stock) it was clear that he was going to be able to motivate our team help us overcome some hurdles... ...his role as mediator to our company is crucial.

Kévin Vitoz
CEO Tech4Team