Experience working with an ‘a’gile xp team

People are more important than any process. Good people with a good process will outperform good people with no process every time. — Grady Booch

Its been more than 7 years since i have worked with a team practicing XP. I recently started consulting with a startup firm where they are practicing xp and its definitely a very different experience. Thought i will summarize some of the very good things i am seeing in the last few weeks.

Hiring: People who have worked with me know the way my teams used to hire. Our interviews used to take 3 to 4 hours at the maximum. Now i am seeing people having interviews for a total duration 7 to 8 hours (Law of attraction!!!!)

Generalists : One of things i have always struggled is to sell the idea of generalists. People always wants to work in specific things which make them specialists. I am seeing for the first time in a services company that some one has even thought of promoting the concept of generalists.

Pair Programming: First time in my career i am seeing people practicing pair programming religiously. Its a very difficult proposition to do it from a small services firm and i guess these guys haven’t compromised on the quality aspect.

TDD, ATDD : Though, i had sold these very agressively, sure its very difficult to implement them. Very happy to see people write tests 🙂

Am forced to refresh my agile knowledge after i started consulting these guys.

Happy to start practicing ‘a’gile again 🙂


Thank you Proteans

My company has been acquired by Symphony Services and due to the acquisition me and my group has moved to Symphony. Physical assets have been integrated already and we are in the process of integrating people (Integrating People are not same as moving assets and it takes some time to get integrated).

My learning’s in the last 4 years has been excellent and I had great opportunities working with Proteans.

Some of the highlights in the last 4 years

  • We had built a Metadata driven Business application framework from Scratch. I was part of a High Performance team and had the opportunity to build the team from scratch and work with them.
  • We built a legal LOB application on top of MS CRM and it’s been one of the most successful products now.
  • I was part of building a large team for one of the largest ECM player in Norway. Had an opportunity to build different teams as part of the engagement (R&D, Partner Services, Product Consulting, Automation and Infrastructure Support etc.)
  • Have built Test Automation Frameworks and delivered them successfully. It’s been used effectively in multiple places.
  • Part of building a SaaS based e-Commerce application for one of the largest e-Commerce providers. Had an opportunity to not only work with the product development aspect, but also the Professional services part also.
  • Part of building the back office product in Retail domain for the same e-Commerce provider.
  • Started with a 3 member team and my group is close to 100 in size today. It has been a wonderful journey.

In the last 4 years, I had an opportunity to work with some of the best talent. I wanted to take a moment to thank all the members with whom I am associated in this journey.

  • I want to thank my friend Sendhil for his support throughout the last 4 years. This is the 3rd company in which we are working together and half of my technology learning’s directly come from Sendhil.
  • My special thanks to Gaurav, Prakash S, Saai, Sanket, Santhosh, Rahul, Sukumar, Sandeep, Senthil, Farhan, Balaji, JK, Arshad, Suresh, Anil, Rishi, Radha, Irayya, Deepak S, Senthilak, SriPrashanna, Mani, Vasanth, Srinivasan G and all others with whom I am associated with. It’s very difficult to mention every single name here.  I have learnt a lot working from you guys.
  • My special thanks to my Friends (Project Manager’s) Razak, Rupali, Kannappan, Saravanan, Palani, Aziz and Venkat. Thank you for all the support and without your support it’s not possible do anything.
  • My association with Anders Olsson and Souvik B has helped me a lot to understand the business aspect of Software Product Development. Thanks to Anders and Souvik.
  • It has been more than a professional association with Venkat. He is one of my close friend and coach. Thank you Venkat.
  • Special thanks to my friends Anbu & team, Dayanand & team, Yuvaraj & IT team, Gayathri, Rajni, Neetal, Shabana, Arohika, Vishaka, Vishal, Preejith, Sridharan, Ashish Kakani, Jom Jose, Jay Singh, Atul  and all other friends. I have learnt from every one of you and thanks for all your support.
  • I also wanted to thank some of my key clients
    • Michael Knight. Mike was one of the inspirations for me. Whenever there was a need mike was there. I always had this question to him. Don’t you ever get tired? I have seen him working 24/7 and I learnt a lot in the technology aspects working with Mike. Thank you Mike.
    • Jorgen Solberg. I have learnt what it means by attention to detail by working with him. I have learnt what it means to say I care (Even when it’s a team from the vendor side). I really enjoy working with you and Thank you for all your support and I am sure I will learn more in the future as well.
    • Albert Realuyo. I learnt about Product Management and having a product vision from Albert. Thanks Albert for all your support.
  • Very special thanks to my boss, Sudhakar. He is always there to support and he is the inspiration for me. Thanks boss.

I am still working with most of these guys and it’s been always a great experience working with them.

As you can see, it’s a lot and I am very happy in saying this today. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the best talent in the last 4 years.

I am looking forward for an even better learning opportunity in Symphony.