By Michael Hoole
Thinking of starting a research project? Here are some things to consider.
At the FT, we consider ourselves to be a data driven organisation, and like many data-driven organisations, research plays a large role in deciding which data is collected and how. Despite an increasingly wide-range of methodologies emerging within the market industry in the last 20 years, the basic principles of whether to start a research project or not remain remarkably similar. …
By the User Research team
Reactive Research: Our Notes From the Last 6 Months
Back in March, we reluctantly watched as normalcy not-so-quietly left the party and priorities quickly began to shift. As researchers working across multiple product teams, our roles became fundamental to understanding new thought processes, reactions and routines and ultimately shining a light on new areas of focus.
Six months in, we’re reflecting on the few tips and reminders that could have better prepared us to tackle research and discovery during an especially reactive time.
When you’re planning
By Tara Ojo
My team recently worked on a feature to give users shortcuts to topics they follow in the FT’s App after we trialled it as an AB test and got successful results.
When we got new data from the API we wanted to have a sleek animation from the old order of topics, into the new refreshed order. …
By Anna Shipman
Over the past six months, my group at the Financial Times has moved from project-based teams to durable teams. In this post I’ll explain why we made that move and how this is helping us deliver bigger and better things for our customers.
By Eric Anand
TL;DR: How do we understand that the things our business cares about are working as intended? We identify and monitor them. Here we dive into the beginning of the FT’s journey to monitor our capabilities, and how we did our first one.
Currently, at the FT, we have extensive monitoring of our underlying systems — which is great, however, we don’t have that same extensive picture at a high-level view.
So what does that mean? Well, our Operations Support team currently monitor a dashboard full of hundreds of tiles which let them understand the state of a microservice depending on how it’s been configured, and whether it’s…
By Nikita Lohia
Change is inevitable, change is constant..
Someone famous said that. All knowing WWW seems to be ambiguous on who said it. But finding out the origin of this quote isn’t the goal of this blog.
We, the reliability engineering team, had a far more pressing problem to solve:
TL;DR : How to track various code releases, happening multiple times a day, pushed by various different teams in a completely random order, which may or may not affect your service in a forever increasing microservices architecture software development environment?
We want to track the changes happening in all of our systems. …
As part of the Deaf Awareness Week (4th to 10th May 2020), we at the FT would like to share a few things to raise awareness, share some work tips on how we work with deaf people. We also positively encourage an inclusive culture at work. We’ll also share a career journey written by one of the deaf people that work here at the FT.
Hi James, what is your current role at the FT and what do you spend most of your time doing at work?
My current role is as an Engineer in Internal Products. I am a deaf person and my preferred language is British Sign Language. I am currently part of a team called People Tech which collaborates with the HR department. One of the key objectives of the team is to continually improve the processes, and automating where we can with the HR systems. …
Over the past 6 months in Customer Products (one of the engineering groups within the FT) we’ve been iterating on our recruitment process, again. This effort was started after a colleague challenged us on why we don’t interview many people of colour for our engineering positions and if our recruitment process was even fair to people of colour.
We’d already done work to ensure that we were both attracting and hiring with good gender diversity. This includes things like removing masculine coded words from job adverts, and reducing the length of our take home exercise (for people who may have limited time due to raising a family). …
By Rhys Evans
During 2019 we introduced a new runbook authoring standard at the FT, called RUNBOOK.md. This is the tumultuous story of its birth.
Caption: Screenshots of a RUNBOOK.md file, the graph of data it generates, and the finished static runbook.
A runbook is a very specific type of technical documentation. With as few distractions as possible, it should tell somebody who is on call what they can do to restore (or at least improve) a service that’s not in a healthy state, and details of how to escalate if they are unable to fix the problem.
Systems will break, given enough time, so documenting how to recover when that happens is a vital part of achieving our reliability goals. In early 2019 many runbooks were either incomplete or out of date, so a big focus for the FT’s Reliability Engineering team was to improve this situation. …
by Matt Andrews
I graduated from IE Business School’s Executive MBA programme in Madrid, Spain in December 2019.
The 15 month programme was conducted mostly online so I took most of the classes crouched over my laptop in the dead of the night from my adopted home in Tokyo, Japan.
Here’s me happily accepting my certificate:
A colleague of mine asked me today:
(How) do you think it has been valuable for you?
Before I answer I want to first write a short disclaimer.
MBAs are very expensive, many are designed for a world that is increasingly out of date and I am certain free or low cost online equivalents of the vast majority of the course content now exist on Udemy, YouTube, Coursera, etc. I genuinely believe a Harvard Business Review subscription, especially reading back through their greatest hits, gives you a third of the value of an MBA with less than 1% of the cost. …