#FeatureWeek — #AYearInReview — Part 1

Ben Mancini
Dec 2, 2019 · 4 min read

Day 1 of our #AYearInReview feature week and we’re covering off January to March 2019.

These posts don’t list everything we’ve written about this year, but they certainly provide a useful dive into specific experiments and the things that were on our mind.

What was most on our mind in Q1?

  • Zero bugs policy — what and how we could adopt it
  • How to effectively kick off new teams
  • Cross-platform capabilities

January 2019

In January we shared how our SQL Monitor development team had started the conversion of Monitors base service to use dependency injection. A great post around architectural decision making and why we felt this was the right decision. Read the full post here

Also in January we started to explore the adoption of a ‘Zero bugs policy’ across some of our teams. Quality Coach Gareth kicked off the frequent updates on this area across 2019 with this initial post discussing what we were hoping to get from the experiments we planned to kick off this year. Read about it here

Finally in January Redgater Mark (Who ended up being a major contributor to our Medium page across the entire year) shared a post about a new team we launched and the early working practices they had adopted, including mob programming, which would feature heavily across many of our teams later in the year. Read about the early benefits Mark and his team found in his post ‘A mob of Orcas’ here

February 2019

We kicked off pancake month with a great post from Redgate Product Designer Neil as he discussed the benefits of building a customer insights repository and an experiment we kicked off in one of our programmes around a customer research dashboard. Read more here

At the beginning of the month we started to delve into what we felt made someone a senior engineer at Redgate (Clue — it isn’t simply the amount of years you’ve been an engineer) and the introduction of the phrase ‘force multiplier’ became common parlance within our department as we explored this with our engineering teams. Key takeaways? Having strong opinions that are weakly held and being able to disagree and commit became big elements of senior behaviors we look for. Read what else we believe makes a senior engineer here in Jeff’s insightful post

Another area that became a big topic for Redgate in 2019 was the exploration of cross-platform capabilities for our tools. In his post on exploiting OpenAPI, Redgater John talked about the early exploratory work his team was doing in this space. You can read more about it here

Frequent Redgate blogger David (i.e. @thecodecleaner) talked about the creation of his new team and the early exploratory work they were doing. Important initial practices like managing the flow of work and mob programming were an early indicator of the direction of travel for this team in his blog on ‘something on setting out with a new team’ here

In 2018 our Product Development department launched its first ever internal conference. Level Up entered its second year in 2019 and Redgater Chris discussed how they intended to improve the event for this year. Some great tips and advice in this post for anyone considering running their own internal conferences. Read more here

In our SQL Prompt team Redgater Tom shared how they were taking the proposal of a zero bug policy into the teams working practices as an experiment. Something the prompt team would revisit throughout the year in further posts. Read why they felt this was an important step to make here

March 2019

We kicked off March with regular contributor Matt (Our Head of Design) who started a frequent series of blog posts on his own experience of design. These posts ended up stretching across most of 2019 and were a great insight into what makes a designer. Check out his first post of the year around ‘What they never taught you about being a designer’ here

Another big event that took place in March was Redgate working with Thoughtworks on proposals for a future platform for Redgate products. Redgater Jeff (Our head of engineering) kicked off sharing this work talking about service meshes in this post here

We’re very flexible on the agile techniques we encourage teams to adopt here, so it was great to see a post from Redgate engineer Chen Chen on the importance of retrospectives. Read more about it here

Jeff ended up being a pretty prolific poster in March and added this part terrifying, part incredibly relevant post on ‘Why planes don’t crash’ which discussed deliberate practice and learning through failure, read about it here, and he followed it up days later discussing the 737 platform (We think Jeff is a secret plane spotter!) about adaptability, building pipelines and continuous improvement. Read more here

At the end of March we waved goodbye to Redgater Sandra (One of our Development Managers) and in a brilliant final post she shared the lessons learned from 35 years of work. Now enjoying a well-earned retirement, Sandra’s inspiring post is here

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2

How Redgate build ingeniously simple products, from inception to delivery.

Ben Mancini

Written by

Ingeniously Simple

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