Joining the Kudos Engineering team
As the newest member of the Kudos engineering team, here is my experience from the first day through to three months later.
First things first, having previously worked for large multinationals, arriving at Kudos to find this was a dream come true.
Compared to hand-me-down laptops or machines with the corporate asset number scratched into the lid (🙄) having a brand new fresh computer was brilliant.
No corporate desktop backgrounds here, if you want your web browser to show cat animations every time you hit that ⌘-T then you’ll fit right in. (You wouldn’t be the only one 🐈)
The first week at Kudos is an exciting one. There’s a clearly defined set of tasks, in between meeting all of your colleagues you’ll be getting stuck in with setting up your own environment, and making real deployments from day one.
Our team page gives a friendly bio of the whole company. The first task is getting your face on that page which covers getting to grips with building the website, making a front end change, dealing with image assets, and experiencing the CI/CD process.
There’s also time to take stock of what the Kudos product is made from. We’re big on Ruby and we’re big on Go. We love Docker and we love Kubernetes. During the first weeks and months there’s freedom to read around technologies and processes to get a feel for how we work, and that freedom continues as the sprint goals evolve.
There’s a few other ‘first week’ things worth mentioning. There’s a tour of the product from a founder of the company. The internal slack channels will welcome you. And your birthday gets added to the birthday list.
Throughout the whole joining process, the other team members were always there to field questions, talk through design choices, and discuss at length the merits of vim over <insert any other editor here>. The team work well together and we make efforts to play to our strengths, whilst finding improvements and learning where necessary.
Technologies and Processes
Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment at Kudos means continuous. We don’t have a deployment schedule, we talk to each other and then we deploy.
That’s not to say we’re not learning and improving our process continuously too. Time is spent working out just how small we can get those commits, and how often we can make real changes. The smaller the better, we’re iterating and learning.
The team love working on code Kata sessions. We spend 30–60 minutes doing fast iterations on a problem. It gets the team thinking about our skills and where we can improve in a refreshing environment.
We run fortnightly sprints with demos, planning, and daily morning stand-ups.
The office is situated just outside Oxford and is mostly surrounded by greenery. The building is full of light and has a great company atmosphere. We sit open plan and get plenty of socialising done during the work day.
There’s also loads of parking (unlike the centre of Oxford).
At the end of each month the whole company gets together for ‘Pizza Thursday’. (We’re pretty popular with the local Pizza Express).
Fresh fruit is delivered weekly and topped up more often than that, we often enjoy mangoes and melons in the sun. The tea cupboard is seriously well stocked.
And finally, we get the occasional visit from some of the team members’ dogs… and that bird that one time.