My first 9 months as lead of a development team at vente-privee

vpTech
vpTech
Sep 26, 2018 · 4 min read

Valerio Gheri leads a development team at vente-privee, working on critical applications used daily to power some of the core business workflow at vente-privee. His work is about keeping the team happy while getting stuff (that matters) done.

Last January, vente-privee granted me with the opportunity to lead the development team I was already working in as an individual contributor.
This was a first time for me, and if I look back at these past months I can think of a few important lessons and principles that proved to be really valuable and likely worthy of sharing with the community.

Focus

Know the scope and master the perimeter

Ignoring this point might have a huge negative impact on the success of the project.

Quick iterations

Do it, do it right, do it better

Establish rules early on

A few examples of rules are I used (or really should have used):
- Communication
— Be kind (see http://boz.com/articles/be-kind.html)
— Do not interrupt
— Before changing subject, be sure that everyone has said all they wish to say: some people are more shy than others and won’t raise their hand to speak
— Run periodic 1:1 with people in the team: I’ve been quite surprised by the power of this tool and if done well, it’s possible to learn a lot about the people you work with. A lot depends on the people as well, and a lot has to do with trust.

- Quality of work
— Help establish what quality means for the team and for the stakeholders. If needed, help write a quality document so that the whole team knows what’s the expected code quality and things such as code reviews can be factual with comments referring to the document.
— Favour code readability and maintainability when in doubt

- Holidays
— To facilitate holiday planning, state what’s the minimum number of people that should be present at any time in case of overlapping days off
- Operational rules
— Less is more: avoid infrastructure or architecture complexity unless necessary, design to favour operational and troubleshooting simplicity
— Favour production stability above all else
— Logging, monitoring and alerting are pre-requirements to go to production
- Promote a knowledge sharing culture amongst the team. Allow free time to keep up to date with latest news in tech, to build proof-of-concept software and to create a feedback loop to share things learned with the team.

Conclusions

Author: Valerio Gheri

<vpTech/>

vpTech is the Veepee Tech community.

vpTech

Written by

vpTech

vpTech is one of the biggest tech communities in the retail industry in Europe. If you think you are ready to compete with most of the best IT talent, join us.

<vpTech/>

<vpTech/>

vpTech is the Veepee Tech community. The team handles more than 50 tools to support the business and the growth of Veepee! Here we share our work, achievements, failures and success on various Tech topics! Eager to know more? > https://careers.veepee.com/en/vptech/

vpTech

Written by

vpTech

vpTech is one of the biggest tech communities in the retail industry in Europe. If you think you are ready to compete with most of the best IT talent, join us.

<vpTech/>

<vpTech/>

vpTech is the Veepee Tech community. The team handles more than 50 tools to support the business and the growth of Veepee! Here we share our work, achievements, failures and success on various Tech topics! Eager to know more? > https://careers.veepee.com/en/vptech/

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