March 26, 2007
Wherever I Lay My Mac, That's My Home

I was only in the ThoughtWorks office for a day - I started at my first client on day two. No faffing around!

I'm now working at a large media company, the name of which would be quite familiar to anyone in the UK. No, it's not The Mail. ;-) The system I'm working on is basically the mother of all web CMSs. Makes a nice change from all the financial systems I've worked on for the last, err, twenty odd years, God help me.

Nice to work on a really big system, too. They need to serve at least 250 complex pages per second, sustained. I'm sure I'll learn a huge amount about scaling.

There's a lot of other stuff that's new to me, too. They pair all the time. On my first day, I knocked up a simple path manipulation method or two on my own one lunchtime, and when I mentioned it, they looked at me as if I'd just admitted a taste for necrophilia. I shan't be doing that again. More on pairing later - it's a big subject.

Iterations are only a week long, and with a largish (40+) team, it'll be interesting to see how that works. I've not really seen the whole system in operation yet - there was an implementation last week, which I gather threw things off a bit, and I had a half day at the end of last week's delivery.

With that size of team, big scrum style meeting are obviously out of the question, but there's a whole team stand-up at ten each day, at which you only speak if you have something to say that everyone needs to hear, followed by a more scrum like sub-team meeting. I'm in the pink team - very metrosexual. Each sub-team has its own dedicated business analyst and QA person. No more writing my own Selenium tests!

They - they, err, sorry, we, do just about all project management using index cards - no XPlanner or the like. Hope not too many get lost! They only software system the developers have is an ill-used Wiki.

Hours are ten 'till six, which is strange to me, but perfectly normal in the newspaper game, I'm told. Margo would love it!

The tool in use are mostly things I'm pretty familiar with - Java, Eclipse, Subversion, Spring, Hibernate, jUnit, the usual suspects. We use Velocity for templating, though, and Oracle as a back end, so there's techie stuff to learn.

No Python - yet. ;-)

All the development boxes are Windows, I'm afraid, though people are able to build the system on their Macs and Linux boxen.

Good news is I have a Notes client for my Mac now. It's still horrid, but at least I can leave the Dell brick at home.

I don't have a desk of my own, which I really don't like much, but that's life as a hired gun, I suppose.

Oh - and they have a nice, healthy canteen, so I hope my dietary habits will improve a bit.

Last thing - I'm off for "Immersion Training" in May - two weeks in Bangalore. Should be a blast.

Err, that's it. ;-)

Posted to ThoughtWorks by Simon Brunning at March 26, 2007 08:29 PM
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