Thursday, August 18, 2016

Defining our SLA retroactively

I've been fluctuating between focused and energetic to get all the stuff in as good order as I possibly can before changing jobs (my last day at Granlund is 2.9) and sad and panicky about actually having to leave my team.

Today was one of those sad and panicky days, as I learned that the last three things coming out of our pipeline did not really work quite as expected but feedback was needed.

We changed a little editing feature with new rules, resulting in inability to do any editing for that type of objects after the change - the data does not adhere yet to the new rules and it was not "part of the assignment" to care for the data. And yet, we never release things intentionally that would break production.

We cleaned up some data with straightforward rules that shouldn't impact anything. Except they completely broke our reporting feature that bases on the unclean data.

We nearly finished the main feature area we've been working on for months (too big!!) except that I know that from today's "just five more fixes" there's bound to be 3, 2 and 1 more to go.

I love the fact that my team's developers have a great track record on fixes not breaking things worse. That they take the time and thought on what the feedback is instead of patching around. And that they do the extra mile around what I had realized if only they can make the connection. They care.

All of these experiences lead me to a discussion with our product owner on time after I have left. I was suggesting he might want to pay more attention to what comes out of the pipeline after I am gone. His idea was different, and interesting.

He said that the team's current ability to deliver working software without his intervention, just pulling him in as needed, is as he sees the R&D SLA (service level agreement). He expects the team to re-fill the positions to continue delivering to the SLA.

Remembering back four years on the same person's shock on "The software can work when it comes to me?!?!? I thought that is impossible!", we've come a long way.

I'm proud of my contribution, but even more, I'm proud of my team for accepting and welcoming my help in making them awesome. It's great to see that we've created an SLA retroactively to define that good is what we have now. And yet, it can still get better.

The team is looking for a tester to replace me. It's a great job that I wouldn't have left behind unless there was another even greater I couldn't have without the experiences this job allowed me. You can find me at