The Life At Novetta Blog kicks off with an insightful testimonial of how a strong technical culture benefits engineering and product teams and inevitably, our customers. Huge thanks to Technical Lead Jason Stevens for sharing his thoughts on #LifeAtNovetta.
There are many reasons I enjoy working at Novetta – smart people, interesting work, important projects. However, one thing that stands out is the depth of the engineering culture. Novetta has a horde of excellent engineers who develop and design advanced analytic tools, biometric devices, etc., but it goes beyond that. We also have people with technical backgrounds managing projects, interfacing with clients and forming company policy. This has a profound impact on company culture and contributes in many ways to making this a great place to work. Here are three aspects of this culture that I’d like to specifically point out.
1. Exploration of new tools and techniques is encouraged.
Novetta’s approach to exploring new technologies and techniques might be the most conspicuous consequence of this engineering mindset. Part of staying at the forefront of our industry is keeping abreast of changes in technologies and methods. There is widespread understanding at Novetta that this requires an investment of time and effort. Every project I’ve been a part of at Novetta has involved research into new frameworks, tools, approaches, etc. Sometimes we learn or discover something immediately applicable to the current project, sometimes not. In either case we’ve ensured that we aren’t stagnating and are taking advantage of new tools and techniques when appropriate.
2. Ramp-up time on new technologies is critical to team and project sucess.
Another consequence of this engineering culture is the understanding of ramp-up time on new technologies. Anyone who has implemented new tools knows that learning to effectively use one takes time. New programming languages, new devops tools, new analytics engines – forays into any of these frequently require a few iterations as you climb the learning curve and learn how to best design for and leverage them. Every time I’ve been involved with implementation of new tools or technologies at Novetta there has been a reasonable allowance for ramp-up time. Everyone understands this is how engineering happens. This leads to less stress for the engineering team, more accurate planning by management and, in the end, a better product for our clients and customers.
3. Experienced technical project managers navigate refactoring and keep teams productive.
Constant improvements over the lifetime of a project inevitably lead to the need to refactor – to redesign parts of the product to better accommodate continued feature development and maintenance. Understanding this process, setting scope and determining timing are difficult tasks, especially for anyone without direct first-hand experience performing refactoring. This is another situation where having project managers with technical expertise benefits projects immensely. Rather than the tug-of-war between managers and engineers that happens in many workplaces around this subject, teams at Novetta have a more informed discussion where everyone better understands the benefits, costs and other factors involved.
This engineering culture is just one of many reasons I enjoy working at Novetta. It differentiates Novetta from many other workplaces and has a subtle impact on many aspects of daily life. The more everyone on a team understands technical topics, the more collaborative the development process becomes. This allows our teams to focus their time and energy on what they want to be doing – developing great solutions for customers.