Search results for: Culture

Raise your bus factor with coding standards and docs scrubs

// 01.21.2015 // Culture

For those just tuning in, over the past few weeks, I have been covering strategies for dealing with your team’s low Bus Factor  – the number of developers who must be taken off a project in order for all forward progress to cease indefinitely. Startups and other lean development teams are especially vulnerable to a low Bus Factor. My team – MediaMath’s Apps Team – tends to work more or less independently building lean, single-purpose web apps and partner integrations, and we frequently find ourselves with a Bus Factor of less than two developers. As a result, we have focused […]

Raise your bus factor: 3 easy practices to implement on your team

// 01.07.2015 // Culture

A team’s Bus Factor is the number of developers who must be taken off a project in order for all forward progress to cease indefinitely. Bus Factor measures a team’s resiliency — its ability to deliver in the face of unexpected resource challenges. Consider the effects of a key team member taking a two-week vacation on a remote island, or being stuck on a broken-down train in a tunnel for several hours, during which unexpected updates to dusty legacy software are required. The remaining team members must be able to pull through without input from the affected teammate, and that teammate must be able to get […]

How we hacked JIRA, and so can you

// 12.10.2014 // Culture

JIRA is fantastic, and is used by over 35,000 customers – a testament to its flexibility. There are many plug-ins that extend this functionality, and you’d struggle to find a use case that isn’t supported in general. Like many tech companies, we use JIRA for issue and project management, which has become increasingly important as our engineering teams now sit on two continents and span six time zones. And while JIRA has been a reasonably good tool for handling those tasks, we had a hunch that JIRA could do even better. The problem with one size fits all: Any application, […]

Scrum smarter, not harder: Tips for agile development in the real world Part 1

// 12.03.2014 // Culture

If you research Scrum on the internet, what you will find, aside from pictures of what have to be some of the most badass/crazy sportsmen on the planet, is the following definition: “Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing product development” (Source: Wikipedia). What I have found is that Scrum is a lot easier to define than it is to implement. I’m not going to explain the Scrum process itself in any real detail here. There are plenty of good books out there on the subject. Anything written by Jeff Sutherland, for instance. Instead, I […]

Family Ninjutsu: Coding like a teenage mutant turtle and still home for dinner

// 10.02.2014 // Culture

In some ways, I am my father. I live in the suburbs with my amazing wife and wonderful daughter and son. I value offensive line-play in real, I mean, American football. Vice grips are my favorite tool. I have trypophobia. In many other ways, however, I am not. I hate golf. I know the Contra 30-lives code. I like my steak rare and my Tom Waits loud. But perhaps most strikingly, I am a software engineer to his insurance salesman. My father made a living driving to the suburbs selling insurance to other suburb-dwellers. He burned through cars like I […]

Why I’m not ready to leave MediaMath yet

// 08.13.2014 // Culture

At a career fair in January, I wandered up to Eddie Fagin, a Director of Engineering at MediaMath, and asked him if MediaMath builds education technology. It turns out MediaMath does not do education technology – they, in fact, build advertising technology. But regardless, five months later, I started my summer internship at the Cambridge office on the user interface team. Now it’s three months in, and I’m not ready to leave. My reluctance is due in part to the incredible experience I’ve gained as a developer. Working with the team in Cambridge has taught me more than any class […]

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