9 years of encapsulated development - how does the project team work in a corporation of 2500 people

    We have a lot of stories here, starting with how we lured away the MS developer to Python, and how the development put on a ticket to find boots for the president of the Uganda Football Federation. But I would like to tell not only them, but rather, what the work inside a large company is like.

    9 years ago we began to develop a cloudy direction . Then they stood out in such an autonomous Chukchi district, something like a company in a company.

    We have our own offices on the engineers' floor, our dedicated marketers, our own development and support teams, partly our own accounting department. We use all the benefits of the company (we can even sometimes entice cookies to us in the direction of engineers from other departments), but at the same time we work almost separately.

    I want to tell you what it looks like. Because, on the one hand, we have access to resources that a single company will never have, and on the other hand, there are limitations.

    Start with me

    My name is Sergey, and I almost have a typical KROK story. As usual, I came after a high school as an ordinary engineer. Served glands, worked "in the fields." This requires knowledge of regulations, minimum skills and - sometimes - a creative approach. 90 out of 100 cases of career growth in our department of computing systems are related to the fact that someone solved the problem in a smart way. From an ordinary engineer, you can go to enterprise-hardware (this is storage service, for example), that is, to elite support for kernel servers like the X-team, either in project management, or in presley and promotion solutions. At the presale stage it is often important to understand what the customer needs and calculate the cost of the project with all elements of the architecture. Somewhere on the border between a large and pretentious system architect and a negotiator is an engineer of preseil. I went there.

    Here is my workplace. The photographer from marketing did not notice

    When I learned to count vendor price lists for projects, I realized that by the age of 40 I would simply be blind to working in Excel. And I decided to choose a project where I could do something that would change the world. Moved to the cloud team. Then there was a team of two people, not counting the developers. Sales processes, lead and the like was not in sight. The team began to grow, over the years there were managers, admin dedicated, their marketing. I began to focus on the cloud development segment as a product. First I became a formal productologist (my task was to understand that we take out of the external improvements and in what order). Then he became a practical project manager. That is, I am something like a hybrid operating director and PMA. I plan to do this for another 25 years. Or 30. Or 40, depends on the retirement age.


    Kirill, the head of the development team, worked first in HelpDesk, then in the internal automation department. This is the department that makes our internal IT projects. The user arrives, says: “I want to communicate through the mail in the ancient HPSM, so that when the answers are answered, everything automatically goes on the ticket” Then it is broken down into tasks like “ticket management via mail”, “status change by type of answers” ​​and so on. Kirill is a repeat offender: he worked in tech support, then he quit, drank his online store. This did not work out, he returned back to Croc after some time.

    “I gave internal IT 6 years - and came to the cloud 2 years ago. He came to the project manager, then began to lead the development team. The front of its activities is to absorb the requirements, to bring all this inwards in the form of tasks, then implement solutions that will be good for everyone. In the cloud it is more interesting than in the internal automation group where I came from: other projects, other technologies, another team, the work is more difficult. And a lot more problems. In automation, the drivers are smaller and the result did not always feel the desired number of users. The demand for work was lower. Here I see that we carry the good to the masses. Of course, it was also there that 50 people are waiting and want changes. And here and there we write something from scratch, but here the scale is bigger. Although it was in automation that the bus was made corporate, similar to that which big banks use. As a result, they have developed so that now there is much more functionality in it than in the decisions of many large banks. ”

    In the team - developers (back and front), infrastructure engineers, testers and analyst. Cyril came to the ready-made team and began to lead. In terms of communication, there were no problems, everyone went to the contact, no one was hated. It happens to new people with some arrogance are, but then everything went smoothly. Given the chaos of development, it was difficult for him to achieve some more stringent orders than before. Then it was difficult to work on the result, attention was paid rather to the process. There were few formalized processes, there was little order in the design of tasks, documentation was conducted, but the formulation of tasks was chaotic, the results were not evaluated. There were stuffing instead of tasks, in fact. He tried to establish a process in which a stuffing is evaluated, turned into a described task, it determines the priority,

    “What was difficult? Young team of perfectionists. We do not accept the imperfect. And we have deadlines. It is difficult to establish interaction when people believe that their opinion is the most correct. In addition, it was a little sad at the status rallies, no one particularly wanted to talk about plans for the week and achievements. Here we decided to cheer up through our good tradition - joint eating of burgers after work. They made a vote a-la employee of the week: after the rally, the questionnaire “choose the best engineer” falls off automatically - the winner gets a free burger. People played fun for a while. Now there are no problems with rallies and we hardly discuss the results of the “election”, but on every joint trip it surely turns out that I owe someone a burger. But I don’t mind ... They also organized football trainings in Sokolniki to maintain physical fitness, and

    PyCon 2018

    Football we adore. We are now friends with the Uganda Football Federation. Actually, it began like this: one of the engineers during the World Cup got to the bottom of the St. Petersburg metro until the black man saw a football outfit and suggested that he go by car to the second semifinal in Moscow. He kept asking why all Russians call him Lukaka. It turned out that his name is Mark, he is from Africa and really wants to participate in our training. Says: "Do not look that I'm fat, I can play." The only thing asked boots 47th size.

    Then he wrote before training, asked for second shoes for a friend. Mark turned out to be a football journalist, and his friend was the president of the Uganda Football Federation (the photo before the meeting was studied carefully, as if he were!). The training was epochal, even hockey players came to it. A particularly distinguished player was immediately offered a Ugandan passport for performances for the national team of their country. And our African friend played really well.

    This is how the Toch and the typical workplace look like.

    If we have already started the topic of entertainment, it’s worth saying that a couple of times a year the company organizes team building for various departments. The last two times the cloud team went to the laser tag and go-kart.

    We go together to the bar quiz, SQUIZ is called. We regularly occupy second or third places and even are in the top-5 by the average number of points gained. It remains only to win at least once. We went to the brain again, but there are encyclopedic questions, and not on logic, it was not very pleasant.

    “The team from the internal automation successfully replenished the team. From 1C support, Ilya was brought to the cloud service department. Then he cried to his colleague Vasyan, the deputy director of CROC, as there are not enough hands - he suggested taking a developer from his group. I agreed, but my colleagues were skeptical. Dima worked on the Microsoft stack, and we are all free open source sources. Thought, C # and Python - different poles and nothing will come of it. As a result, our lead developer and timlid turned out to be very pleased with them. An experienced developer on dotnet has become his quickly. Sits now at night with red eyes and contributes to the open source. I stopped another engineer at the door - he was about to leave the company, I met him in the canteen, outlined that we had a lot of everything and a lot of Pts cool developers. As a result, he came to us instead of leaving the company. Found a front-end: this time I did not have to whine for a long time, Vasyan immediately advised the person. We agreed, lured by the fact that we must create something completely new. Happy to come. True, there was still a bad experience with the tester. But in general, people guessed ".


    The support team - 4 administrators, 4 on-duty administrators on a permanent schedule, and 2 additional administrators on duty to replace the main ones (for vacations and sick leave, N + 2 redundancy), and 2 network engineers (one is needed, that is, 2N redundancy).

    The operation team looks at you.

    Administrators work according to the office schedule, duty officers are on duty around the clock. We work closely with the administrators of the data centers where our servers are located, everyone knows everyone, but through the network. Our admins in any state can connect from anywhere in the world from any device. When someone writes a critical ticket, this is duplicated in our telegram channel of the team and the guys start to connect and solve the problem.

    Ilya, about whom I spoke a little earlier, leads the operation team. I came to CROC to the first line of the helpdesk, then I went to the analysts of internal automation. He is also a repeat offender because he worked at CROC twice. We have such a principle in some departments: 5 years have worked - you can leave for a year while maintaining a position, something like an academic leave. So, for some reason, Ilya quit in the fourth and a half years and also rushed to build his online store.

    “I had a wedding, I appreciated how much it cost, what cheating, I thought it was a gold mine. Began to develop your online store. Rested a bit from office life. At some point the money ran out and had to look for work. Returned to CROC. Now does not leave the thought about the online store of children's goods. But I do not want to leave.

    I returned first to support 1C: ERP. This is a meat grinder: the system has just been introduced, users are almost the entire company, and in general, it's 1C. “Everything is fine, we are already repairing” - I could not speak this phrase during the reporting period, my jaw ached. But I have only positive memories. People were damn happy that someone was helping them. I am at the forefront, it is clear that there are results. Then I became the head of support 1C: ERP. For half a year I worked for some kind of an accountant, I was reducing my balance sheets for some kind of girl. Then much automated, the number of applications decreased. Cyril called to the cloud. Could not refuse.

    At first, he simply acted as the head of the operations department — Pavel was there, but he went one level higher. Then he became and formally lead. I got a ready-made team. ”

    The team of administrators on duty is often updated here due to the fact that people grow quite quickly professionally and move to other positions. Cloud platform administrators are recruited from the data center administrators on duty. To work in the data center, you just need to love poking around with glands. Some people love and know how to administer * nix, and, as a rule, it is these people who grow up in duty on a cloud or other software project. And then, when they gain more experience, go to the system administrators or testers. That is, it is such an intermediate position, a year in the resume before promotion, in order to understand yourself and gain important experience. Here we have one sysadmin zahantili in Amsterdam three weeks ago. He does not know what he is doing. We are in its place while not shifting anything. Igor, if you read this, bear in mind.

    For sysadmins (which are not on the first line), the command core is stable, there is almost no turnover. People like to develop the project and see where it goes.

    Front team

    There are people who help sales, these are sales managers Denis and Nikita. Their task is to bring the topic to the end.

    Nikita was the duty center. It is easy to grow from a data center, so if you can read mana, you will definitely grow. We noticed that he had the smallest percentage of failures in asking for incoming emails, and gave him a higher position. In general, the data center makes constant requests for those who excel. We could take two. And they took two. Nikita stayed. We shared tasks with them - he is ready to chop, to prove values, to discuss at all levels. Mirit IT with finance.

    Denis stood out because he took the initiative. This is when no one expects anything from you, and you are like this: “But let's improve.” He is so lazy: "Well, do it." And he took and did. Suddenly. Asked to the cloud. We told him everything as it is. He says: “I still want to be part of the team, despite what you now told me.” They offered him tests, because we have a real life here. We need a man, but he has to do a mini-project. He did, defended. Proved well.

    Fakap summer: Nikita went to a business meeting, and he was doused with water. I had to cancel.

    Our team has administrator Masha, who looks after everyone. At first, we were worried that she would nervously react to our rather rough friendly squabbles (in fact, we all value each other and there is an atmosphere of respect and love around us). Masha sits a little apart and sees all. Her role is to control the order in the documents. She coordinates everything with lawyers, accountants and brings everything into proper form. After it all shines. She zhurit us for the mess, but it helps. The main thing for us is to do, and to her - that what was done was exactly according to the process.

    Project managers - Renat and Lera. Renat picks up large projects, because experience allows. Large projects - this is when the reports correspond, the tariffs in the billing, there are no problems. Only in reality, everything happens, as a rule, exactly the opposite. It is necessary to restore order. Connects engineers, everything brings to the ideal. It turns out communication, when there is an account (for relationships), and Renat - for the project from the technical part. Customers can complain to both the account and Renata if the team does not work as it should.

    Lera got small projects where there were a lot of small inaccuracies. Lera broke into work and put things in order: she is a superstructured person. All the processes.

    Our supermanager is Pasha Goryunov. He is the same person who manages all our data centers. Now he is the technical director of the network of data centers, but sometimes he comes to visit.

    Maxim Berezin, who started developing the cloud 9 years ago, is now a big boss. Previously, he was Maksonchik, and now Maxim Igorevich . He is engaged in the implementation of the cloud development strategy, he thinks where to develop, for 10 years ahead. And trying to entrust us with these processes. He is a business customer inside our cloud team.

    Marketing. There is Vika, who promoted all integrator gadgets in general. Then she became engaged only in ICE, and then Berezin asked the company for a dedicated marketing manager. And chose Vika. Objectively, of course. I did not even look at the figure. We recently lured her to our floor, this was not the case in history: marketing usually tried not to sit next to coarse, down-to-earth engineers, because then engineers had to follow the speech, and this hinders understanding of the problem. Therefore, she now also listens to what kind of open kind people we are. The site and PR make more Lena and Kate.

    We are 45 people in total: 24 in development, 12 in support and the rest in sales and business support.

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