What does Agile mean after all?

As you might already know, I work for JustEat, we are a start-up, a very big one, but still a start-up, I work on the Technology Department, I’m a team leader (I try to do my best at being one) and we have many many open positions.

Recently we had a few good developers coming in for an interview, and they all seem quite surprised that we do not adhere to any specific agile methodology.

We do not do SCRUM, we do not do KANBAN, we do not do regular stand-up.
We believe we are better than that. We are Agile to the extreme.

We use a mix of those methodologies, we use HipChat  and public rooms for all our conversations so that everyone can just jump into another team room, ask question or just keep an eye on what people are doing, we use JIRA to keep our workflow public within our company, everyone can go and have a look at each team board, and see what they are working on and what it’s coming up next in their list. imageimage

We also have a weekly report  that goes out every week to everyone and explain what the Tech department has been working on.

We love technology, we live with technology and use a lot of different technologies, we use a Microsoft stack (MVC/.NET/C#/SQL Server) on Amazon AWS, we use Java and DynamoDB for our Search Engine and Hadoop processing, we use Ruby for test and automation, we use Powershell for some throw away scripting, we use Coffeescript/CouchDB for our EPOS system, we use a ton of open source frameworks.

But, (there is always a but) we are also very business oriented, we do not use all those different technologies just because we like them, we do so because we believe that it’s always better to use the right tool for the job.

If you want to know more about our iper agile way of working, do not hesitate to reply to this post.


So… Bookarmy IS closing

Thursday I received a very sad email from Bookarmy: the website is being closed…

I’ve spent 2 intense years of my life building the site, and the community, with a fantastic Team of people.

Unfortunately I had to leave the team, because of some major disagreement with the new management that came in to turn the project around, that did not happened and I had a strong feeling that they had no idea about what they where trying to do, so I abandoned the ship a year ago.

Now I’m happily working as Technical Product Lead for TDPG, where we are building a set of business intelligence product for Estate Agents. It’s a complex and fascinating job, and a great team of people.

Going back to Bookarmy, I have received a plea from a BA user to keep the site open. I was so touched by the love some of our users have for us that I have decided to publish the plea, even if no one can really do anything to keep it open.

“Dear Simone,

I wish first of all, to thank you for your help with my bookarmy account problems.
Secondly, please read my plea below and pass it on to the rest of the bookarmy team.

”Dear EVERYBODY on the Bookarmy.com team,

I absolutely LOVE this site, it has held the only sense of community I have felt in a long 6 years in my current locale. I have found everyone here on Bookarmy friendly, helpful, quirky, and fun-loving.

I would HATE for Bookarmy to go down without a fight from its members.

If we made this at least temporarily a low-pay membership site, until the economic climate changes, and brought to bear new marketing techniques to drum up new advertising, we could have our Bookarmy and read it, too!

I think there are enough adult members who would not miss $2-$3 (or 1-2 pounds, as the case may be) per month to keep this grand experiment in truely genuine social networking going long enough to ride out the economic downturn!!

PLEASE consider keeping Bookarmy going under these terms, and spread the option to all members(if  enough adults pay to keep the site going ((even voluntarily)) the younger members could even stay on for free).

If you can set up a secure site, I will start the donations off with $5 (and I’m out of work).   If I can do a small membership fee thus, so can most of the other members!


It’s always sad to see something that took 2 years of your life to disappear like that, especially after I tried to convince the people in charge that they were going head down to destruction.

Anyway, life goes on, and I’m sure there’ll be other occasions for everybody in the team to shine even if in different projects and walks of life.

I want to thank Hannah, Eilidh, Evaldas for spending a painful last year with me (2009) and Tom and Frank for starting the project.

Business vNext

I had to fly back to Italy last Friday to work with some friends of mine on a new project.
They’re creating a start up in Italy called Aqrate.
In Uk i’me getting involved on a new start up too, called Xenial, I’m trying to involve them on a new project, not because they’re my friends but because they’re great and hopefully the collaboration will have a great result.

Gurgle site

logo Finally my last project is live.
Today a had the GoLive of www.gurgle.com, a web site for mums. This is my first social network project and I needed pretty  along time to complete everything alone. Alone as developer, because in the team is much bigger, I worked with 2 graphics and some girls that wrote all the contents.
It has been a pretty good project, hope to see good results soon 🙂

We already have had some reviews: