Our office is closing! We can do better than just despairing

In March 2015 we received the bombshell from our U.S executives that our office in Oxford was to close as part of a long-term global consolidation of sites with some staff being offered relocation and the others made redundant. The products needed to continue, but how could we avoid the remaining time just being miserable? Staff […]

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Gig Economy

You could drive yourself steadily insane compiling a list of all the trends that were supposed to fundamentally reshape business. Once upon a time we were all “flexi” workers, then “mobile learners”. Both terms seem antiquated now, the corporate equivalent of a Segway – perfectly sensible in principle but somehow faintly ridiculous in reality. What makes the “gig economy” […]

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What Rugby Can Teach You about Trust in Agile Teams

Summary: Unconditional support, trust, respect, generosity, and courage are the behavioural values required for agile—and also for rugby. On the surface, the software development methodology and the rough team sport may seem to have little in common. But Luis Novella writes that rugby can actually teach you a lot about agile. When I recently joined […]

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Your Engineering Team Is Not an Island: Success Demands a Holistic View of the Business

I just re-read the awesome post from my friends David Loftesness and Raffi Krikorian, What Does A VP of Engineering Do Again? And while I agree with everything that they say, I think there is one crucial item missing, which has been present in every job I’ve had because all of them were user-facing internet […]

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Great Leaders Ask Great Questions

For the last few years, I’ve been working with and studying some of the best teams in the world; Red Arrows teams, SAS and US Navy SEAL units, Racing yacht crews, a Formula One pit crew, etc. I set out to study teamwork. In particular, I wanted to know how these teams have become world […]

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Company culture: an open and shut model

There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, And every single one of them is right! Rudyard Kipling, In the Neolithic Age How many ways can you categorise the ways that different startups organise themselves, the different flavours and colours of organisational culture adopted by companies through their life (and death). Far more than nine […]

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Nine things I didn’t know nine years ago

  Image from page 400 of “The Palm of Alpha Tau Omega” (1880) It’s coming up on nine years since I first started slinging code in a professional setting. Professional here meaning with a salary, in an office, with other engineers, decent coffee and unreasonable deadlines. Back then I was barely newly minted from school, […]

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Scrum Gathering Orlando Through The Eyes Of A Live Illustrator

Equipped with my graphic board, pens, sunglasses and shorts I set sail for the Scrum Gathering in Orlando. Having attended two awesome gatherings in the past, the bar was set high – however, I was far from disappointed. From the offset, co-chairs Anu Smalley and Kate Megaw knocked it out of the park by entering […]

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Self selection – How to restructure your team for greater autonomy.

One of our largest departments within Ocado Technology recently undertook a revolutionary self-selecting restructuring exercise, changing the entire structure of the department whilst allowing all team members to choose which team they would like to work in going forward. The need came about because multiple teams were stretched, working across two major business propositions and […]

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Chirp blog

Why we should lean into risk in Brexit Britain

I was going to write a blog about risk. I’d whip through the theory, focus on the practice, and back it up with science. Then the referendum happened. And now, depending on your view, the country’s either deep in the mire, or free to succeed. The markets have crashed, but might bounce back. Hate crime […]

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How the Future of Tech Impacts Work Habits

During the DevExperience conference on the 25th of March, we sat down with one of the key speakers, Lisette Sutherland, to discuss the ways in which technology advancements, and VR in particular, will impact people’s lives and working habits. Beaglecat: Could you please tell us something about yourself and the company you run? Lisette Sutherland: […]

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