Today Genability Engineering made me immensely proud

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet at Genability too much. But on lucky days something happens that just stops in your tracks, and makes you feel immensely proud of the team you get to work with every day. Today was one of those days, and I’d like to share why with you.

On day two of our current sprint, John Tucker, our intrepid VP of Data & Operations threw our Engineering team a curve-ball. Scribd announced that they were shutting down their APIs. Without needlessly getting into too much back story, these APIs going away in less that 2 weeks represented a big deal. Fast forward to yesterday, day 11 of the very same sprint, and John’s teams’ platform was completely migrated off Scribd. In production. Without a hitch. Zero downtime. Needless to say John, myself and the entire company were very impressed. John said it best…

From : John Tucker
To : All Staff
Subject : Scribd Migration

Huge shout out to the Eng team on the Scribd Migration! For those who are unfamiliar, we discovered last Tuesday (5/2) that the Scribd was shutting down their API on 5/15. We were going to lose API access to all the utility documents we’ve collected over the past 6.5 years, the ability to view the documents in our data entry tool and the ability to display documents in Apps and Explore.

Yesterday (5/11)  Engineering completed the migration from Scribd to AWS.  This migration included exporting all of the documents from Scribd to AWS and changing all of our tools to use data from the new location. (task workflow, flex form, apps, Explore, and I’m sure many more parts of the code).  Most impressively, this transition was practically seamless for our customers, our freelancers and us here.

This was an enormously successful effort, so kudos to the team for getting it done!

Vice President, Data & Operations

The results Engineering achieved were impressive, as was the time they did it in. But for me even more impressive was how they did it:
  • No all-nighters. No working over the weekend.
    Our engineers are a dedicated bunch and always prepared to go above and beyond, but as a company we value what we call “make-life-work”. We have kids, commitments and a life outside the office.
  • Infrastructure, Process and Knowledge investments proven.
    By paying attention for years to the things that make the team flexible and agile; great testing and coverage, continuous integration, flexible build environments, automation, shared knowledge and much more; Engineering was able to adjust and move quickly with low risk and high effectiveness.
  • Collaboration. Design Driven. Without Drama.
    We value collaboration and a design driven approach. However, tight deadlines can make it tempting to abandon good practice. Engineering didn’t. They just ditched the drama and did what they do best. Keep talking, designing, implementing.
  • All while still achieving the goal of the sprint!
    We also had an important new feature in this sprint. While we quickly trimmed scope to just the core of what was needed, we didn’t have to trim any further. Crisis averted AND sprint shippable!

It is testimony to the great work Engineering did long before this curve-ball. Like a lot of smart people, including Vanilla Ice, the team knows it takes years of groundwork to look like an overnight success. And I couldn’t be more proud of them.

Please take a bow (in alphabetical order):

homer is excited

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