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How We Organize Our @Datameer Development Team

At Datameer, we’re very proud of the fact we have a global development team. That means at any minute in the day, a highly-qualified team of people are actively working on improving Datameer, ensuring its the best big data analytics solution out there. Not surprisingly, being global can have its challenges, but we’ve adopted an organizational structure that overcomes those challenges:  a scrum-based matrix organization. Take a look at this image to help me explain:

Scrum-based Matrix

There are two dimensions to our scrum-based matrix. At Datameer, our vertical dimension consists of three cross functional and one special Hadoop team. Every team has its dedicated Product Owner, who can always answer the question: “what comes next?”, and its dedicated software tester or QA manager. The question of “how to solve something” is usually answered by the team itself. All teams are running bi-weekly “sprints”, starting with a sprint planning and ending with a retrospective. Given the fact that our teams are located all over the world, Jira Agile is the heartbeat of our development, but even still, we have almost 20 whiteboards covered by hundreds of sticky notes.

The horizontal dimension to our matrix is domain-specific. So every cross-functional team has an expert with a certain skill set, like architecture, UI, and security. In order to properly align, communicate and shorten the feedback loop across the horizontal teams within that specific domain, we adapted the chapter concept from Spotify. Every two weeks each chapter has its own rally, where the members talk about what is working well, what risks are out there, where could we be moving or when do we need to tackle certain technical debt. Chapter rallies are more decision-driven whereas for knowledge-transfer, the Datameer development team runs a monthly “dev academy”. It’s during those meetings that developers present features that they have implemented or talk about technologies, libraries, coding techniques or tools that they are using.

By having bi-weekly retrospectives in the vertical dimension and chapter rallies and dev academies in the horizontal, Datameer is highly focused on short decision making cycles, knowledge transfer and continuous improvement. Interested in joining our scrum-based matrix? We’re hiring!

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