We are often praised for our short ramp-up time when starting a new engagement, and our ability to seamlessly join the client’s team, adding value right in the very first sprint. I’ve never paid much attention to it before, probably because it seemed natural and figured it was something everyone expected us to do, but after receiving the same testimonial several times I started to look differently at it, and dove deeper in order to understand why we were being able to do so.
How come we ramp up so fast?
The most obvious answer would be it’s due to the technical knowledge of our engineers, and this plays a huge part of course. But there are a few other (less obvious) attributes that allow for it to happen, competences that lean more towards the soft skills side of things, and that we consider essential for the consulting world.
Here are the three things I found have the most impact on the matter:
We’re quick to learn new things
In this ever changing world, a software engineer needs to always be up to date with new technologies that come up. It isn’t always the case, but there might be a new technology that solves a particular problem better than its predecessors, and in order to provide the best advice for our clients we need to first be aware of its existence, and second know our way around it.
For that reason, we foster an environment where continuous learning is part of our day to day. Nevertheless, it doesn’t start there. We’ve deliberately created a team of passionate individuals that are hungry for more. More to learn, more to do, more challenges. This cultivated mindset enables us to jump onto new things and embrace new challenges with the right attitude and as fast as possible.
The first thing we do when joining an existing team is understand how they operate and proceed to adopt their practices. We want to bring change to the companies we work with, but not all change is good just for the sake of it. We aim to bring positive change. That can only be done if we first take the time to understand why are things being done the way they are, what problems are they facing, and only after getting that understanding of the context we can make positive suggestions to improve moving forward.
Because of that, we start rolling with whatever dev process there is in place. Again, we want to use the right tool for the job at hand, and that applies to processes as well. There’s no one correct way to doing things, and depending on the context things that work on some teams doesn’t really apply to others. Therefore, we need to be flexible and quickly adapt to each particular context. The byproduct of this “framework” is that there is little to no resistance during the initial weeks, no time spent on what usually are egotistical discussions over who’s right, given there’s not enough information yet. We focus on delivering value first, and suggestions to improve only come once we feel there are solid arguments to support them.
We’ve done it before
Lastly, we’re used to. Over the years we’ve gained practice in what’s the best way to dive into legacy code, blend with an existing team, and start doing our magic. Additionally, as part of our kick-off process we spend time understanding your pains and needs, as well as what you’re trying to achieve. That allows us to come up with the best team possible that has a unique combination of skills and personalities, which in time translate into the best results.
So, if you find yourself struggling and need help fast, reach out! We are here to help. Let’s build the next big thing together.