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A First Taste of the Developer Exchange Program!

02 August 2018

My name is Mohamed Moussa and I have been working as a Quality Assurance (QA) Manager at Talabat for four years. Talabat is one of the 27 brands within the Delivery Hero group and is eligible for the recently established Developer Exchange Program, which I had the privilege to test run!

Having never had the opportunity to visit the Delivery Hero Headquarters in Berlin, I was very excited. Even though the journey takes an exhausting 14 hours! Although I was curious about the food and culture I would be exposed to during my travels, I was particularly eager to explore the world of QA, such as best practices, automation and the squad structure in general.

Once at the Berlin HQ, it was easy to integrate into office life. This was largely because, like some Delivery Hero tech teams, we also implemented the Spotify Squad structure at Talabat in the beginning of 2017. Coming to Berlin gave me the opportunity to not only learn from other QA Managers but also to see how the squad structure is working for them.

Let me introduce you to the different teams I met during my three day stay in the Delivery Hero Headquarters.

Meet Team Marvin!

The first team I met was Team Marvin, which is responsible for the Image Server for the Global Web. Building a QA culture among the team is really important to them.

Automation is key, along with having a complete CI in place. Their work and releases run smoothly, efficiently and effectively.

Main lessons learned: Building a quality culture among the team is very important, as it significantly reduces the QA cycles and contributes to a faster release cycle for our end users.

Meet Team Delivery Hero Germany!

I also met with some colleagues from the Mobile Delivery Hero Germany team. I was amazed by the advanced CI/Jenkins setup and their practices. The coverage of their automated tests not only discusses the core functionalities, but covers the GA events as well. This is something we are also looking into integrating at Talabat soon.

I was also impressed by the great QA culture within the team and their support for each other during the release times.

Main lessons learned: With such a supportive team and an advanced setup in place, nothing can go wrong. This showed me that promoting the QA culture within the team is really important.

The Growth & Locations Squads

I had the opportunity to attend a couple of standups and ‘Squad Health Check’ meetings with the Growth and Locations squads.

I was really inspired by the high level of commitment shown by everyone in the squad to solve any challenges that stood in the way of their progress. During a ‘Health Check’ meeting, the team faced an issue about a delay of the automated integration scripts. The next morning, it was already fixed by one of the team members.

Main lessons learned: Without high levels of commitment from everyone in the team, you can’t go the extra mile and challenges cannot be conquered effectively.

The 9 Cookies Team

I was invited to participate in one of the 9 Cookies’ Squad Health Check meetings, which is facilitated by a Scrum Master. The main objectives are to measure and visualize how well the team is performing, how it can improve and to spot any issues the team might not be aware of.

During these sessions the Scrum Master provides printed cards that cover various topics like teamwork, support, delivery value, ease of release or health of codebase.

Every topic is then discussed within the team. Each member votes whether it’s green, yellow or red (depending on the priority of the topic) with proper reasons for why she/he considers it to be so. Once all the team members have voted, they collect data to measure trends throughout this ongoing exercise.

Main lessons learned: The ‘Squad Health Check’ is very important and provides a great opportunity to reflect on the squad’s performance. I really enjoyed that these meetings are face-to-face in order to discuss blockers and successes openly. This really inspired me to implement the ‘Squad Health Check’ with each team at Talabat regularly.

The Whiteboard Concept

I also learned about the Whiteboard Concept, which is used during the daily standups.
It’s not completely different from what is being done at Talabat, except for the fact that the Delivery Hero concept includes a conductor. What is a conductor? Each day a new member of the squad takes on the conductor role where she/he initiates the standup. The conductor discusses the biggest blockers and also highlights the team’s most recent achievements.

Conclusion

Even though our offices are located in two entirely different cultures and continents, our processes and values remain the same. Specifically, quality culture among the team is very important. Quality is responsibility for each one of the points, it significantly reduces the QA cycles and contributes to faster release cycles for our end users.
I will be heading back to Talabat with a few new tools to implement in our own squads. I am particularly excited about integrating the ‘Squad Health Checks’ to increase communication and cooperation among squad members, and the conductor role in the standups, as it is important to empower each team member to contribute and lead.

I’m really grateful for this exciting opportunity. I not only learned from and exchanged ideas with my colleagues from Delivery Hero, I also met great people and had a fun time. I really encourage everyone who has the opportunity to participate in this program to do so. I’m sure there are more to come.