A special guest blog by Erik Hanson, VP of Software Development at WAND Corporation
It has been quite a year for the WAND Software team and since it is the time of year where many people look back and examine how things are different now than they were a year ago, I thought now would be a great time to post a brief update. In short, I am proud of how far we have come, and incredibly excited for what we are doing next.
First off, we have kicked off development of two brand new green-field development projects. We have built new teams of developers, product owners, UI/UX designers and QA analysts to build the next generation of restaurant management applications. These teams are using leading edge technologies such as AngularJS, TypeScript, Cordova, hBase, Spark and Kafka just to name a few. These projects were just ideas a few months ago and it has been extremely exciting to see the teams come together to bring these ideas to inception, and I am thrilled to grow these teams and these products even further in the New Year.
Another exciting development this year has been our ability to release our existing applications more frequently, thus allowing us to more quickly deliver value to our customers. We have been able to release to production twice as frequently in 2015 as we were in 2014, and through our embrace of automation and our goal of truly being able to treat our infrastructure as code in 2016, we are planning to increase our rate of release by another 40%. This will continue the trend of delivering value to our customers faster, and closing the feedback loop to ensure we are delivering the best solutions for them as well.
One of the biggest reasons we have been able to start these new projects and deliver updates to our current projects more frequently is our refinement of our practice of Scrum. I plan on writing a whole entry on our use of Scrum and where we have found success with it, so I won’t go into too much detail now, but one thing I will highlight is the increased collaboration. Development, QA and Product are collaborating on User Stories; Dev and QA are collaborating on testing the application; and discrete product teams are collaborating on shared architecture. This collaboration is spawning innovation which in turn is creating an energy that leads to further collaboration and innovation. A truly virtuous cycle.
And it is that environment that makes me the most excited. Everyone I work with is excited to celebrate our successes, but at the same time look for a way to do better. Each team member is looking for a way to continually improve, be it the process, the product, or their own performance, and that is an exciting environment to be in. I cannot wait for what is next.
Erik Hanson is one of WAND’s many Rock Stars and leads the software development team at WAND. Erik and his team focus on developing restaurant software to expand WAND’s capabilities in the digital menu space, as well as increase its point of sales and back office restaurant management features. Outside of work Erik enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters and pursuing the perfect cup of coffee.