Over the last couple of years the engineering team at Mendix has grown fast. Over the last 1.5 years the team has almost doubled and we are still looking for bright minds. There is a lot that can and will go wrong if you grow this fast. Here are my four most important lessons learned during the process (disclaimer: a lesson learned doesn’t necessarily mean that I execute it flawlessly.
As I briefly described in my tale of a 7 year journey in developing software for the enterprise, at Mendix every month we give employees the chance to work on anything they like and deliver it in 24 hours. We call these 24 hour hackathons “FedEx days”: build it and ship it in one day. We normally start on Thursdays at 4pm with a kickoff during which people will team up. Dinner.
Much is written about lean startups, agile software development, continuous integration or even continuous deployment. All with the goal to help us understand the dynamics of successful software companies and their development teams. I am inspired by these stories, they show me what the ideal situation is like, they challenge me to improve our current way of working. Today I want to give something back. I want to share with.
Last week I gave a talk about the lessons learned during the exponential growth of our company the last six years. I was invited to to talk at the Appsterdam meetup in Delft about “growing pains”. In other words: what lessons did we learn when our company grew from 3 to 100 employees. I enjoyed the preparations as much as the actual talk, as it forced me to step back.