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Leonora Der
Leonora Der

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Adventures of a developer team - a short excerpt

So you know I have started a book, and I have announced it on

Check the book page here:

Now I have decided that I would post the very beginning of this story, just to ask you opinions, that you like the characters, or not, etc. Any remark is welcome. It is a nonlinear story, but there are no other possible storylines until the meeting. So... here you are:

#0 introduction

There is a company called UtopiaLabs based in Zürich, Switzerland. Is a startup founded about three years ago by two entrepreneurs and currently they employ about 50 people, so they are growing very fast!

They aim to build solutions to make the world a better place :) They have ongoing projects on making factories greener, building infrastructure to prevent polluting the oceans, research new methods to use more recycled materials with new buildings, etc.

They also believe in the power of great design and communication. By the way, this is their logo:

this is UtopiaLabs's logo

One of their projects is a platform that they hope to solve the problem of food waste in Zürich with.

#1 meet the developer team

The team is currently working on one of the main projects that will help solve the problem of food waste by connecting local companies and customers.

They collect and analyse data by quantifying food loss and waste, overproduction, out-of-date food, and uneaten meals by customers. Using the data, they recommend actions like use more semi-prepared food, improve meal forecasting, train staff, engage consumers, and how to achieve these.

Last month they released the MVP version, and since then a few users started using it. Users are pleased with the platform, but new requirements and a few minor bugs came up. They are planning to release the next version in 2 months. They are having a meeting today where they discuss the schedule, the deadlines, and so on.

There are six young professionals on the team: a lead developer, two senior developers, a junior developer, a manual tester and a manager. First, let's meet each member of the team!

#2 meet Chris, the lead developer

So to tell the truth, everyone loves Chris. Team members love him because he helps them with anything they need help with. Managers love him because he makes excellent decisions and knows very well how to bring out the best in people. People love him because he is a nice person. :)

this is Chris

He has a Master's Degree in Computer Science and has been working in the industry for ten years now, and he has been with UtopiaLabs since its beginning. Previously he has been working in the financial sector at various multinational enterprises, so working with a startup is a bit new for him, but he loves it.

#3 meet Anna, a senior developer

Anna is a senior backend developer, and she has been coding for 5-6 years. She learned the basics of programming in Java, and since then she became the master of a few other languages, too, but she loves JVM languages the most. She has some phobias of frontend development, because as she says "I don't have the patience to spend many hours pushing some pixels around to get the right ratios, spacing, contrasts and stuff..."

this is Anna

Anyway, she is a real hipster: she prefers to (always) bicycle or walk to work, drinks a lot of coffee, usually speciality coffee, she is a vegan and buys clothes from thrift shops!

#4 meet Luke, a senior developer

Luke is also a senior developer, but he is the one usually "pushing pixels around". He is a very skilled frontend developer and aspiring UX/UI designer. He spent weeks to find and implement the best design for the platform because it is a crucial aspect. We all know that "great design can make your audience believe and invest in your business".

this is Luke

He is a bizarre guy, having a strict daily routine, working out at least five times a week, counting calories and eating strange meals, like porridge with two raw eggs for breakfast. Yuk! :P

#5 meet Adam, the junior developer

Let me introduce the junior dev of the team: Adam. He is the youngest of all as he is a university student pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science. Adam is smart and curious, enjoys learning new languages and technologies.

this is Adam

He is usually in a hurry because sometimes he has classes in the morning and also in the afternoon so he can spend time at work only between them. He started a few weeks ago as an intern, and he is usually fixing bugs while wearing the same outfit: jeans and T-shirts...

#6 meet Amber, the manual tester

Everything the developers do will go to Amber. She is a manual tester, so her job is to find all the bugs. She wants to broaden her knowledge, so she wants to start an automation testing course soon.

this is Amber

Amber has one cat and three plants. Loves hiking and dancing :) He started working at UtopiaLabs a year ago. At the same time she is pursuing his Master's Degree in Mathematics, so she is precise and usually finds all the bugs... :) No bug can go through Amber!

#7 meet Kelly, the manager

Kelly, the manager, comes from a very different background. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, and she has been working as a project manager for a few years now.

this is Kelly

She loves rock music and goes to concerts whenever she can, mainly in the summer. Her favourite bands are AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. When she finished university, she started learning how to play the guitar. It's something she wanted to do since she was a small child.

So now that you know the team you should get to today's meeting I mentioned earlier. Hurry, it starts soon! :)

#8 the meeting

Oh, you got here in time, as well as Amber, Kelly and Luke, but it seems that others are gonna be a few minutes late... as usual.

you are here in time..

"So we have a short agenda for today: clarify the requirements and talk about the deadlines." - starts Kelly a few minutes later.

After getting to know the details of the requirements and estimating how many days each would take to develop and test, they realised that they would be ready three weeks earlier than the final deadline of the next release. It means that they need to decide what to do in those three weeks.

Chris takes advantage of the opportunity and recommends to spend the time learning about and trying out new technologies and methodologies, doing some experiments, etc. He thinks this knowledge would come handy when the platform receives more traffic, and the application will have to handle a lot of users and data.

However, Kelly recommends to instead go to courses paid by the company and so that every team member can learn whatever he or she wants. Anna would love to learn about Clojure, Adam would be happy for any course, but Amber really wants to start that automation testing course.

So here comes the very first decision: what will the team do?
-> go with Chris's idea and experiment with new technologies
-> go with Kelly's plan and attend courses

Top comments (4)

timofeipl profile image
Tim Pλotnikov

Wow, that is super cool! I felt on the same wave with the characters from the first words and immediately forgot about everything happening around me. Keep going 👍

leonorader profile image
Leonora Der

thank you very much! :)
anyway, how would you decide? :)

karandpr profile image
Karan Gandhi

-> go with Kelly's plan and attend courses

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