The birds and the bees of software

A bit of magic happens when people from our various teams get together and cross-pollinate.


Posted by Brent Neave
November 10th, 2016

Support Chat

This morning, our Customer Experience Manager, Anne Harper, ran a lunchtime session with our team of engineers, dev-ops, designers and developers on the sort of tone and language that’s best to use our technical responses to support requests.

Earlier in the week, one of our systems architects shared with the sales team the reasons for building things the way we do, to help the team educate prospective customers on the value that sits behind the scenes.

Our regular after-hours ‘GIS and pie’ - which sometimes morphs into ‘GIS and beer’ - has enabled our design and marketing teams to learn the fundamentals GIS, which has in turn made our product and communications more intuitive to GIS users.

Over the last year at Koordinates, as our team has grown and we’ve been joined by some amazing talent, I’ve noticed this happening more and more. I’ve also noticed when it does, some magic happens.

It’s a sort of cross-pollination of skills between different parts of the business, which has created a more holistic approach to building and supporting software that orientates around the user.

It means as a marketer I can use specialist GIS software like QGIS; we have software engineers who can communicate on a technical and human level with customers; and design teams who have a deep understanding of the technical architecture of the product.  

These are just a few examples of how we’re constantly sharing ideas and skill sets across our different teams to create a better experience for our users.

It’s good for business, but it’s also the intersection where magic is created for our users. By getting different disciplines in a room to share the essence of their roles, we create a more harmonious delivery environment (despite the strong opinions coming loudly out the windows of our offices) and remove the divide of “us vs. them” that can sometimes exist in technology companies.

So we plan to do much more of it. But like a lot of things, it’s easier to say than do.

Because we have a diverse and distributed team, working everywhere from an office in Wellington to a castle in Edinburgh, we’re being forced to think early about how we can scale this as we get bigger using lunchtime/evening sessions, online webinars and internal educational content like videos. And, of course, more pie and GIS.

It's definitely a challenge, but it's worth it as there's magic in them hills.