This year was just a ride. A lot has happened and these are my remarks so that I can have a reminder once I will try to remember what happened in 2020.
At the beginning of the year, in addition to the routine, I spent a short vacation – a trip to India and the first meeting within the Senior Odyssey program. Odyssea is a program that we have in our company invented for future managers. The threshold for entering the program is quite high (20 people from the whole group will be selected), so my joy of success was great and I was looking forward to flying around the world and solving the project. Although Covid changed the course of the Odyssey a lot, everything was fully remote. Even so, it was great.
At the end of January, our activity around the Koyal project (in Hindi cuckoo) culminated in a presentation at the conference in Kazakhstan. Koyal was the R&D initiative of the previous year, whose task was to prepare the technological infrastructure so that it would be modern even in the year 2030. Logically, we created an environment that in 2020 we designed the most modern possible. We dealt a lot with ideas about how to set up the environment and what it must meet in order to survive in ten years. It finished in 100 slides and a working prototype – a mobile application with a functional backend. It brought us to the infrastructure that I could say a little immodest, comparable to Netflix (we also played with Conductor), or other players who are recognized as market leaders. It would be worth a series of articles and it is difficult to summarize in a few words what was the result of this initiative. Perhaps it’s just that our scope was similar to what was achieved on another project quite well known in the IT community (with a sad ending) from our group, see Velvon debriefieng.
So here just a brief summary of the values which was the ecosystem built-in:
I left the conference in Kazakhstan one day earlier. A colleague was already waiting for me in Prague. He was preparing at that time a presentation of his project for a group CEO and requested my consultation. His plan was to make a super mobile application for the five countries where HCI group operates, with a really big, intercontinental team. It cost a lot of explanations and „blood and sweat“. But in the end, it worked out, we got the trust and a big GO.
We started big hiring, building teams and building a new division.
Technologically, of course, we used the experience from our previous initiative. From R&D, which included about 15 people (my and my colleague’s team), we built a division of 60 people and a total of about 100 people on the project. Fortunately, from the point of view of hiring, it turned out that the technology we chose for front-end applications – Flutter is of interest to many enthusiasts. In general, Flutter was a great choice and it also deserves a separate article (which I will never write :-)). We also managed to recruit testers who wanted to go with us to the point that 90% of their work would be writing automatic tests. We also hired .NET developers who were willing to move from the DEV „box“ to DEV-SEC-OPS. I think we managed to find people who really care about the project – it wouldn’t be possible without them.