Process and Tooling Guild: Keeping EduSource Employees Productive
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Process and Tooling Guild: Keeping EduSource Employees Productive

October 2, 2018

What's a Guild?

At EduSource, Guilds are special-interest groups that are a cross section of the company. Any employee can join any guild. Guilds meet monthly and make decisions about things in their specific areas. Each guild is led by a Guild Master and a Lesser Master. Occasionally we ask a Guild Master to give an update on what the guild has been working on. Today, the Process and Tooling Guild gets a chance.

Meet James, Process and Tooling Guild Master

James Loftis is an EduSource software engineer. He has a BS from Anderson University in Physics and Computer Science. James has been with EduSource for just about two and a half years. Though James has lived in three countries and eight states (including Hawaii), he (along with his wife Sarah and two kiddos) has put down roots in Indiana!

The Process and Tooling guild fills a unique niche at EduSource. We are sort of the “catch-all” guild. If we don’t think a particular tool we use belongs in the UI (User Interface), Server Side, or Data Persistence Guilds then, chances are, it belongs with us. All of the EduSource-created, internal tools are our domain, as well as the various online equipment that allows us to do our day-to-day jobs.

And really, that is what we are about: creating and maintaining the processes and tools needed for our employees to do their jobs to their fullest potential.

To achieve that, we have five basic “chapters” in our guild.

EduProcess

The first chapter is call EduProcess. EduSource is constantly being reinvented. We refuse to suffer processes that don’t work, and we always strive for ways to do things better (read about our Core Value of Kaizen, and how that relates here). As a result, we are constantly inventing, updating, tweaking, or removing processes from our existing plan.

These processes allow us to build a solid framework of understanding, within which we have the freedom to design creative, effective solutions to our customers’ unique challenges. We have developed these processes carefully, over several years, with a goal toward maximizing the effects of our efforts and providing maximum visibility into how our development lifecycle is functioning at any given time.

Recent challenges: How to run Tech Forums; Should we keep using Cypress Testing; How can we make Code Reviews better?

EduTools

The next chapter is EduTools. Like processes, we are also constantly creating and/or implementing things that make our jobs (and our lives) a little bit easier. From sending information securely to giving our apprentices an easy way to get answers to their questions, we are always striving to improve.

This chapter acts as the curator of these technologies: housing “how to” knowledge, maintaining code, and keeping track of what’s available and how its working.

Recent Challenges: How do we get more help for apprentices; How can we send information to each other and clients securely?

 

IAAS

Next on the list, is our IAAS (Infrastructure as a service) chapter. A company like EduSource requires a lot of infrastructure as well. But, in an effort to keep costs low and performance high, we often purchase our infrastructure from cloud-based companies. This allows us to focus on doing what we do best, instead of spending hours managing servers.

However, despite our best efforts, these services are not completely without maintenance requirements. When it comes to that job, this is the chapter that is up to the task. Filled with useful information and great people, this chapter really keeps our work flowing.

Software this chapter deals with: Azure and Digital Ocean

 

Local Software

Then we have the local software chapter. This chapter handles things a little closer to home. Tools that we require to do our jobs and that are housed on our local machines fall into this category. From communication to coding, this chapter keeps our developers productive.

Software this chapter deals with: Beyond CompareSlack, and VS Code

 

SAAS

Finally, we have the SAAS (Software as a Service) chapter. Similar to IAAS, SAAS is all about getting the services we need without the overhead of hosting and maintaining it locally.  SAAS is different than IAAS in the scope of what we are getting from the provider. Smaller things like office software and password managers fall into this category, as well as many our code repositories.

Software this chapter deals with: Atlassian, and Last Pass, and Office 365

 

Using the guild structure allows us to offload the knowledge required for all of these different tasks onto multiple people, and it also gives us the benefit of knowledge sharing to reduce bottlenecks when important resources are unavailable.

Want to know more about our Guild Structure? We’d love to chat. Email info@edusource.us to set something up.

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