101 Ways is a product-focused, technology consultancy
At 101 Ways we work on the basis of selecting the best individuals for a specific project. We build teams of highly skilled people who share our philosophy and values and we actively manage and support our people through the life of a project. Follow this blog to know about Agile adoption, agile leadership, agile planning, agile project management and much more.
Following cto zone’s successful kick off in April, we’re back with our new identity, great talks, food and opportunities to network.
Join us at The Driver in Kings Cross on Wednesday 18 July 2018 from 6pm onwards for this month’s edition where we’ll be focusing on ‘Exit Strategies’.
First you’ll hear from Just Eat CPO/CTO, Fernando Fanton and his experiences of exiting, then Robert Fenner, corporate lawyer and Partner at Taylor Wessing will provide advice and tips from a legal perspective. Both will be 20 min lightning talks, with the opportunity for Q&A both throughout and afterward.
Whether you want to understand more about strategies for funding pitches or your company is preparing for M&A or flotation, there’ll be something for everyone.
It’s also a great opportunity to meet some of the 101 Ways management team and discuss potential Freelance CTO engagements with 101 Ways in the future. And of course there’ll be drinks and canapes .
Register here to reserve your free place and we’ll see you there!
Fancy a career in tech but don’t know where to start? Or are you already in the industry, but want to move from one area to another, or climb the ladder to senior management? Regardless of your situation, if you’re thinking about career changing or have taken the plunge already, we have the perfect event for you.
Women’s Tech Focus (WTF) is back with a bang on Tuesday 24 July 2017 with our next event: ‘WTF…is Changing Careers’
Come along to WeWork Corsham Street from 6pm and join the collaborative workshops on the night which will offer a safe space to share personal stories, ideas, tips and advice, and work to allay any concerns people have.
Because career-changing can be fun, exciting and inspiring, just like the people who make up the WTF community (that’s you!). And don’t worry, we will keep you fed and watered through the evening. There’ll also be plenty of opportunity for networking and casual conversation, and discussions about how WTF can continue to grow and support you and other women in tech going forward.
Places are limited and tickets are going fast, so register for your free place here!
At 101 Ways we love a good panel talk. So we’re thrilled that our CEO Kelly Waters will be speaking at the next #YouEqualTech event ‘Start-up, Scale-up and Go Global: A Recipe For Success’ on Tuesday 17 July 2018.
The aim of #YouEqualTech events is to ‘promote inclusion in tech by increasing the visibility of diverse role models – and to empower the community by providing the opportunity to network, share experiences, stories, practical career hacks and actionable advice’.
Kelly will be joined on the panel by some incredible leaders: Tamara Rajah – CEO & Founder of Live Better With, Faye Pressly – Chief Operating Officer at Vanti and Sarah Rench – Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at EY.
With a focus on useful tips Kelly, Tamara, Faye and Sarah will be talking about their biggest lessons to-date and what they wish they’d known when they set out in the startup world. They will also be looking at the impact of purpose, people and profit – and the importance of building a culture of inclusion that starts from the top. Because inclusivity is what we both practise and preach at 101 Ways.
Taking place at EY-Seren Penthouse from 6pm, you can tweet your questions for the panel, or follow the event feed using #YouEqualTech.
Register for your free place and get more information here. We looking forward to seeing you there!
A battle-scarred Delivery Director, I’ve been in the Agile world for a while now, and still the debate rages on; why is Agile so hard to scale successfully? And what if anything, can we do about it?
Interview questions often focus on people’s experience using scaling frameworks such as SAFe and DAD. But not all experience has been positive and it helps both companies and workers to understand why. So, I wracked my brain thinking of the various organisations, projects and teams I’ve had the opportunity to work with, the growth strategy conversations I have been privy to, and the talks / conferences I’ve attended. And I realised that the trope is true, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Yes, Agile doesn’t scale… but only in isolation.
The very nature of Agile and the key to its success, is often the key to its downfall. Agile advocates moving quickly; delivering as fast as possible, iterating wildly… but is the company or organisation structured to support it? An obvious question perhaps, but from experience, it’s often the missing puzzle piece. Scaling Agile is so often seen as a failure – but for the vast majority, the organisation is unable to support the growth of its Agile community.
I often find myself coming back to this article from the GDS team about Agile governance and agree that to avoid failing, the right questions need to be asked before you start:
Are the right people empowered at the right level in the organisation to make decisions?
Agility requires autonomy. The people closest to the problem are often the most qualified to resolve that problem, but they need to be empowered to do so. If you are constantly hearing the phrase ‘we will need to escalate this to be resolved’ – you probably don’t have the autonomy you need to move quickly. This is equally important in managing inter-team dependencies, the best people to resolve these dependencies are the teams themselves; but if every decision has to go through arbitration, you will be slowing down multiple teams. Finding a friction free way for teams to resolve such issues is key to delivering at pace at scale.
Do you have the right people to support the teams in the right way?
Much like the point above, having the right people supporting teams is crucial. If the leadership at team level is spending time resolving recruitment, budgetary and business operational issues – they are not focusing on delivery, and that will slow you down. Organisations tackle this in different ways, either by matrix structures, the infamous ‘Spotify model’ of clans and guilds or communities of practice – all essentially distributing the load so that the right people are involved at the right time. There is no ‘magic wand’ – each organisation needs to work out what works best in their context.
Does your organisation have a single, clear objective, that multiple Delivery teams can strive for?
One of the phrases I fall back on when talking to senior technical leaders is ‘humans scale horizontally, not vertically’. You reach a point where the people you have can only generate so much throughput, so the only option is to add more people. When you add more people to the pool, you need to make sure they have the same understanding of the objective. If they set off in a direction of their own, it is like adding a serve to your cluster with a different configuration and can do more damage than good. Making sure everyone is pushing in the same direction is critical to delivering at scale.
Who will take ownership of each part of the scaling process?
Scaling needs to be planned- not through charts and dates, but deliberate and structured. The goal is to find a pattern that suits your organisation so it can be replicated. In the same way that you manage the process as team level, you either empower the team or an individual to manage the process. In my experience this is most successful when managed by an individual whose sole focus is the scaling process; importantly also someone who knows how to navigate the organisation. This is an intensely contextual exercise and will require both tenderness and tenacity.
Every organisation is different, and as a result, all efforts to scale Agile will be different. Some may already have the organisational structure to support a scaling delivery team, but all too often it’s an afterthought and by then, too late.
If you haven’t prepared the business for Agile at scale, but want to push ahead anyway then heed this warning: a foolish person did build their house upon the sand.
Our tech community, It Works on My Machine (iwomm), is ready and waiting to introduce you to Web Assembly at our next event on 5 July 2018 at 6.30pm.
For those that haven’t stormed out by that point, we promise that we may actually proffer the answer: WebAssembly.
Still unsure? Well, give us a chance to convince you that it’s the future of web development before you cast your first stone. We promise that in less time than it takes to cook two Jamie’s 15-minute meals, our CTO Odhran will talk your ears off about it’s easy-as-pie usability, why you’ll want to get started straight away and most importantly, how to. Then, one of our front-end software engineers, Carlos Baraza will dazzle your eyes with his practical application demos, and excellent hair.
We got you there, didn’t we. Oh we didn’t? Fine. Then what if we told you that this iwomm event will include a food competition to finally determine who makes London’s best bao. You’ll have the opportunity to eat and cast your vote for either Bao Fitzrovia or Shackfuyu Soho.
So when is this exciting tech, tresses and tasting event again? IN TWO DAYS’ TIME. We’re at 80% capacity already, but there are still a few spots left for those that want to find out more, or just be fed. So, sign up for your free place here.
*Strictly need-to-know information*
Where: Just Eat , Fleet Place House, Fleet Pl, London EC4M 7RD
In case you hadn’t realised, we’re quite taken with serverless. Running our 101 Serverless Lab at Codemotion Amsterdam and extolling its virtues in our recent post about why, if you haven’t done it, there are six very excellent reasons for going serverless immediately.
If however, you’re still fence-sitting or want to ‘try before you buy’, then why not have a go at deploying your own serverless app with our step-by-step guide. The very same one used at our Codemotion workshop!
We’d love to hear from you once you’ve given it a try, so let us know how you get on!
Serverless – the Serverless Application Framework – is a toolkit for deploying and operating serverless architectures. It’s an innovative and revolutionary technology allowing developers to focus on creating applications, rather than be distracted by building and changing their infrastructure.
‘Serverless’ is also however, a catch-all term for removing the pain points from infrastructure management and maintenance by moving from monolithic to microservices. It also implies a mentality of zero infrastructure maintenance. Although adoption is not widespread due being fairly new technology, there has been a rise in developers opting for serverless with great results.
So why is breaking away from the crowd and treading the seemingly less-travelled path a good thing? Because it’s a no brainer; serverless technology helps direct more energy and resources toward providing customer value. By using Functions as a Service (FaaS) and other services provided out of the box, you’re free to focus on other value-added activities like usability.
To prove it, we’ve rounded up our top six reasons why serverless is the way forward:
It’s cheap – The core component of serverless, FaaS, is only paid for when it’s in use. For example, when someone visits a deployed website, the service will spin up lambdas and return them while only charging for compute time, which works out at approximately $0.00001667 per request or $0.17 per 1 million requests.
Plus, platforms like AWS Lambda and Azure offer a free tier with one million invocations and 400,000 GB-seconds free each month. That alone provides enough execution seconds to keep a function using 128 MB of memory running all day every day for a month.
Most companies aren’t in the business of running and maintaining servers so the bigger cost savings come from not having a traditional operations team or re-deploying ops engineers to work on something more relevant for the core business.
Its quick to deploy – FaaS platforms are built to create and destroy applications in minutes. Time can therefore be spent writing and improving the functionality of code before submitting it for execution. Once instructed, the provider creates the environment to run and manage the deployed function and pulls it down when no longer needed. This, in turn, allows rapid return of the value created by the dev team.
It’s easy to learn the basics – While deeper implementation is more complex, the basics are remarkably easy to master, even for those that don’t code, but need to build an application by opening up complex development to people who never could have done this before.
In addition, a whole ecosystem of open source tools and products now exist to assist the development journey. Tools like Apex for example, allow you to develop Lambda functions in languages other than those directly supported by AWS, which makes it perfect for those who have yet to become technological polyglots.
It’s safe and resilient – As with all technology (and indeed servers), serverless is not infallible – permissions, dependencies and data are vulnerable to exploitation, but with most serverless applications being short-lived, this risk is reduced.
Providers work behind the scenes to close security loopholes through regular patching and updating, so breaches are prevented from causing total carnage. Again, it’s the idea of zero maintenance – letting the provider update and evolve the platform means over time it will improve with no effort required.
It’s highly scalable – FaaS is transparent when it comes to the cost and efficiency of scaling, as much of the work is already done for you. AWS for example, automatically scales functions to hundreds of requests in milliseconds, so there is no need for concern that peak time traffic will slow down or even kill the application servers. A very powerful capability.
It can work for anyone – Serverless is essentially a playground for those wanting to create any type of massively parallel process or application that can be used by everyone. Over time, as serverless becomes the go-to option, a collection of digital skill sets will accumulate and through access to and replication of code, it will allow entire industries to be shared and built upon for years to come.
Did we mention we went to Codemotion Amsterdam 2018? Oh, we did? Well, we’re going to wax lyrical about it again because not only was it a fantastic event, it was a great success for 101 Ways on all fronts and ensured our Netherlands’ launch got off to an impressive start.
First up, our Serverless Lab – run by CTO Odhrán McConnell, Tech Lead, Mudi Ugbowanko and consultant software engineers Domas Lasauskas and Diego Vazquez Nanini – attracted over 80 developers, engineers and designers and helped everyone from those at junior level to those with years of experience, build and deploy their own serverless AWS app. Check out Mudi’s five minutes of fame here.
Then, our very own Kelly Waters was one of four speakers talking about the ‘Evolution of the CTO in a Data Driven World’, which raised some interesting points and led to lots of great discussions between the panel and the audience. It was also an opportunity for the attending CTOs to work through the challenges raised and push to find solutions with Kelly and the other panel members’ help.
But, even though we could go on for days, don’t just let us tell you how good Codemotion 2018 was, watch below and see for yourselves!
Saccade – the network of freelance consultant CTOs – is becoming part of 101 Ways.
For those that aren’t in the know, Saccade has a history of helping digital businesses succeed in engineering and product endeavours by providing independent, experienced C-level consultancy and coaching to existing teams and leaders on an interim basis. With 101 Ways well-established role of providing leadership and advisory services to our clients, the union seemed like a match made in agile heaven.
Due to an increase in the number of client requests for our help, we realised we needed a better way of finding great, reliable leaders outside of the 101 Ways network, and fast. So, when CTO and Saccade founder, Andy Skipper approached us with a view to taking over the community, it became obvious that in doing so, we’d not only improve our ability to hire at C-level but could build upon this already prominent network.
After our exclusive kick-off event on 26 April 2018, we launched the union of Saccade and 101 Ways’ consultant community – CTOzone. An invite-only CTO/technology leader group, the community is built on the ethos of trust and openness; members can safely share knowledge, compare notes and war stories, and grow their peer network.
Set to become the ‘Swiss army knife’ of groups, CEO Kelly Waters tells us why he is so pleased about the partnership and excited about the future of the community:
“Our network is pretty big, but it can always be bigger. Having the Saccade network as a part of 101 Ways is great because it means for clients we can find the right people for the right job at the right time.”
But don’t just take our word for it, watch as Head of Client Partnership, Jamie North interviews Andy and Kelly about (the now-named!) CTOzone here:
Saccade moves into 101 Ways - YouTube
CTOzone events will be running once a quarter with the next one taking place in July. If you’re not a freelance CTO, but are still interested we’d love to hear from you. Or if you’re a client in need of a freelance CTO, get in touch as our talent network is growing so we can provide you with an even better service.