2 years at diesdas.digital

On the 15th of October 2019 I have been at diesdas.digital for two years. Not only is this the longest time I’ve been at any company, it’s also the first time my role is to lead people instead of being a programmer.

I wanted to look back at what I have been able to achieve during this time and give you a brief look at what a “Head of Development” does. Therefore I’ve collected this very incomplete list of things I’ve worked on during my time at diesdas.

🕵️‍♂️ introduced pull requests and code reviews on all projects

☑️ added code linting to all projects

🖨 added automatic code formatting to all projects

🏗 did a workshop to define our CSS architecture with the team

🔀 defined our git workflow

👥 started bi-weekly 1on1s with every developer

✍️ wrote our company wiki with Harry

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 defined the development interview process at diesdas

👨‍🏫 taught Elm in workshops

🎉 introduced a weekly meeting for developers

👯‍♂️ spent lots of time pair programming and answering questions

🤝 hired and collaborated with a few freelancers

🧙‍♂️ wrote and proofread estimations for most projects in 2018

🔮 taught and enabled other developers to do estimations

📄 moved the company to Notion as a project management tool

📝 wrote lots of documentation pages in Notion

✊ enabled others to write documentation

📄 created a Notion template for sprint-based projects

🌱 created GitHub template repositories for new projects

👷‍♂️ wrote an Elm-inspired JS library for game development

👾 helped to build and release more than 20 mobile web games

☎️ had many meetings/calls with other software agencies

👨‍🎨 worked together on API designs with backend agencies

🎟 went to JSConf with our developers

🤖 wrote a Slack bot to send friendly thank you messages once a week

😴 launched a lot of projects with nothing breaking/no overtime

🚀 shipped 3 huge websites for a well-known company #nda

💎 had no major technical defects during the last two years

💬 had lots of employee feedback talks including salary discussions (every 6 months)

👨‍🏫 turned weekly developer meetings into software fundamentals workshops

🚢 wrote and published a plugin for Kirby CMS

💵 built a Chrome extension for Harvest to calculate profitability of our projects

✨ sparked the idea of creating a linter for our CSS architecture

💌 published our css linter as open source after Erkal wrote it

🌍 helped the company to become remote-friendly

🆕 influenced and worked on our new diesdas website

🎙 sparked the idea of starting our own podcast (which will come out soon)

🙏 declined more than 55 developers (sorry & thanks for applying!)

🥳 hired 6 developers

My biggest achievement was my decision to hire talented junior developers and help them grow. As a small self-funded agency it’s difficult to hire senior developers and find the ones which are also a good fit for our company culture.

Not only have we found amazing people and hired more women than men, they’ve also learned so fast that we are now confidently declining senior developers. With 10 developers we have a very good team size for an agency to build multiple projects in parallel.

For the next couple of months my main focus will be to improve the productivity of our development team. The goal is to increase the value we bring to our clients while decreasing the time we need to deliver it.