Squad As A Service at Liantis

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“With the help of three ToThePointers we got the project, which started off on the wrong foot, back on track in a few weeks. This helped us to regain confidence of business in our new way of working.”

Stefan Brehmen, Solution Architect at Liantis

How did you find your way to ToThePoint?

I’ve first got to know ToThePoint through Johan Siebens, a friend of mine that I acquainted during a project in the past. Then, when I started at Zenito as a coach to assist migrating employees to a new technology and methodology employees, we gradually grew in numbers and eventually started adding people. Inso-doing, we eventually reached ToThePoint, so it was really by chance that we met.

Being satisfied with the first Pointer that we hired, we added two more. They naturally formed a team of their own and started developing on our running projects. All was running smoothly, so we were happy with our decision to get ToThePoint involved.

At some point in time, there was a team with a project that wasn’t running as smooth as foreseen. As you would’ve guessed, upper management got involved and they got concerned about meeting the deadlines. 

So out of the blue, the guys from ToThePoint suggested that they’d give it a try. They fixed the issue ahead of schedule. Moreover, the ToThePoint team managed to deliver a three-week workload in a mere two week sprint. All this made the business very happy, of course. 

The above-mentioned success made us very keen to adding more Pointers as our need to add more consultants grew. So we checked the ToThePoint website and saw that there was a fairly new service offered, namely: Squad as a Service (SQUAAS), in which you could hire an entire development team to immediately support running projects. So we are giving that a try as we speak.

What separates Liantis from other companies and how does ToThePoint fit?

We offer a tech stack that is sort of attractive to some of our people. We try to ‘stay with it’, so to say. For example: our frontend is written in Angular, Spring Boot, asynchronous messaging and so forth. Our developers usually choose to use Java 8 but there are also services written in Kotlin or Scala. Actually each tool has its purpose, so we embrace a variety of tools to work with, which is highly appreciated by our developers. Each technology has its merits but we tend to go with “the right tool for the job”.

Our methodology is agile and it has been like this for a while within our organisation. Case in point: a while back we had an assessment from upper management. There was an idea floating around to hire a dedicated testing team. We told them “that won’t be necessary”. And after a week of working with us, they had to indeed confirm: “You won’t be needing dedicated testers — you’ve already integrated testing in your process.

A copious amount of automated testing is being written here, a bit of continuous integration so to say. Not quite yet continuous deployment — but we’re working towards it. Especially in our culture — we’re growing towards a true DevOps workflow but it’s not quite possible because of contractually assigned responsibilities that are out of our influence as IT-developers. 

In short, how would you describe the attitude of the ToThePoint consultants?

There is undoubtedly a good vibe amongst the Pointers. I have personally observed a healthy straight-forward and ‘to the point’ way of communicating between them — often expressed as a healthy and pleasant way of teasing each other. For example: they will make remarks when something is not as it should be. And totally justified as well if you ask me. This means they book healthy progress when developing, actively avoiding delays because of lack of communication. In other words: they are keeping each other sharp on their toes. 

I have no way of explaining how or what exactly, but there is a je-ne-sais-quoi attitude vibe on the floor, they themselves call it ‘pointitude’. When needs be, they quite happily trade hats from developers to operations and testing. No backwards excuses accepted, they just get the job done.


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