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Building the Engineering Powerhouse with Agility and Scale
Damir Prusac, Director of Engineering, Infobip
Infobip’s cloud communication platform powers enterprises to deliver messages across many channels to any device. Being used by over 65 percent of the population, reaching 7 billion devices through 800 telecom network connections, in over 190 countries, makes it the largest network of its kind, and the only full-stack Communication Platform as a Service globally.
Processing data of this magnitude requires more than just servers, storage and networks. Here’s how we enable the communications of such a scale.
Technology, tools, and engineering practices are the heart and soul of our operations. In Infobip, we work with many technologies solving different challenges and we are trying hard to make them all first-class citizens. A large budget for people’s education is secured, and it pays off multiple times in the long run.
As the organization grew and the infrastructure became massive, including over 50 teams deploying new changes up to 200 times per day, we invested in automation with industry-leading tools – investments that consistently pays off both long and short term.
The book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck is defining seven types of waste, where waste is described as anything the customer is not willing to pay for.
Agile methodology is more than just the enabler of eliminating waste; it is also the glue that connects our values and operations. For example, referring to a conversation with a colleague at Google, who said: “We are Scrum inspired.” At Infobip we get inspired too, but we also believe that being a slave to any framework is preventing us from discovering the most valuable ways to improve. Thus, we stay experimental where methodology gives us only so much guidance to inspect and adapt, and to shorten our feedback loops.
We love to pick up behaviors and cool ideas from others that resonate with our culture and our values so that we don`t need to reinvent the wheel. Therefore, as Spotify defines in their culture, we like to keep saying that more alignment brings more autonomy. We trust our people and avoid micromanagement in any shape or form. Hence, initiatives are transparent within the whole company through OKRs (Objective and Key Results) – a methodology set by Intel and refined by Google. It starts with the CEO and the Board channeled to every Infobipper.
With over 50 teams in seven research and development centers worldwide, our Engineering Powerhouse is truly global, and we try to leverage diverse perspectives.
Agile methodology is more than just the enabler of eliminating waste; it is also the glue that connects our values and operations
With each team, we perform a regular talk and take careful notes about the team itself, competences, process, product, performance, learning, and delivery. This is how we discover patterns across the organization, common pain points, and mutual strength points which enable us to learn and adapt.
The best description of our leadership style comes from Vesna Bodiroza - our senior people operations lady: ‘Seeing them all together in the room, you can`t really determine who is a leader.’
So, we try hard to grow and scale, but also fight strongly to keep the heart of a startup. And still – we are just starting!
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