Posted in Development, People, Work Styles

Victoria University of Wellington ICT Careers Expo

In early May, a sizeable chunk of Powershop’s delivery team made a bright pink appearance at the ICT careers expo at Victoria University’s Kelburn campus. We were a diverse group of former and current Vic Uni students, dev managers and our almighty CTO. We set up our stall in the morning, and set out to make a lasting impression on every student we talked to. Our goal with this event was to spread the word about Powershop’s delivery work and culture, and to meet some awesome people. Powershop has had great success with finding interns through Summer of Tech (SoT) in the past; we’ve hired 14 interns through SoT over the last four summers! Nine of these interns are now working as permanent full-time software developers (including myself), and the current batch of interns are with us part time while they finish their studies. Our internship programme aims to give students an all-encompassing experience of […]

Posted in Development, People, Work Styles

Fear and Coding at Powershop

Starting a new job is an experience that falls somewhere between ‘somewhat stressful’ and ‘utterly terrifying’. When I started at Powershop 10 months ago I was very anxious, not least because it was my first job as a Software Developer. My mood one week after starting at Powershop was the polar opposite. I still felt like the ‘new guy’ in a lot of ways (I didn’t yet feel comfortable coming to work in jandals and shorts, for example), but my anxiety had been replaced with confidence and excitement. This transformation can be largely attributed to the unique training program that all new Ruby on Rails developers go through at Powershop called the “Devtrain”. This blog post explores the Devtrain experience, in particular as it pertains to employee fear and anxiety. Before we get into that, though, let’s take a quick look at where I’d come from prior to joining Powershop: Hospitality Construction Agricultural Contracting Sales Evangelism […]

Posted in Development, Work Styles

Reflections of a new Powershop software development manager

Hi, I’m Emma and I’m a software development manager with the team here at Powershop. My role is a little different around here compared to the technical focus of developers. I am one month in and would like to give you a fresh insider’s glimpse into this special place. What does that look like in practice? What impact does it have on how people work? I have condensed these into five things that have resonated with me in these first weeks. I’ve been a Powershop customer for five years. I hadn’t previously been excited about electricity, let alone paying for said electricity. A colleague had recommended Powershop when I moved house. Everything was suspiciously easy and awesome. My interest as a conscious consumer grew into a professional interest in following years: their mobile app kicked ass; they did fun, playful, smart things in the tech community; people smiled with their eyes when they talked about working at Powershop. Something […]

Posted in Work Styles

Getting Ship Done

At Powershop we’re always looking for ways to learn and to improve our software delivery practices. Recently we’ve been focussing on Agile practices that lead to the consistent delivery of value by the end of each sprint. We’ve been implementing practices and techniques in the following areas: small user stories pair programming visible work spaces shared responsibility across the team This post will detail some specific examples of changes we’ve made and the effect the changes have had. Small stories We’re using effective ways to split user stories as our stories are still bigger than they ideally should be. Agile-for-all has a really practical resource for splitting stories here. Recently a 20 point story made it to one of the team’s sprint planning meetings. The team worked with their product owner to split the original story into two stories sized at 13 and 5. The PO identified the 13 point story as offering more value, […]