Remote team gets closer!

Two weeks ago, from 19th till 23rd March, our senior developer and mentor János Ujvári from Budapest (Hungary) visited part of our community based in Latvia so as to carry out extensive activities together with the Talent and Partner manager Jevgenija Sahovala and her partners, Universities and IT Schools there.

 

János shared his technical competence by leading three MEAN Stack workshops during that week – at University of Liepaja (IT Faculty) on 20th March, at EKA (University of Economics and Culture, Riga) on 22nd March and at LLU, Jelgava on 23rd March.

In detail, János showcased how to develop a small app with Angular from scratch – starting from the installation and set-up of the development infrastructure to a working web application.

At first students were introduced to MEAN Stack acronym and Git repository infrastructure and then, invited to set their own development infrastructure up and running through coding along with Janos.
According to our philosophy, even remote students had the opportunity to join us online by tuning in on the Like A Coffee YouTube channel live streaming from EKA on 22nd March (if you missed it, the recording is available at the following link: https://youtu.be/BCm1Hzs7PjQ )

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As Like A Coffee, we also took part in TSI (Transporta un Sakaru Instituts) Career Day on 21st March with an exhibition booth and our working approach presentation.

We shared our experience about T2EJ and remote work welcoming visitors and audience at the presentation. It definitely was a great bonding experience the participation in such an event all together with János, Aija, Janis, Emils and Jevgenija.

 

Closing evening event of the week was the presentation about remote working and its pros and cons at Riga Coding School on 23rd of March.

Blessed by the sunlight throughout the day, the atmosphere got fairly pleasant with so many interested participants, who kept talking and interacting with Jevgenija and Janos about Like A Coffee working approach and their own experience working from different environments.

Last but not least, what we treasured the most was the enjoyable meeting of the Latvian Team as a whole with their mentor and Talent manager in Liepaja for a two-day team-building gathering - playing pool, go-karting and having some pizza and drinks all together.

For sure the best way to get closer and improve communication!

We as Like A Coffee thank all the Latvian Partners, that hosted our presentations during this week, and also Latvian Team, who showed an amazing unity and cooperation throughout these days spent together.

Starting from 20th March Like A Coffee will hold a series of events in Latvia

In one week, starting from 20th March, Like A Coffee will hold a series of events in Latvia.

Our Hungarian senior developer and community mentor János Ujvari is travelling from Budapest to Riga to join us and share his knowledge and experience with Latvian Team and Partners.

 

Here below you can find the whole week schedule of our events in Latvia:

 

20th March, Tuesday

 

 

21st March, Wednesday

 

 

22nd March, Thursday

 

 

23rd March, Friday

 

 

Stay tuned on our Facebook page for more live videos and photos and to get to know more about our events in Latvia!

If you have any questions, you can ask us Like A Coffee or our Talent and Partner Manager in Latvia Jevgenija Sahovala.

Our Talent Managers introduce the Talent to Expert Journey Application [VIDEO]

Yesterday evening our Talent managers, Filomena and Jevgenija delivered a live speech on the Like A Coffee YouTube channel about their experience as product owners of the software application they contributed to design and that they are about to implement shortly in their daily working activity.

Jevgenija and Filomena recruit, onboard, and support IT potential talents mainly on a soft skill-level during the learning-by-doing journey that Like A Coffee has especially designed for them as they join our community.

In a few weeks the first version of T2EJ APP, we spoke about in this past post, will be released and they will finally get the valuable virtual assistant they were looking for.

Now they will manage

  • to gather all the necessary information about talents
  • to handle cooperation with Universities and Partners in a clear and unified way
  • to collect their marketing materials
  • to keep track of their talents’ activities
  • to make evaluation of talents and their progress
  • to organize and manage their events

in a single, central place.

> > > Watch the video below if you want to get a clearer vision on how such an agile design and development process took place, by starting from the process of ideation, the user stories implementation to the mock-ups design and the current app version.

And stay tuned because next month Like A Coffee will deliver a new YouTube live speech from a technical perspective on this topic!

Until next live video!

OUR TALENT MANAGERS ARE GOING LIVE!

In two weeks our Talent managers, Filomena and Jevgenija will deliver a live speech about their working experience as business owners of the software application they will start to use shortly in their daily activity.

OUR TALENT MANAGERS

Jevgenija and Filomena carry out one of the core activities within Like A Coffee: they onboard, develop, train and support young IT talents on a personal level, as talents move on along their learning journey, progress technically in the company and they get better at their tasks.

A WORK-FRIENDLY TOOL

It goes without saying that our talent managers felt the need to organize the different information flow in a single, central place in order to achieve a boundless productivity by means of a work-friendly application.

The possibility to map out their joint and separate recruiting strategies and to jot down their personal notes became paramount.

It was with this in mind that this software came to light.

Formerly called Talent Management System (TMS) in a broad sense, it changed its name into Talent to Expert Journey (T2EJ) over the last months when, as they progressed with its design, its focus became clearer and clearer.

Now they will be here to tell us about their experience and how they took part in it in tight collaboration with the designer Giuseppe.

Several stages were there, from the ideation to the design of the possible scenarios they could face as end users of the tool, and, ultimately, to how they participated actively in the agile process development of the app together with the Liepaja development Team, made up of Jānis, Emils, Aija and Ulvis, under the expert supervision of our mentor János.

Stay tuned for our live speech delivery on 26th February! There is much to gain insight into!

Learning by doing in experimental project

DEVELOPMENT OF TALENT MANAGEMENT TOOL

HOW IT STARTED

As our journey along with ICT potential talents progressed, we as talent managers of Like a Coffee started to feel the personal need of having a tool which could support us in Talent acquisition and management activities.

The information flow was increasing incredibly as Like a Coffee started to expand beyond boundaries involving more and more countries within its reach.

WHAT IT IS

The talent to expert journey application (T2EJ APP) is a web and mobile app which will enable us to keep track of our activities and will act as a database with respect to our talent profiles, past and upcoming events, universities profiles and marketing material.

Our goal is to be finally provided with a valuable assistant in our daily working activity.

The development process took time. And requested a successful interdisciplinary collaboration – the key factor of a well-knit team.

As Jevgenija – Talent Manager for Latvia – says:

LAC team members work in synergy, and in my feeling we did this great job all-together, providing one’s best for achieving the goal. Communication is a perfect possibility to exchange and combine our experiences, knowledge and competences – to get new ones from colleagues and to share the ones of yourself. That definitely brings even greater value to our team. I would say that synergy is the right word for us.”

PROCESS: MIND MAP

The exchange of views, comments and skills took place virtually on the first online tool we used:

the Mind map.

What allowed us to do? A mind map provided a way to visualize information, ideas, concepts clearly, by facilitating real-time collaboration, task management and sharing information presentations.

We, Giuseppe – as designer – Jevgenija and Filomena, as talent managers and product owners of the software tool, could add ideas and comments, and make decisions in real-time.

Furthermore, we could share and edit, leave comments and feedback, attach files, images, videos and link to external as well as internal sources.

Our mind map was also turned into an interactive presentation.

As our designer Giuseppe says:

“Currently, we spend less time for sync communication and more to generate content.”

PROCESS: USER STORIES

After the mind map drawing up, we then moved to the user stories writing.

The user story has these three clauses.

As a persona, I want to do something, so I can derive a reward.

This part of the process was quite facilitated since the user was us, talent managers, so we could quickly identify with our humanized user.

We created these stories to anchor our view of what’s valuable in a nice, testable narrative about what we wanted to get, and we had a prior discussion about these as a product team with our designer Giuseppe and project manager, Jānis.

This is the experienced gained by Jānis in this step:

“I was strongly involved in planning and development process so that I could gain a valuable and useful experience and I feel that I am now able to pick up a lot of good things for the future. For me this was the first project as a project manager. I learned something new every day and grew a lot.”

 

After the planning phase, the user stories were sent to him and to his development team where these stories were taken and sorted into a backlog for the actual execution of software.

So, together with them and with our designer, we took care of sorting them, in order of priority, and then Jānis and his team cut them off at the amount of work they thought they could do in a single iteration.

And these iterations are usually two to four weeks, sometimes a little bit longer.

PROCESS: MOCK-UPS

Once the primary user stories were picked, our designer Giuseppe proceeded with the app mock-ups ideation.

His job is not just about the design of the UX but it is also about learning how to empathize and deliver creative solutions to the audience and, by audience, we don’t just mean the talent managers as end users, but the other team members involved in the app development as well.

Here is how Giuseppe faced this challenge:

“My personal experience is that video recording is a good tool to share complex information, not only by using the voice but also by screencasting and by live demonstration.”

Giuseppe experimented a new way of delivering his vision on mock-ups by using two edited screencast videos, one featuring mock-ups and the other one featuring him for their functionality explanation.

PROCESS: COMMUNICATION

Now it is still taking interdisciplinary collaboration and a smooth communication across all the different roles in the team to learn how to create what the end users want to achieve so that the development team can get the right kind of inputs from the collaborators.

This is what Jānis experienced:

“I had a good connection with the developers which I was in charge of. I also had a good connection with my mentor and clients/talent managers. I was also working with the designer. I must admit that sometimes the communication ran with some issues and difference of opinions but that’s part of the game, I guess.“

Weekly status calls

Every time there was a live demo to present to the rest of the team, it was generally about an overall discussion and question time, like: do you (talent managers and final users) like this?

And if you don’t like it, why don’t you? Which functionality or feature would you like, instead?

In order to resolve that in a sensible way, usually our designer Giuseppe and János, development Team’s mentor come into play to support the team.

Let’s see how János dealt with it:

As a mentor I personally feel responsible for both technical and behavioral improvement of each talent. It’s important to me to share my experience as for the communication aspect as well. From my point of view communication is one of the ‘make or break’ things in remote working. Communication is now going on the right way, but there is always some room left for improvement.”

 

The communication between talents and mentor and their constant work side by side if there is the need of a technical suggestion is still the best added value that is to treasure.

These the opinions of Emils:

I personally communicate with my mentor in most of the occasions – and it’s usually for gaining insight on technical solutions. I must mention that the support has been great so far, I appreciate it.”

and Ulvis:

When there is a need for information regarding the project, I always ask, so we can decide for the best solution to the problem.”

ADDED VALUES

Project Management Internship

In addition to be an internal need, the talent to expert journey application (T2EJ APP) became an experimental project for our Latvian talents both on a project management level – the development of this app became the internship of Jānis – and on a software development level with Emils, Ulvis and Aija.

As for the development aspect, Emils acknowledges its importance with respect to skills gaining:

This project is my first experience with Angular Material meant for Angular version 2+.”

 

Learning by doing

Taking part in the overall talent to expert journey design and application allowed us, as Talent Managers, to give our contributions to it as well as our user experience, as beta testers.

Here is the experience of Filomena in her role of both main actor of the process as well as end user of the application:

“I learned a lot about how the design process runs – it was worth learning how the development of such a process unfolds, from the beginning till the end as a final user.”

 

Marketing Materials

Furthermore, the material produced is also the byproduct that we started to use also in our marketing-oriented activity to show our vision of the career path process to potential talents, as Jevgenija says:

”The design process allowed us to create much more additional materials, that is marketing information for different audiences, and made the T2E process clear and understandable for ourselves – thus making Talent Managers’ work transparent and structured.”

In a nutshell, Jevgenija and Filomena think that:

“Being part of this IT software project development within this small, self-organized, interdisciplinary team has been the heart of a successful experience.”

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