Future of eToro R&D

Few months ago we started to get the vibes of change.

I think all started when eToro hosted it’s first private Hackathon. All the company activities where paused for 48 hours in favor of the hack. Everyone could join the effort from HR to R&D teams. It was an amazing experience, when ideas of people who never had a chance to make a change and create something for our customers where chosen and brought to live.

We started thinking and talking about flat organization structure, how do we implement and encourage developers mobility in teams. A new term “Develorship” was introduces, which is talking about that any independent developer can take and lead a projects A to Z. We are working to shift the power of choice from Product to Development of what is important to ship now.

Followed by our visit to Wix, a successful Israeli company which does Continues Delivery and host millions of customized websites. At Wix we met Aviran Mordo, a Back-end Group Manager, who gave us a presentation about the switch to Continues Delivery that they did and answered a lot of our questions.

After the visit we started to read and think about Continues Delivery and DevOps. How do we optimize our process? How do we make non blocking development? How do we automate everything that can be automated? And more questions that should be answered… We realized that we can’t continue the same way we did until now and we need to think how to get to Continues Delivery.

To answer these questions, a DevOps forum was established. A forum of 5 key people from each department in R&D. I was one of them. It’s mission was to map our problems in current development process and suggest a plan how to implement Continues Delivery in the company.

After few offsite meeting of the forum we mapped all the problems and suggested an aggressive plan how to get to Continues Delivery in about 1 year. The plan included two parts:

1) Establishment of dedicated DevOps team to work on R&D culture, make a focus on Continues Integration and Delivery process, establish logging & monitoring expertise, minimize our gaps in Database automation and reorganization of our IT department main processes.

2) Working with existing R&D teams to learn and implement Test Driven Development, write more unit tests, write integration test, implement more test automation to make our regressions test faster and more efficient, working on better logging & monitoring of our existing systems, etc…

The plan was delivered to the management and we got their blessing and full backup to go for it. Without management support you can’t do it. To start working on #2 immediately freestyle Tuesdays where established in the company. A free day of regular iteration work where people can choose what they work on. It can be check your production logs, write more tests, do some automation, listen to lectures, anything that can make your work process better.

I was chosen and volunteered to lead the DevOps effort in the company as I have the experience and understanding of the processes in the company just because I work in eToro since the beginning. I left my previous role of managing few R&D teams and established a new DevOps team which I’m working at the moment on it’s recruitment.

We realize that there is a lot of work to be done, we have a lot of cultural and technological gaps, but now we have an isolated environment to make the focus to work on eToro R&D strategy and bring the change.

P.S.

Stay tuned to get updated on our progress as time goes by.

Hope you enjoy the story. :)