Criteo at ICSSP 2017

By: CriteoLabs / 26 Jul 2017

Processes are everywhere. Whatever the field you are part of (military, healthcare, business or software), they describe precisely all the interactions amongst the different stakeholders by capturing the order of activities and the flow of information and data produced and consumed. Processes are not only representing the means of a company to deliver its product and services, but also to represent its government procedures, regulations, policies, know-how, and best practices. They are the building blocks of a company’s profitability and success. However, process must be agile to capture and maintain customers’ needs to continuously provide value.

UPMC campus, photo credit

This year,  ICSSP, an academic international conferences on software and system processes was organised by UPMC/LIP6 (Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Laboratoire d’Informatique Paris 6) in Paris for it’s 10th edition from the 5th till 7th July. ICSSP belives there is considerable value in the reconciliation of business, systems engineering and software engineering processes.

Tom Zimmermann from Microsoft

Many prestigious speakers from over the world came to speak and network about research outcomes and industrial best-practices in process development.
This year, the keynote was presented by  Dr. Tom Zimmermann, a senior researcher in the Software Engineering group at Microsoft Research from Microsoft USA.
Dr. Tom spoke about how at Microsoft they use a scientific approach based on data analytics to infer insights about the way their software teams work.
These information allows them to improve not only the understanding and productivity of their individual software developers, but also to boost the productivity of their team in building software.
Kuhrmann et al. presented a survey on hybrid software development approaches from 69 study participants showing that, in practice, a wide variety of development approaches are used and combined.
Tregubov et al.  studied the impact of task switching and work interruptions on software development processes. While it’s quite common for a software engineer to switch between different tasks throughout a work day, it’s impact on productivity and cost hasn’t been deeply studied.
While it’s not possible here to summarise the whole conference talks and papers, interested readers can have a look at the ICSSP’17  proceedings.

Criteo team spreading love at ICSSP’17

Criteo was a proud sponsor at this year’s conference. Generally speaking, Criteo is big on software processes, hence  one of the main reasons behind our presnce at ICSSP. Every quarter, tech leaders and  EPMs  define their team’s  Objectives and Keys Results (OKR) to fit the global strategy and needs of the R&D.

Depending on the team size and goals, teams use  Kanban  or  Scrum  agile practices in Criteo, and sometimes a mix of both. Teams that are more oriented as services provider generally choose Kanban to be more flexible and reactive in case of unexpected needs/problems. They are more geared towards a continuous flow of works.

Otherwise, most of the team applies Scrum practices with a two weeks sprints that we synchronise amongst the whole R&D. This way, it is possible for teams to collaborate and synchronize on new feature requirements, but most of all, commit on what will be shipped over the next two weeks. Sprints tasks are the top priority. Teams are not religiously following all the agile ceremonies. While retrospective, team health checks, planning of tasks, daily stand-up,  code reviews, and code deployment are quite generalized, not all team are doing demo every sprints. Dev leads and EPMs of the respective teams are always striving at improving our processes and believe that they should bends to the team needs.

If you feel ready to start the Criteo journey, please have a look and apply  here .

Post written by:

Yoann Laurent

Software Engineer R&D


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