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Through The Keyhole #41 – Bootcamp from an ANDi perspective

25 November 2016 | Oli Kennon | About a 2 minute read
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Gathering a roomful of strangers together, all uniquely talented and with their very own ANDtitle to boot, for four weeks and asking them to think of their brain in terms of primary colours, embrace laughing yoga, wiggle off the weekend each Monday, and throw enough domains specific language at them to last a lifetime might, to the uninitiated, sound like a rather strange way to spend a month. In fact, in my experience Bootcamp turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. With some ANDis bringing many years of experience, some fresh from the finest universities in the land, all bringing their digital expertise to enrich each other’s experiences and bond as a newly formed Squad; Orion.

After a hearing of AND Digital’s Big Hairy Audacious Goals (affectionately known as BHAGs) and learning our HBDI preferences – predominantly blue, if anyone was wondering – the newbies started to feel settled in the AND Digital environment. As Bootcamp progressed, we learned more and more about our new company, its unique cultures, values and its approach to realising value for clients, we learned the ins and outs of what being Product Analysts and Product Developers entails. This was mostly around the dark arts in setting up environments and when we received our very own digital masterclass. But it wasn’t all fun and games, there was a serious round of Junkyard golf thrown in for the competitive in nature (the winners know who they are)!

Onto the Build week, leaving the theoretical and engaging with the practical to go and build (read, break) internal products. With just a week to design, build and test, some chose the audacious task of implementing a new security architecture to allow clients the ability to access content, others decided the real value was in providing increased administrator functionality. Both teams delivered business benefit and value, reviewing and showcasing their development in the ritual end of sprint review, to much critical acclaim.

 

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At the end of the four weeks of Bootcamp there had been tears, joy, ups and downs. OK, no tears, and very few downs – the overriding feelings being ones of satisfaction, thrill, enjoyment and accomplishment for all involved. We’d entered as strangers with lots of potential, and we’d left as fully-fledged members of the AND Digital family, attuned and performing as a tight-knit team, which was the point all along.

One person we must thank for facilitating all of this, making us “wiggle it out”, and being forever a patient font of knowledge and guidance, is Kate Willcox. Thank you.

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