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My first weeks @ Picnic

24 November 2019

Day 2, I pressed a button and deployed my first release to production at Picnic. You will think: Picnic? Isn’t that the company of those little vehicles with groceries? Do they have IT?

This was exactly what I thought until I read Sander Mak made a switch a few months ago. I looked at their Github repositories: Java development!

After a round of interviews and a technical assessment, at the beginning of October I was told that I could start at Picnic. At that time I was still working at Blueriq, so my first day would be the 4th of November. My first assignment via Team of Teams!

That Monday I was warmly welcomed. I went to the introduction with the "new hires" of that week. Something I did not expect but which made me feel right at home. That day was all about "what is Picnic?" I learned a lot about the mission and vision and I now understand why there is such a large group of developers working at Picnic.

As a Picnic customer, you probably only see the Picnic app to order groceries, but actually the developers support all processes within Picnic. From the app for consumers to the Runners in the EPV’s (Electric Picnic Vehicles) and the Shoppers in the distribution centers. Everything is automated and for that you need a lot of developers. If I'm not mistaken, there are 16 development teams. That is a serious department.

Each team is responsible for the entire lifecycle of one or more products (applications). This means building, testing, releasing and deploying to production. For anyone who has ever worked in IT, you will know it is a challenge for many companies to bring anything to production, but at Picnic it happens several times a day. At Picnic they understand that the more often you do this, the smoother this goes. They get immediate feedback that forces them to deliver only high quality software.

Despite the fact that every team is working on its own applications, there is a huge "we" culture. Everyone is very willing to help each other, for example with reviewing PRs (Pull Request). And when a new feature is deployed to production this is immediately celebrated. How do they celebrate you might wonder? Well, via the easiest but most effective way: giving each other credit! And they use Slack for it:

So, this all sounds pretty awesome, right? Actually, it does. With over 23 different nationalities it looks like a really cool place to work. But…in a continuously growing company, how do manage to keep your quality of service, quality of software and culture? I don’t have an answer just yet but hopefully I will find out in the coming months. Keep you posted!

Sander