Teams are one of the most important elements of an organisation. Sometimes, a team works well together, and other times, they struggle. Therefore, it is important to identify the practices that help to shape optimal ways of working and unlock performance.

A team will not be productive by chance, or by default, let’s walk through some of the practices and ideas that can help to foster productivity from day one.

These practices are based on the ways of working of my current team, which is based on Scrum. They can be easily adapted to your agile flavour of choice.

Sense of purpose — the journey


With the incredible volume of data available today, and the technologies to extract the best out of it, people and companies now have an enhanced capacity for taking informed decisions, and on a much wider spectrum than before. However, to have all this data at your disposal does not mean success. Now that we are more informed, how to persuade and influence people so that they get engaged and value your information? How to use data properly to promote a high insight-to-value conversion rate?

Data Visualization: an emerging skill?

In recent years we’ve seen a growing number of data professionals being hired by companies worldwide…

Well, the single use may not be entirely true, once you can do double exposures. This story is about enjoying 35mm film photograph.

Photo 1 — Scan of a gelatin silver print from Foma ISO 100 35mm negative

The above picture was taken in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There is nothing special in the composition, however, it was a major achievement in my 35mm film photography journey. The photo was taken with Foma ISO 100 BW negative film and it has been processed at home, from the negative to the enlargement in photography paper in a dark room, or better saying, my dark bathroom. …

The kind of integration tests this story is about are the ones to be executed both on the dev machine, and in the CI/CD pipeline. The aim is to maximise confidence before the API takes off.

The technologies applied here are: Kotlin, Spring Boot 2, Kotest, Mockito, RestAssured and TestContainers.

I will explore the goals which I believe to be necessary for good integration tests:

  • It is easy to understand what is under test
  • A dedicated database is setup to serve sample data (for the projects that needs one)
  • It is easy to create data driven tests
  • It is easy…

Alessandro Lemser

Engineering Lead at Zalando. I’m passionated for creating a productive, inclusive and safe environment for people to work. I'm also a photography enthusiast.

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