7 min read

How do we apply knowledge sharing in our teams? GetInData Guilds

Do you remember our blog post about our internal initiatives such as Lunch & Learn and internal training? If yes, that’s great! If you didn’t get the chance to read it before, please check: How do we apply knowledge sharing in our teams? GetInData’s internal initiatives. Today, we would like to introduce  one more knowledge sharing initiative to you, on which we have been working for a while. It’s called GetInData Guilds. 

What is a Guild?

The term "guild" in German means "union" and  in Latin, "fraternity" and its appearance in the Middle Ages, where the first union was created. At that time, the guilds had a different function, such as defensive, religious or social. What about today? 

The term gained popularity thanks to the document published by Spotify in 2012: Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds where Henrik Kinberg & Anders Ivarsson defined a guild as a wide-reaching "community of interest", a group of people that want to share knowledge, tools, code and practices. Inspired by Spotify, at GetInData we define a guild as a community of people who are passionate about the same Big Data topic. 

Why did we create Guilds? 

Of course, it’s about knowledge sharing. Working with and learning from great people are amongst the most beneficial things at work. At Getindata we are all a group of such, but we work for separate customers and projects and sometimes it is difficult to benefit from that. Each project has its own lessons learned which are valuable to share. Often, we are not aware of other people solving similar problems, just because we didn't get the chance to drink a beer together at a party. Being able to hear the opinions of other people based on their experience in other real-life projects is the unique potential of GetInData and we want to explore it further. 

What kind of Guilds have we got?

Currently we have 4 active and 1 to be launch guilds at GetInData:

The Devops guild, is a group of Big Data Experts curious about devops practices and wanting to share knowledge, solve problems or improve our standards together. What theme can you find there? Recently we discussed ArgoCD as the preferred gitops tool for K8s workloads and the new GID AWS organization. During the meetings, we often talk about deployment platforms on clients projects or discuss specific big and small tools such as Argo CD, OpenXPKI, OKD, CDK, Rancher and more. We have 26 members of the DevOps Guild.

The Data Engineering guild is a group where we can talk about onboarding a new technology to a project. During the meetings, we share lessons learned or discuss the problems we experienced throughout the project. Recently, we covered the top 3 Spark training sessions, Data Governance as a must-have or low-priority feature and Radek gave a presentation on migration from HDP to K8s at one of our projects. We already have 61 members of the Data Engineering Guild and this number is growing.

Below you can watch an introduction given by Paweł Leszczyński on one of the Data Engineering Guild. ATTENTION - it is not a professional recording, but we encourage you to watch to the end :)

The MLOps guild is a group of people interested in applying DevOps principles to Machine Learning initiatives. We discuss the challenges in the current MLOps projects and solutions for them, we also prepare demos of the ML platform for our clients. During the regular meetings we often share insights on new technologies and ideas, one of the latest is MLFlow Vertex AI deployment plugin. There are 44 MLOps fans in this Guild.

The Advanced Analytics Guild mostly consists of Data Science / Machine learning specialists. We are broadening it to include specialists in: BI/Data visualization, Data analytics, Culture / psychology of organizations and its influence on analytics adoption, Project Management in Analytics and any other subjects which may help to create, develop and drive data-driven cultures in companies. At the moment we have 33 active members of Advance Analytics Guild

getindata-guilds-advanced-analytics

The Streaming Guild - interested in real-time stream processing? We do our best to start one more guild at our company dedicated to the people interested in stream processing. The Streaming Guild will be a perfect place for Flink fans:)

How do we share knowledge in Guilds?

Let’s talk a little bit about how we organize knowledge sharing at guilds. What do they have in common?

  • each guild has its own coordinators - who initiate meetings and host each meeting
  • guilds meet online every 2-3 weeks 
  • we collect topics for each guild meetings in advance, so that other group members can get to know them ealier
  • all people interested can join a slack channel dedicated to each of the groups. There we discuss everyday problems and share some interesting news
  • notes in confluence - each guild has its own space in our WIKI, you can find there notes and video records from the meetings. 

Why is it worth joining?

While working on the project you spend most of your time with a semi-static set of technologies, you discuss decisions with the same people and cooperate within the same scale of challenges. Attending guild meetings allows you to go beyond those boundaries and see what bothers others, what tools they use and how they design solutions. Moreover, the discussion part is what I value the most - no bullshit, no sales talk, just pure data experts talking.

Mariusz Strzelecki, Data Engineer

Regular guild meetings are the platform for knowledge sharing between different teams and projects within GetInData. It's a great opportunity to hear others' success stories, lessons learnt and experience with the latest data tools and products. I believe that learning from others is the best a company could offer to its employees and guilds should serve that purpose.

Paweł Leszczyński, Data Engineer

Guilds are a great way to encourage knowledge exchange and collaboration across people from different teams. My first hand experience is that after initiating the guild in our domain (Advanced Analytics), we started to really get to know each other. We now have a culture of mutual help. If someone has a problem, it's easy to identify a "go to person" or organize a brainstorming session. It translates into higher quality of work, as you can now support your experience with one of your colleagues. It also helped to clarify that some people are interested in particular topics and can contribute to our community through other initiatives, like researching a promising technology.

Piotr Menclewicz, Data Analyst

Our internal guilds are a unique experience, since all the subject matter experts and people that are eager to learn can gather and exchange their thoughts and ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. Personally, it's one of my favourite moments of the week as I can finally talk to my colleagues from different projects about topics they actually understand. In the DevOps guild, participants often present unique solutions to the bizarre problems our customers are facing. I find it really important for our engineers to be a part of that, since this can open their minds and they can adopt some of the fantastic techniques that come up  daily at work. 

Jakub Igła, Lead DevOps Engineer

Join our Guilds, join the GetInData Big Data Experts Team. 

Did you find GetInData Guilds interesting? Would you like to join them to share knowledge or get it from other big data experts?  We are waiting for you! 

GetInData is growing and we are looking for Data Analysts, Data Engineers, Cloud Engineers, ML Engineers, Delivery Managers and more.

Please check out our job offers on our careers site and send a CV.

streaming
big data
DevOps
MLOps
ITjobs
Guilds
Knowledge Sharing
Data Engineering
Advanced Analytics
23 August 2022

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