My responsibilities are to ensure that everyone is following joint goals, that all developers work in harmony, and that the team stays healthy overall. It’s important that we as developers improve our skill set, but it is equally important that we can apply it in an environment and around people we feel comfortable with.
Again, continuous feedback plays a really important role here. What other companies do bi-annually or annually, we do every week: Leads are required to sit down with every team member individually and make sure that everyone gets to speak their mind if they have a problem. Many people, especially developers (and I am no exception) tend to overthink things, begin to think that they themselves are the problem, or won’t address issues at all if they don’t get the chance to articulate it soon after the issue occurs. These weekly feedback sessions are meant to avoid conflicts and solve problems early on.
Our feedback loop works both ways: I might have the most work experience as a developer, but I certainly don’t know everything: In a leading position, it is important to accept one’s own limitations. The same goes for managerial tasks. As Lead Developer, I try to build a bridge between product management and the developers — I need to understand why we need to adhere to certain deadlines and need to communicate in case it might be impossible to do so from a technical perspective. Being that bridge in the company and managing the team accordingly, without making developers feel like they are being micromanaged, is a difficult task. I am always thankful for every piece of advice and feedback I get — I, too, want to keep learning.
Sure, hiring only experienced developers would make some things much easier (and we hire those as well to maintain a healthy mix), but eventually, investing in talented juniors pays off. As a startup that keeps growing, we are willing to give those folks with high potential all the space they need to develop further and grow with us. Eventually, I want my developers to be able to replace me — someone who is irreplaceable is also non-promotable and I want to see neither my team nor myself stuck in the same position forever.
At Kolibri Games, we empower junior developers by giving them responsibility from their first day on. We boost their confidence by letting them work on actual features that will make their way into the game and allowing them to have a direct impact on the product.
“We believe in learning” is one of our core values: We believe that learning brings more than just technical skill — learning together creates functioning and resilient teams that can achieve great things.
At Kolibri Games, we believe that limited work experience or a CV that is missing famous company names should not get in the way of your dream job. Show what you are made of and you will get your chance!
All the best,