IBM Cloud Garage: A Developer’s Perspective on Five Years

By Andy Nguyen

IBM Cloud Garage and new frontiers

The early days of IBM Cloud Garage felt like the Wild West, and expanding into new frontier was no easy undertaking.

I joined the Cloud Garage in March of 2015 as a developer, approximately one year after its inception. From my own perspective, the first two months were rewarding but also challenging. Incorporating pair programming and test-driven development (TDD) as the fundamental practices for development called for constant communication and discipline. When you add in eight-hour days, you eventually partake in the stereotypical Silicon Valley debates with your team about vim vs. IDE, single or double quotes, and tabs vs. spaces.

Still, I cannot imagine doing it any other way. Without our healthy debates and insightful collaboration, we would not have been able to see our results through clean, readable code. Above all else, the camaraderie we developed with one another played a large role in our success. After all, having fun is something we all love to do at the Cloud Garage.

IBM Cloud Garage and new frontiers

Exciting growth and the consistency of the IBM Garage Method

Over the course of the last few years, our team has grown and our Cloud Garage locations have expanded. It’s hard to believe that the Cloud Garage was once limited to San Francisco and London. Now it’s exciting to see that we have fifteen locations all over the world.

The best part? No matter which Cloud Garage location you find yourself in, it feels as if you’ve never left home. Any of us can speak to the consistency of the IBM Garage Method. This method allows any Cloud Garage IBMer to have a seamless entrance into a project. What’s more impactful, though, is that each contributor is humble, helpful, and hungry for success (and snacks!). I am fortunate enough to help launch Cloud Garages worldwide, and for that, I am truly thankful.

The MVP state of mind

A large part of our success has come from treating every new idea and process with a minimum viable product (MVP) state of mind. This means that we would test our biggest unknown assumption with a minimalistic approach. That being said, we are always continuing to improve our design thinking workshops, inceptions, standups, playbacks, and retros.

As we move towards our fifth anniversary, I hope we can maintain our startup DNA. While wearing multiple hats, each of us is able to identify more effective ways of improving our cross-functional collaboration. Although a developer myself, I love being able to pick the brains of a designer and provide feedback that could ultimately improve the user experience.

A shoutout to everyone I’ve ever worked with or met in my experiences with the Cloud Garage. The impact the Cloud Garage has made on my life and career has been unparalleled, and I am excited to share and continue this growth with our newest members and future clients.

This blog is a part of a series celebrating the fifth anniversary of the IBM Cloud Garage. 

To learn more about the IBM Cloud Garage, find our story, resources, and method here. If you would like to see how the IBM Cloud Garage can help your business, schedule a cost-free, four-hour virtual visit with us. We’d love to help you turn that idea into a reality.

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