Operations in Jip-en-Janekketaal. Back to children stories when dreams come true, and software engineers and operations are talking the same language.

Once upon a time at bol.com, the biggest online retailer in the Netherlands, the IT department was split in Operations and Scrum teams. As we grew in size and we moved towards continuous delivery, the necessity for a more DevOps approach arised. We saw that we can benefit to get closer to each other, which resulted in splitting operations into SRTs (Space Reliability Teams) that worked closer to the Scrum teams. However, there is a lot of diversity in the Scrum teams, people with different backgrounds; testers, information analysts, database developers, java developers, newbies. Sometimes, it even felt we don’t even speak the same language with OPs.

This language barrier is causing confusion, frustration, and even delays in solving issues, simply because there is not enough insight in to what we do and know. After a very productive evening of drinks, we decided to tackle a part of this; the communication between our SRT (OPs) and our guys & girls from the Scrum teams (DEVs). To do this, we, three struggling developers that dare to dream, created documentation on all kinds of stuff that we did not understand in, as we say in dutch, Jip-en-Janekketaal (simple understandable language). Consequently, we bothered those people who do know about it and documented it. After that we wanted to share what we learnt and enlighten our colleagues that were still in the dark that this was the way to go.

For this purpose, we piloted with 9 Scrum teams and 2 SRTs, and measured with a questionnaire the situation before and after using the documentation. We would like to share this journey and the result with you… So stay tuned!



Mary Gouseti

Jonathan, Mary and Wouter started working at bol.com as Young Professionals. They started as newbies in different parts of the company but ended up being struggling developers with the same aspiration: to not just run things on production but also understand it like Operations. Jonathan wants to know how everything works together and aspires to be the full stack guru that people can always turn to. Mary studied Informatics and fell in love with programming languages; however, prefers to work in the industry. Main passion is coding but on the side she likes to make an impact. Wouter is a common dutch name but there is nothing common about him, he tried different studies till he chose software development. He likes software development because he likes how IT affects the real world.