Tech Team

The mission of engageSPARK is to help organizations interact with anyone, anywhere. We from the Tech Team are building and running the platform that makes this possible.

A few facts about us:

  • We are multiculinary: Whether you like brewing German beer, barbecuing Hungarian sausage, preparing Indian Dhosa, frying Philippine sisig or cooking Polish Borscht, you’ll find someone to enjoy it with. Isn’t that a good thing? Different, interesting food all over!
  • We are a remote team. Some of us are in Cebu City, Philippines—where it all started—others are in India, Spain or somewhere in Asia. We travel often. In Joel Gascoigne’s classification, we’re a 3 on a way to a 4.
  • Programming languages we’re betting on: Golang, JavaScript, Python
  • Pictures? Did you say pictures?
  • We are looking for you!

What else should you know? Maybe the most important question is:

How do we improve?

And it is a good question. It’s a value of ours after all. And it’s the ability to improve that ultimately makes us an effective team. Some thoughts:

  • Everyone can improve it. This is not (just) the CTO’s job. Something regularly ruins your day? You better start a change.
  • Document and automate. We document our processes and support them with automation. That means for example we decide to remind ourselves to take carer of old issues. And we make our chatbot remind us, every day.
  • Let’s try. It’s an attitude. Maybe something is not broken, but maybe it can be better? Let’s try. Do we know if removing the Daily Standup will work? Maybe not. Let’s try.
  • Everything changes. All those processes and tools—up for change.

How do we work?

  • We are a remote team. We’re putting that first, because it changes how we collaborate. And because it’s not easy to pull off, and it’s never “done”. That’s why we dedicated a page of its own to how we work remotely.
  • We use GitHub to organize ourselves. (This mostly still up to date blog post talks about details.) GitHub also stores our code, we create pull requests there and do code reviews.
  • Jenkins checks our pull requests by running tests and static code analyzers and deploys into production.
  • Our QA is there to help the engineers. Not to do their job. Engineers solve problems in adequate quality.
  • We want to move fast. Perfect is the enemy of the good and good enough. Quality needs to be adequate, but it must be adequate.

 

Tech cloud

Ansible, AWS, Django, Docker, errbot, Git, GitHub, Go, Java, JavaScript, Jenkins, k8s, Linux/Ubuntu, NGINX, Postgres, Python, React, SNS/SQS (AWS), Thrift

If you want to know more, read our blog. Here are some excerpts:

6 Examples How Humanitarian AI Increases Impact Around the World

As the ChatGPT news makes the round, articles pop up discussing what role similar AI tools can play in the humanitarian sector. However, while ChatGPT might be the new shiny tool that made the news, deploying AI in the humanitarian sector is not a new thing. In fact,...

How engageSPARK Helps You with USAID’s Accountability and Feedback Plans (AFPs)

How do you make sure that your intervention actually benefits the constituents you're trying to serve? How do you make sure that it has maximum impact? These and related questions usually have one answer: M&E—Monitoring and evaluation. Recently, USAID—that giant...

5 Benefits of Using Interactive Voice Response Phone Surveys

If you manage a call center, you know that achieving success is about maintaining a delicate balance. On the one hand, you want to ensure that your team works efficiently with as many clients as possible. On the other hand, you must provide exceptional customer...

17 Business Tools Every Business Needs in 2022

Businesses have begun to embrace allowing their employees to work remotely since it has become the new normal. Although companies are gradually becoming more comfortable employing hybrid and remote teams, one obstacle remains. Unfortunately, not all business...

The Difference Between Measurement and Evaluation (And Why It Matters)

Both measurement and evaluation are tools for keeping track of a person's or a group's development in a business or academic setting. The results of the measure evaluation aid in developing prospective and efficient solutions that might be implemented to guarantee key...