Murfie: Training

Pair. Learn. Build. How our mentorship offering helped build an agile development team for Murfie.

The Problem

Bendyworks had successfully handed off the development work of the Murfie.com website to the Murfie team. Murfie wanted to grow their team with passionate, talented people who they trusted to become expert web developers.

Like most development shops, Murfie could not allow their backlog of stories to grow while they paused to build the team. Furthermore, the new team had to be working on real code as soon as possible, shipping code from day one.

They turned to us to bring their new developers to the next level.

The Solution

Bendyworks constructed a training program tailored to the Murfie developers’ skill levels. Rather than spend time in a classroom, Murfie developers paired one-on-one with Bendyworkers from day one. The pairs worked on Murfie’s website, building new features rather than working on contrived examples.

Pairing constantly is intense — and we knew that. We mixed whiteboard time, pairing at a workstation and group discussions to maximize knowledge transfer on long days of pairing.

Our experience shows that pair programming is an excellent way to transfer knowledge. Communication during pairing is free and open: experienced developers can catch errors early on and promote better habits while the junior developer can always ask questions and gets to see how expert work is done. At Murfie, we were able to instill the values of software craftsmanship and show the benefits of taking care of your code.

A training program like this may appear ambitious, but Bendyworks has the proven expertise in leveling up developers. We’ve been honing these skills for years through our own internal training, mentoring clients and community members, and teaching Rails classes at Madison College and UW Madison.

The Results

Murfie’s internal development team matured and grew into practicing software craftspeople. We were able to pull off a redesign of the entire Murfie.com site while teaching refactoring and frontend skills.

All the while, we maintained good programming practices and were able to teach the complicated skill set required for the modern Rails developer: git, vim, Rails, test-driven development and more. The Murfie team was able to continue developing the codebase without us — something we love to hear!

Copyright 2017. Made with love by Bendyworkers in Madison, Wisconsin