How we guarantee continuous development and transparency at Akanoo

No matter how good a software is, there are always opportunities to improve it. At Akanoo, we apply Scrum methods to improve our workflow and software continuously.

Scrum is an agile software development framework that is designed to deliver new software updates every two to four weeks. As a young company with a heterogeneous team of Data Scientists, Programmers and Developers, not all Scrum methods are applicable for us. That is why we only use some selected Scrum methods and adapt them to our workflow. We mainly use the following two methods:

Creating transparency with Daily Standups

Every morning the Tech team meets for a Daily Standup. The meeting usually takes about 5-10 minutes and kicks off the working day. If desired, members from other teams can attend the meeting.

The aim is to create more transparency about the tasks the team members are working on. Therefore every member answers the following three questions:

  1. What have I done yesterday?
  2. Has anything stopped me from doing it?
  3. What will I do today?

Improving our workflow with Sprint Retrospectives

Compared to the Daily Standups, a Sprint Retrospective is a recurring meeting to reflect on the work that has been done since the last retrospective. At Akanoo, the Tech team does a Sprint Retrospective every three weeks. The purpose of the meeting is to improve the entire development process.

To that end, we firstly identify what went well, what went wrong and what could be done differently to improve. Changes that result from this meeting can range from small adjustments like organizing tickets in a different way, to large changes that affect the whole company, like realizing the necessity for a new position in the company.

It is important that the attendants can express their views freely and without judgement. Therefore, only the team members are allowed to attend the meeting. To create a relaxed atmosphere where the team members feel free to openly express their views, we try to make the retrospective a bit different each time. For example, sometimes it can take place outside in the open air or in a neighbouring coffee shop. In the end, we create a bonding of team members and identify challenges in an early stage.

You can find further information about Daily Standups and Sprint Retrospectives on scrumalliance.org or dzone.com.

Zwei Wochen Schülerpraktikum bei Akanoo – Der Insiderbericht

Praktikant Benjamin Kunze bei Akanoo

Warum hast du dich entschieden bei uns dein Schülerpraktikum zu absolvieren?

Weil ich mich für Online Marketing und IT interessiere und bei einem Unternehmen Praktikum machen wollte, dass nicht so viele Mitarbeiter hat. Außerdem wollte ich auch etwas bewegen und nicht nur den Kaffee holen. Deswegen habe ich im Internet nach solchen Unternehmen recherchiert und bin dann auf Akanoo aufmerksam geworden. Als ich dann auch den ersten Kontakt mit dem Unternehmen hatte, hat es auf mich einen positiven Eindruck gemacht.

Was waren Deine Aufgaben?

Ein guter Plan hilft bei jedem Praktikum

Ich hatte unterschiedliche Aufgaben, aber hauptsächlich coden für die Webseite von Akanoo. Ich sollte einen Rechner programmieren, der den Kunden zeigt, wie viel mehr Umsatz sie mit Akanoo machen können und die Website verschönern im Karriere-Bereich. Aber ich hatte auch andere Aufgaben zum Beispiel ein paar Webseiten zu analysieren und nach Tag Managern Ausschau halten.

Wie hat Dir das Praktikum gefallen? Was war besonders gut oder interessant?

Mir hat das Praktikum sehr viel Spaß gemacht, weil hier so eine positive Arbeitsathmosphäre herrscht und jeder sich mit jedem gut versteht. Wenn ich Hilfe brauchte, dann konnte ich jeden fragen und jeder hat mir dann geholfen. Ich habe sehr viel gelernt. Es gab auch gewisse Hürden, aber die habe ich mit Hilfe des Akanoo Teams sehr gut meistern können.
Sehr gut hat mir auch gefallen, dass niemand abweisend war und alle mich als ,,Kollegen“ akzeptiert haben. Ich habe einen sehr guten Blick in die Arbeitswelt bekommen und freue mich, dass ich für zwei Wochen ein Teil der Akanoo-Familie sein durfte.

Meet our new Sales Manager Malte

Malte has joined our team in January as a Sales Manager. In his interview, he will tell you more about his passion for sales and business development.

What have you done before joining us?

Except a handful of internships, I haven’t done a job for a long term yet . Last year I established the company ‘die Herren Edel GmbH’, where I work as CEO. Also, I am still studying economy engineering at University of Hamburg, looking forward to graduate next year.

What are your responsibilities at Akanoo?

At Akanoo, I am part of the sales team and acquire customers to increase the revenue.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Again and again, I get the chance, to convince managers to first: Talk with me for some minutes and second: To take 30 minutes for a presentation. It’s a challenging task, and I like the feeling when it works, the feeling to know that I am able to talk straight to managers in high positions.

And what do you usually do after work?

For me, after work is before work. I have some other projects, especially my own company, but also business ideas that I am developing. I am a businessman by heart. That’s why I actually won’t call it work – it’s my passion. Also I am doing Bikram Yoga for my health and my soul and I read a lot, mostly biographies other non-fiction books.

Which colleague would you take with you to a lonely island and why?

I would take Fabian, because he has similar interests as I have, so I guess talking to him and trying to create something new and build some practical things at the island would be much fun, even if we can’t help people with it or  sell it

Which attraction/part of Hamburg do you think you should definitely visit and why?

I like the chocoversum, a chocolate museum. It’s yummy and interesting at the same time. :-)

Which apps could you never do without and why?

The HVV app, because I would always miss trains and buses and annoy everyone of my friends, being too late.

These blogs/websites belong to my daily reading:

www.dieherrenedel.de

On the web you can find me here:

Xing

Top 4 Akanoo Name Twins

Ever wondered where our name Akanoo came from? Our name “Akanoo” originates from the Maori language. It means to “persuade” or “create” and thus fits perfectly to our Predictive Analytics solutions.

But, we are not the only ones, who think it is a great name. Here are our Top 4 name twins:

1. Akanoo, the Rapper

In the music business names are almost as important as sound. We have a name twin who is active in the rapper scene:

2. Akano Animee Artist

Apart from Hip Hop, we have a name twin, who performs anime songs and does some vocaloid.

3. Material Arts Fighter Akano

Furthermore, we have a name twin, who is a professional Material Arts Fighter from Japan.

4. Educational Channel Akanoo cc

In education, our name is popular, too. Akanoo cc is an educational YouTube channel from Bahrain, that is streaming conferences and music performances.

Meet our new Data Scientist Torge

Torge is supporting the Data Science team since December. To give you an impression of him and his responsibilities we asked him to answer the Akanoo team member questionnaire:

What have you done before joining us?

I worked for a few years at Hamburg University of Technology as a research assistant where I wrote my Phd thesis in mathematics.

What are your responsibilities at Akanoo?

I am a Data Scientist and as such it is my responsibility to answer data-related questions and develop/improve our statistical model.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Besides having great colleagues I enjoy being able to apply my knowledge as a mathematician.

And what do you usually do after work?

After work I usually take a long trip to Stade, where I currently live.

Which colleague would you take with you to a lonely island and why?

Sven, since he is the oldest and wisest of us all.

Which attraction/part of Hamburg do you think you should definitely visit and why?

The new Elbphilharmonie, since I am anxious to see what the acoustics are like.

Which apps could you never do without and why?

Threema and Netflix. I use Threema to communicate and Netflix as a remote for the TV.

These blogs/websites belong to my daily reading:

Currently Reddit.

Successful, happy & healthy 2017!

Dear clients, contacts, partners and everyone else around: we wish you a terrific start for 2017! All the best from the team at Akanoo!

Akanoo Christmas Party 2016
Akanoo Christmas Party 2016

Meet our new Sales Manager Gwen

gwen_emplyoee_interview

We are happy to welcome Gwen as part of our Sales Team. To give you an impression of her and to show you how she convinced us to work together, we asked her to answer our questionnaire for new team members.

What have you done before joining us?

I worked for a online marketing and print company (that doesn’t exist anymore) and in two online games companies as online marketing and sales manager for France.

What are your responsibilities at Akanoo?

Acquiring new customers for the French market and account management for existing customers.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Being in contact with people.

And what do you usually do after work?

Take care of my two kids.

Which colleague would you take with you to a lonely island and why?

Everybody or nobody! And as long as I’m the only full-time woman here at the moment (and being French), it would be way too tendentious!

Which attraction/part of Hamburg do you think you should definitely visit and why?

The old city center because of its history and the French crêperie. :)

Which apps could you never do without and why?

Google maps, for obvious reasons!

These blogs/websites belong to my daily reading:

On the web you can find me here:

New customers: Schecker and Testrut

new_customer_schecker_testrut

We are happy to announce the collaboration with two new customers: Schecker and Testrut.

We met the Schecker employees during our pitch for the Rising Star Award and could convince them of our technology. Schecker is a specialist dealer for dog supplies. In their online shop dog owners can buy everything their heart desires. The second new client for Akanoo is Testrut, an international supplier for house and garden accessories.

We are looking forward to successful collaborations and a a lot of effective campaigns.