A week with Guillermo Snipe (and the Backbase Academy Team)

Hola! I am Guillermo, Frontend Technical Trainer at Backbase Academy. I joined Backbase seven months ago. I lived all my life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, until I was offered the great opportunity to join the company.

The team

It’s a real challenge to have all the team in the same room, the same day, so here are some pictures of us.

Mohit, Nitin, Sunny and Matt from Backbase

Mohit, Nitin, Sunny and Matt.

Ronen, Diego, Bas, Claudio, Roxana, Pamela, Kayzhe, Alanna, Alex, Guillermo and Varun at Backbase.

Ronen, Diego, Bas, Claudio, Roxana, Pamela, Kayzhe, Alanna, Alex, Guillermo and Varun.

Peter, Wouter, Kees and Dragoslav at Backbase.

Peter, Wouter, Kees and Dragoslav (you already know the ones that were not mentioned).

What we do

At the academy, we are responsible for delivering training courses for all our products, to our colleagues and our customers around the world. This involves tasks like creating training materials, creating and maintaining product documentation, getting involved in the product development cycle, and travelling everywhere in the world. (Yes, it’s awesome!)

I’m not going to travel this week, so I won’t be able to share cool pictures, but here’s a video of the last trips that I did. (TL;DW, LOTS of plane pictures/videos, and pictures of places that I’ve visited).

A week together

Monday … Nobody is happy on Monday morning, but the sun is shining over Amsterdam and that’s a good reason to be in a good mood. My daily routine includes a trip from Amsterdam West to the company HQ via Central Station. I always enjoy doing some sightseeing in this wonderful city.

Amsterdam Central Station area.

Amsterdam Central Station area.

It’s Monday and my meetings are aware of it. 9.30AM, time for our first Academy Standup meeting of the week. No travelling this week, lot of trainings are in the arrangements stage (training venues, contracts, etc), so I’ll be working with Kay, Varun and Diego – Frontend Trainers – improving our Frontend course.

It’s not so common to be at the office at the same time, all of us, so it’s going to be a great opportunity to sit together to transform all the feedback that we collected from our attendees during our last trainings, into an effective improvement to the training course.

Afternoon is here and it’s time to deliver a Mobile SDK Walkthrough session to Matt, a Frontend Trainer Colleague who’s working in the Atlanta team.

Tuesday … Trainers Standup time. During this meeting (intended just for Academy trainers), we discuss everything related to upcoming training sessions, schedule assignments and any other detail related to training stuff.

Today is also the day for our ‘letsrevampthefrontendtrainingcourse’ kickoff meeting. As in any other process that we go through, we discuss our current status, what we’re trying to improve, and how we’re going to improve it. Dragoslav (Head of Training) led the meeting. We were able to design a first draft for our improved training materials.

It’s always nice to come back home, even more if you can enjoy this landscape after getting off the tram.

It’s always nice to come back home, even more if you can enjoy this landscape after getting off the tram.

Wednesday … Time to do a walkthrough over the training materials, first draft, and start doing some extra refinement. It has been a very productive meeting. We revamped our training agenda and we plan to improve some training exercises.

Time for a break… “Bixby, take a picture of us…”

Time for a break… “Bixby, take a picture of us…”

We’re targeting to deliver this version of the training at the beginning of next month, meaning that we have two weeks to get all the work done. Varun will deliver it (and he will deliver) for the very first time ever. Double challenge.

Thursday … After reviewing what was done yesterday, we decided to keep moving in the same direction. The slides are in a very good shape, the improved exercises are getting done, but we have some questions for the R&D team, so Diego arranged a meeting with them for tomorrow morning.
We were also invited for a Backbase hands-on session. During this session, we would be able to test and play with the new version of our products. Having this kind of session is highly valuable for us, because we will be aware of what’s coming next, and we can contribute by providing feedback that’s coming from our experience in delivering training, and listening to our customers about their needs.

Friday … It has been a long week: lots of meetings, brainstorming and product research. The latter brought some questions to us that will be addressed by the R&D guys this morning. The meeting clarified all our questions. We were also told about the front-end architecture improvements that will be released in the upcoming months. It’s already noon, so time for a quick lunch, and then get ready for the hands-on session.

Lunch at Backbase. Photo by Guillermo Snipe.

The hands-on session involves working in a predefined task. There are several teams, and each has been assigned a different task. The objective is to complete the task and report all the findings (if any), such as bugs, documentation issues, etc.

Backbase hands-on session wrap-up.

Backbase hands-on session wrap-up.

The Academy Team was present at the Backbase hands-on session. (Yes, he is posing for the picture.)

The Academy Team was present at the Backbase hands-on session. (Yes, he is posing for the picture.)

The development team made great work – the latest version of the product is robust and stable, the experience was very useful for us, and we contributed improving the documentation that we were provided with for the exercise. The week is over! Time for having some drinks at Roest, our favourite place.

Roest, our third home.

Roest, our third home.

Saturday … Facebook events warned me during the week about the Amsterdam Street Food Festival 2017, so going there today. It’s going to take place in Dok Amsterdam.

The event was very good, the food was awesome and there were drinks and music, a perfect combination.

Almost evening … but there are some plans for the night. Our colleague, Bas, is having his birthday party tonight. He offered “beer, happy times, cake and soon-to-be-friends”, which sounds promising.

Beer, happy times and soon-to-be-friends all in the same picture (The cake was in the other hand of the guy that was taking the picture.)

Beer, happy times and soon-to-be-friends all in the same picture (The cake was in the other hand of the guy that was taking the picture.)

Sunday … Because of my commercial pilot background (yes, that’s why there are so many plane pictures and videos in this post), I have applied to become an Aviosim volunteer. Aviosim is a community that has the operational control of the flight simulator project in the Aviodrome, located at Lelystad Airport.

Aviodrome, Lelystad Airport.

Aviodrome, Lelystad Airport.

The park allows their visitors to get their first real contact with aviation in a flight simulator. They can take the first officer seat in a Boeing 737-800 cockpit and experience for themselves how landing a plane feels like. An Aviosim volunteer will help the visitor to fly the plane and will provide them with some basic flight instruction.

After some travelling and biking, I arrived at the Lelystad Airport. Today will be my training day, where I will perform several takeoffs and landings to get used to the flight simulator. I will also be trained on how to interact with visitors, and how to provide basic flight instructions to them.

The flight simulator where I will spend a good portion of the day.

The flight simulator where I will spend a good portion of the day.

It has been an awesome day at the Aviodrome. The flight simulators are incredible! There are two of them, one intended for kids (Lockheed F-104 Starfighter) and the other for people taller than 1.60 metres (Boeing 737-800). If you’ve ever wondered what flying a plane feels like, or if you want to spend a day with the family at the park, I highly recommend visiting the Aviodrome.

Hope you enjoyed the week as much as I did. Thank you for your time! Hasta luego!