Babbel Bytes

Insights from the Babbel engineering team

How to Fight Retrospective Fatigue

Fabian Lindenberg

It’s the end of a sprint. You’re sitting in a barren meeting room. Small stacks of colorful, still empty sticky notes and black markers lie on the desk that occupies most of the room. The moderator opens the Sprint Retrospective by asking their never-changing questions in the usual calm, routine manner: “What went well this past sprint? What didn’t?” One team member joins the session seven minutes late, another doesn’t show up at all because of a conflicting, supposedly more important meeting. As the session continues, you notice colleagues secretly glancing at their watches or yawning. No comment sparks a real discussion. No one cracks a joke. The meeting finishes ahead of time. The team has filled a mere dozen or so sticky notes. One colleague in the back has neither said nor written a single word the entire time. Just before leaving the room, the team half-heartedly commits to a few actions for further improvement. You expect these actions will be forgotten already tomorrow when the busyness of the new sprint kicks in.

Does this sound familiar to you? Then, you and your team might be suffering from Retrospective Fatigue. In this post, we are going to show you how you can fight it!


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On the Hunt for the Fastest CI Service

Neil Natarajan

A speed- and usability-focused comparison of the Travis CI, CircleCI, and Semaphore CI Continuous Integration services.


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Different ways to manage feature toggles on iOS

Tomáš Linhart

There are times during app development when you want to temporarily disable some functionality or enable it only under some conditions. For example, you work on a new feature that is not done yet, and it should not be accessible by everyone. Or you have a particular setting that enables extra functionality that is useful only during testing.


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Femgineering at Babbel: Of the Women, For the Women and By the Women

Jharna Gulrajani and Serena Hathi

Change that only comes from the top can ultimately only deliver so much. What happens when women in tech drive the process, advocating for themselves? What results does that yield? Babbel is a window into that approach.


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How we established monitoring for our product health

Chris Dahl –

In the past, we introduced monitoring and alerting that tracks the technical status of our platform and services. However, we sometimes experience issues that our monitoring cannot detect. This could be team-independent or cross-team issues or even issues that do not have a technical reason. For example, two alerts in different teams might not appear urgent but combined they make an impact. To answer these questions, we have started working on Product Health monitoring.


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Terraform provider for Code Climate is open-sourced

Kirill Zonov

Here is a short release notice. At Babbel, we’ve been using Code Climate successfully for a while, but we were unhappy about the lack of the Terraform provider for it.

Finally, we’ve decided to build our own provider and now it’s open-sourced.


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Start the career as a Software Engineer

Lyudmila Barabash –

One year ago I changed my career from a Recruiter to a Junior Software Engineer. The path was long and challenging but it was worth it! I am happy to share my experience by giving the answers to the most popular questions I get.


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