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In the Bloom

GLOW 2024: Key Announcements and Session Highlights

GLOW is the annual Jellyfish summit that brings together leaders in engineering, product, and finance, to share industry best practices, challenges, and insights. On May 15, 2024, GLOW 2024, drew nearly 1,000 registrants and featured an opening keynote, exciting product updates, a fireside chat with Roblox CTO, a guest keynote by TIME’s kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao, multiple breakout sessions, the announcement of this year’s Illuminate Awards winners, and the launch of the Jellyfish swag store.

During the opening keynote, Andrew Lau, Jellyfish CEO, emphasized that traditional frameworks, focusing mainly on sentiment and activity, are no longer enough for managing engineering teams amid significant changes and ensuring they drive business impact. Jellyfish was created to address this gap by integrating developer experience and coding activity with business impact. This approach allows engineering leaders to demonstrate how their teams contribute to the company’s success, moving beyond the outdated notion of engineering as a costly “black box” and ensuring that R&D investments are visibly worthwhile.

Key Announcements at GLOW 2024

Jellyfish DevEx Beta Now Free

Jellyfish DevEx Beta is now available to all customers for free. This release means that engineers can easily share clear feedback to get the support they need, making work more engaging and satisfying. For engineering managers, they can finally get actionable insights into what their direct reports need, so they know where to focus their time and attention to improve their team’s experience. As for executives, they can improve team retention and attract top talent by prioritizing developer experience and staying connected with team members.

Capacity Planning Capabilities in Alpha

Predictable delivery is more important than ever, but forecasting team capacity and delivery timelines is difficult today. Organizations struggle to calculate scope estimations for new projects accurately, represent unplanned KTLO work, and account for carryover work from previous quarters, which leads to the creation of unrealistic and unachievable quarterly plans.

Jellyfish is investing in capacity planning capabilities to enable engineering teams to create realistic roadmaps based on historical performance. Our capacity planning functionality is currently in Alpha and helps engineers stay ahead of delivery schedules, with fewer competing priorities and more focus time as a result. Engineering Managers can set realistic expectations with leadership about what their teams can achieve. Leaders can move forward with confidence in quarterly plans, and discuss trade-offs as new priorities arise.

AI Usage & Impact Dashboards in Pre-Alpha

There’s a lot of discussion about AI coding tools today, and one of the main questions we hear engineering leaders ask is, “How much better are we getting by using AI? What’s the value and ROI?” Until now, teams attempt to measure usage of AI tools with one-off surveys, and can’t get anywhere near assessing impact. But, that’s what you need to be able to measure to determine if the investment in AI is worth it.

Jellyfish is building out tools to help teams not only automatically assess the usage of AI coding tools across the org, but also, evaluate its impact on engineering effectiveness. We provide a clear view into adoption with information on % of your org using these tools, % of suggestions accepted, languages used, and more. And to help you quantify the business impact of AI, we enable you to compare operational metrics, deliverables, allocations and more in Jellyfish between groups of those using AI coding tools and those who are not. Our new GitHub Copilot adoption and impact dashboards are now in Beta, and we’re excited to continue partnering with GitHub and our customers to further build out this functionality. 

Illuminate Awards Winners

It brings us great excitement to share the winners of the 2024 Illuminate Awards, Jellyfish’s software engineering leadership awards program:

  • FanDuel: Winner of the Best of the Bloom Award
  • Keller Williams: Winner of the Sea Star Award
  • Genius Sports: Winner of the Big Wave Award
  • nCino: Winner of the Blooming Award
  • Five9: Winner of the Surfer Award 

Congratulations to these outstanding partners who’ve embraced Jellyfish to drive innovation and excellence across their organizations. Your unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation inspires us all.

Watch the “Stories from the Illuminate Awards Winners: Celebrating Engineering Excellence” breakout session at GLOW 2024 for more information.

Fireside Chat with Roblox CTO

In this fireside chat from GLOW 2024, Andrew learns how Dan Sturman has guided engineering organizations at Google, Cloudera, & Roblox through change, challenge, and more.

On quarterly strategic reviews

“We work a lot by review here at Roblox. That’s kind of the way we manage. So for example, every quarter we review all the top level organizations and their technical strategy and accomplishments for the past quarter. It’s a pretty intense cadence where groups (ranging from two to 400 people) show up tell us what they’ve gotten done but then also tell them how what they’ve learned is changing the strategy they’ve laid out and what their strategy looks like now over the next two years…so kind of always iterating on the two year outlook on that strategy.

On Re-Orgs

I’m always very conservative with reorgs and generally I will do them when already folks are functioning in a new way and you’ve done the hard work of getting people to function and then you say ‘okay, well now it’s silly to have the org structure we have. let’s just get it to recognize

what’s already going on in the organization’…as opposed to a way of leading that tends to cause more confusion where you have all this time when people are trying to figure out how to record reorg and how we’re supposed to operate now and ‘we’re not quite ‘sure and they’re trying to figure all that out. So I tend to lead with the doing.

On How Work Has Changed

We’re a company that very much needs innovation to move forward…it’s about innovating the product and knowing where we need to go and where our users needs to be and doing that as quickly as possible. And what we found is in person time was critical to doing that…existential I would almost say. We went through a tough thing – it started last summer, but… it’s in the process of concluding now. We told the majority of our employees who had during Covid dispersed everywhere that we’re going to be in San Mateo. There are exceptions to that…but by and large we expect the majority of our employees to be here.

We settled on a three-day work schedule. The same three days were important. What we’re looking for is the accidental conversations…and then to some degree also the more heart to heart conversations. We found hard conversations over Zoom just weren’t happening whether it was a manager giving feedback to an employee or a technical point that some engineers just couldn’t agree on with everyone’s just being too freaking polite.

I think the key observation [with remote work] was the output of an organization wasn’t necessarily the sum of the output of all the individuals because they had to be pulling in the same direction…The three days in the office means there’s like core time to sync, connect, and run into each other.

On GenAI

We started engaging pretty early. I saw generative AI as a huge opportunity for Roblox and also a huge threat if we didn’t deal with it…because we’re a Creator platform and

what genAI really symbolized to me…is the first real productivity enhancer for creative

that we’ve kind of come up with at scale. I view it as taking a farmer who’s had a

brace of oxen pulling their plow and moving to like a John Deere. It really does accentuate and accelerate the work they’re going to do.

We’re entirely a creator platform so we had to think ‘well, what happens if someone else does this, that’s a real threat. If we can do it and we could drop the time by a tenth – by a 100th – what it takes to create an experience on Roblox, think how much better our platform will be.’

Don’t Miss the Breakout Sessions

Content from GLOW 2024 doesn’t have to end here. All six breakout sessions are available for you to watch at your convenience: