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Looking back at my time at Kano.

When I joined, there were 5 people in the office with about 3 people working remotely. Since then, Kano has grown to a team of roughly 50. It’s been amazing see Kano grow into the company it is today.

Summer 2013 to Christmas 2015: Less than half the team are visible in the second picture!

Being part of Kano’s amazing Kickstarter was definitely one of the highlights.

After we hit $500,000

Well, that and being part of a great (if slightly crazy) software team.

Let out in the wild.

My background

After studying Mathematics at University, I decided I wanted to work as a Software Developer. I read a few text books whilst traveling and I naively thought I knew far more about programming than I actually did. My CV from that time would be laughable, if I could read it without cringing.

Fortunately Alejandro did see something in me. However he did not have the time to support me fully, so he offered me an internship at Kano, on the condition I got a friend in who knew more about programming than me. This is how me and Tom joined Kano. We studied Maths together at University, but I knew he loved coding in his spare time.

Our long suffering manager in the morning scrum.

Working at Kano

In my time here, I’ve been part of some amazing projects. My favorite one has been one called Terminal Quest, a text adventure game based on Linux commands. The idea was to give children a context of the what the commands mean. For example, the ls command had the analogy of looking around, while cd would be walking, and echo talking.

The idea came up in a Hack Day at Kano. Me and Tancredi, Kano’s lead web developer, were both very excited about the projects we were working on. At the end of the day we revealed what we’d been making, and found we had made different prototypes of Terminal Quest. Later when I had some free time during work, I revisited the idea. I’ve been very lucky to be able to give such a lot of myself to a project. That was one of the really nice things about working in a small team, that I was allowed to be both creative and implement my ideas.

One of the key challenges was to create an engaging story to release in chapters. For me, I wanted to continue the story from when you first boot up the kit. The user goes down the rabbithole with cd rabbithole, and finds a bomb. If they don’t enter startx quickly enough they get “blown up”. Who left the bomb? What happens to the rabbit? Terminal Quest continues along this thread.

The problem with writing a story in chapters is that if you don’t think far enough ahead, a decision you make now might block you later. As a result there have been many heated discussions around the story. There is a planned ending which is being written now. What happens? You’ll have to wait and see.

To the lovely people I worked with

Alejandro: Thank you for having faith in me from the beginning. You have been and (unfortunately for you) will continue to be someone I turn to for advice and support.

Tom: Couldn’t have done any of this without you. Keep being a networking fairy, for without WiFi the office will implode.

Radek: You’ve been a solid rock for many of us, especially me. I hope 2016 is full of many penguin inspired objects and notebooks.

Costas: I hope you make many more angels, sorry daemons, and continue to be the patient caring individual I’m so fond of.

Radu: Try to leave work on time occasionally, dinner sometimes takes priority over beautiful code. You know, sometimes. Oh, and I’ll miss you LOADS.

Megan: What a trooper you are, single handedly holding up the QA department. I’ll see you on a beautiful landscape soon.

Albert: Keep being amazing, hope 2016 doesn’t throw any Gtk at you. Let me know next time you’re in London.

Alex B: Thanks for being kind to me, and keep using your genius to do what no one else can.

Goodbye and good luck!

I have decided to move on from Kano to experience a new company. It was a very hard decision to make and I’m incredibly sad to leave.

I had a charming (if embarrassing) send off with many gifts - including Terminal Quest on a shirt!

A Screen Kit, a book on Soft Skills for developers (what are you trying to say Alej?), a glass stand, a T-Shirt and many many wonderful messages. Lots of things to remember Kano by.

The best part of Kano has definitely been the people, and I will miss the daily little chats, in-jokes and friendship that made my job more than a job. My New Year’s resolution is to not become a stranger to Kano.

Best of luck guys. xx

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Software developer