Meet Christian Deger: The man behind the Scout Group’s Engineering Values and Principles

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Christian Deger - Engineering Values and Principles

Back in April we published a blog with ImmoScout’s Director of Engineering, Aaron Winn, discussing the Values and Principles he’d helped introduce within his engineering teams, and why he wanted to share those more widely within the community.

Widely shared amongst the DevOps Berlin community, it has recently come to light that although ImmoScout have one of the most practically applied and genuinely successful implementations of these engineering values and principles, there is more to this story than we had initially shared.

The concept of having engineering values and principles was initially devised at AutoScout, in a team headed by Christian Deger – the person most widely acknowledged for leading this innovation. Now working as Chief Architect for RIO, the principles were born out of AutoScout’s desire to migrate from Data Centre to AWS in 2014, and change not only the tech they used, but the thought processes that went in to everything they did.

Both part of the ‘Scout’ group, this is how AutoScout’s way of thinking made its way to ImmoScout, with the group having set up a OneScout initiative within the business to ensure that company culture remains fluid and collaborative between their various ventures. With all of the material now available through GitHub, this is a collaborative process that the Scout group have allowed their leaders to pioneer, and feed back in to the community in the hopes that more companies can adopt centralised ways and methods of working.

They way Christian describes the values and principles, this was a ‘bottom up’ initiative, with everyone within his team allowed to input and refine throughout the process. With sponsorship from the hierarchy – and as high as the CEO – this allowed them the confidence and freedom to truly create something that was as they wished it to be, without any undue pressure or expectation from above. 

As was the case with ImmoScout’s version of the principles, AutoScout shared similar tenants: teamwork above individuality, culture should be at the forefront of all working relationships and everybody within the company already – and those who agree to join subsequently – all have to be willing to completely buy in to the shared philosophy, otherwise it loses effectivity and relevance. By adopting these values and principles whilst migrating from their old services to new ones, they were able to prove that they worked when practically applied, giving the likes of ImmoScout all the more reason to take on those ideas and run with them.

While the initial successes were clear and obvious at both Scout businesses, Christian was clear in underlining that these are a living, breathing document, that take time and willingness to adapt in oder to be fully embraced. Not a quick process, this is a continuous commitment that pushes boundaries and ensures best practice long term, impacting overall culture so positively that the additional time required to adjust any working processes is completely worth it.

I’d like to thank Christian for taking the time to speak to us and, as always, if there’s anything within the Berlin tech community you want to discuss, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +49 30 300 149 3266.

Mike Dwyer

International Practice Lead, Amsource