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Tech - 2020 - Year in review

Chaos, Dedication, Teamwork, Craftsmanship
Tech, Tonsser, The world
When starting to , the team, the company and the world.. It’s sometimes best to look at yourself, and move from there.

Me, myself and I

2020 has been special.. It’s been my first actual calendar year at Tonsser, and similar to what , 2019 also had me confused and amazed at the seemingly self-organising structure of Tonsser, while 2020 was going to be a year of execution.
Coming into Tonsser, I was very aware of not breaking the Tonsser superpower.
Very few people, but with an extreme level of , that . It was one of the key things I wanted to hold on to.. To ensure that I did not introduce processes that would kill this, or limit it.
My second priority was to ensure that you, as developers, learn, teach and share. Staying curious is a key success factor, especially for developers. I had two things in my toolbelt for this, Hackdays
and Conferences
When Covid-19 started to hit hard by March, it was clear that the conference part would not be an option (cough.. , cough) … and with us already being ambitious, turning the ambition level up
, shifting direction, while scaling team, servers and applications down, influenced our time for learning also
Besides that, focus was on the development plans for Data Science, Client/API and the Data Team.

2020 - The plan

, I had
expanding Turf beyond the structured data we gather via different sources, into allowing a high level of crowdsourced data, directly into our platform, and being able to easily (less painful) support new markets.
On the API-side, we finally had a solid foundation with developers, were ready to move fast, simplify our platform and expand our abilities.
For Data Science, getting to know, “the Modern Footballer”, nailing core Product statistics, doing League predictions and preparing for capture was all .
Clients were looking into optimizing their workflow, converting old codebase, and getting clear code structure alignment between developers.

The outcome

Turf took a little different approach, we were able to automate parts, add loads of new sources, tune our scrapers, add tools to optimise slow processes, ensure we are data-driven, able to measure our success, prioritize based on facts, and keep an overview of our Data Quality and Quantity.
Clients have a more stable platform then ever, although still with some challenges (and some Java leftovers), but a foundation that you can be proud of. Interteam alignment have also greatly improved, and the collaboration and general good vibes are back.
The API team had to adapt to a smaller team, and are now finally close to being back where we would like to be, getting some breathing room, and allowing ourselves to look at the bigger picture.
Data Analytics has morphed into a higher level entity, and will start the new year with new blood, and a focus on the holistic view of our business, and ensuring that we keep data at our core.
Considering the challenges,

You, the Team

You've handled not only the , but also the scaling of the company better than could be expected. Our change from being a partly remote to “close to fully remote” went above expectations. As Product will most likely go through, it’s been a very productive year, even though we’ve had a number of challenges thrown at us. It’s the ability to adapt and learn from mistakes, that makes the difference. You have shown that you are capable of this!
However, an often overlooked ability is also the ability for people to make their voices heard. This goes for cases where the working environment is not optimal, team-mates are not performing at a Tonsser level or if you have felt that we were no longer staying true to our core values and promise towards our users.
Thank you for making yourself heard, pushing for change, coming up with solutions, making us, as a team, better.

We, the company

Being a company focused on football players, and their matches, in a year with a vast number of these matches being cancelled, or just left in the unknown, trying to navigate and communicate with Brands, that are themselves frantically trying to adapt, well it’s been a challenge.
It’s natural for companies to look inward, decrease outside spending, and focus on your own, when a crisis hits. We did the same, looking at how to keep ourselves relevant, without matches, and maybe short term, forgetting that even a pandemic is not permanent nor a boolean for matches being played. We learned that with proper planning, we can adapt to these changes, locally and globally, while keeping our app multiplayer centric, and focus on the growth of the players.

So… what’s in the book for 2021

The Tonsser Super Power

Keeping it simple, giving room for people to take ownership and influence across departments.

Learn, Share

Hackdays will come back during 2021, and H2 we will look into conferences again (although, might be online).

Craftsmanship and Pride

Showing the app to friends and family, or even better, to that cousin or neighborhood kid who plays football, and seeing how it just works, is heart-warming
. Being proud of what we are building, and why we are building it, is key to long term success.
Cooldown days are a key tool to keeping the quality of our product high, and the uncertainty of deadlines to a minimum. Our NorthStar design is the key to also making it look exceptional


We will challenge the things that lock us in (Heroku, Dexi etc), and pay the premium that gives us the needed agility. Looking forward to killing off even more code, simplifying our setup, and ensuring that we remove the things holding us back.

🎉 Happy holidays 🎉

Enjoy the holidays, stay safe from covid-19 and fireworks.
Looking forward to facing the challenges and success of 2021 with you!

2020 - Summary
Not many can do that special head to ground move that gracefully.
A company ready for liftoff!
Small detour around becoming a social app
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