CompoZed Labs April 2016

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  • After more than 16 years in business, Allstate NI is Northern Ireland’s largest IT Company with 2,300+ employees across three different sites in Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane. 

    Allstate NI plays a strategic role in developing, transforming and maintaining the various technology platforms used within its parent company Allstate The Allstate Corporation; America’s largest publically held personal lines, property and casualty insurer.

    IT giant opens new Extreme Agile software development lab

    Northern Ireland’s largest IT company, Allstate Northern Ireland, opens a world class Extreme Agile software development lab and learning space in its Belfast headquarters.

    Allstate NI’s new purpose built ‘CompoZed Lab’ will see Software Engineers, Product Managers and User Experience Designers work exclusively in Extreme Agile, which includes working in pairs and using cloud-native application architecture, a first for the company.

    The new office space will encourage teams to take calculated risks and push innovation at Allstate NI. It will also create opportunities in agile engineering, product management and design.

    Changing up the office and mindset

    The CompoZed Lab features a 30 person classroom, as well as lab space for over 100 developers to work together in their teams. 

    The lab is open and bright. There are break out areas, whiteboards and a ping pong table for the teams to enjoy their down time.

    This change for Allstate NI goes beyond a new office layout, the new way of working is creating a culture of collaboration, innovation, production and communication.

    Opening CompoZed Lab is a massive milestone for Allstate NI, says Managing Director John Healy.
    “This investment in training, facilities and tools represents a huge commitment to our staff and their careers at Allstate. It also marks an opportunity to build upon 16 years of success delivering software for Allstate customers. Our CompoZed Lab is a first for Allstate but also a first for Northern Ireland.”

    Opening CompoZed Labs marks a change for Allstate NI says Allstate Vice President Opal Perry.
    “Here at Allstate Northern Ireland we are changing how we work and how we deliver products. We are committed to delivering software that delights users and can be quickly deployed while also increasing quality in everything we do, in order to respond to the changing needs of customers.  Our new world class agile development lab is enabling us meet these goals.”

    Allstate NI and Galvanize

    Allstate NI teamed up with the US-based software development educators Galvanize to produce an Extreme Agile training curriculum, called CompoZed Accelerator, for their engineers.

    Software Engineers go through the 12 week CompoZed Accelerator course, developing real projects, before moving into the main lab to work in tight-knit, self-empowered teams.

    “The Accelerator format is a tremendous advantage to us,” says Allstate’s Opal Perry. “As new initiatives and products are identified across our diverse business, we can quickly form new teams, teach everyone the tools and methods, and become productive in a matter of weeks.”

    The CompoZed Accelerator course is aimed at project managers, engineers, designers and architects, who come from across Allstate NI and international sites.

    At the end of the 12 weeks the trainees are ready to start using the values, principles and practices of Extreme Agile Development to deliver high-quality, low-defect software faster.

    Lead Enterprise Instructor at Galvanize, Andreas Kavountzis, is working with Allstate NI in CompoZed Lab.
    “Partnering with Allstate is a great opportunity for Galvanize to expand our educational programming, it’s exciting to work with the CompoZed Labs team on delivering products to market at speed.”

    Keep up with what’s happening in CompoZed Labs by visiting their Twitter @CompoZedlabs

    This article featured in Sync NI's Spring Magazine.

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