Lego embraces modularity, metaverse with its software program engineering tradition

Lego, the plastic brick maker, is quickly rising its software program improvement groups to fulfill the rising demand for digital experiences.

Lego is quickly increasing its software program engineering groups because it diversifies from plastic bricks to bits and bytes, however can it compete with prime tech companies for the very best expertise?

The Danish firm is investing closely to grow to be a extra technology-enabled enterprise following the explosive reputation of on-line brick-building video games like Roblox and Microsoft’s Minecraft.

Seeing the missed alternative, Lego introduced a partnership with the videogame maker Epic in April this yr. The 2 corporations will workforce as much as construct new experiences within the metaverse, blurring the strains between digital and bodily constructing experiences.

“The partnership with Epic is our journey into the metaverse and there’s a huge product piece there to work on and a expertise piece to architect for that,” Atul Bhardwaj, group chief digital and expertise officer at Lego Group advised InfoWorld.

To satisfy these alternatives head-on, Lego is seeking to construct out its in-house software program engineering workforce, with a purpose to triple its digital workforce to 1,800 folks by the tip of 2023, based mostly throughout places of work in Copenhagen and Billund in Denmark, London, and Shaghai.

Powering a digital transformation at Lego

To energy that transformation, Bhardwaj talks about making Lego extra product-led, engineering-led, and architecture-led.

“I take a look at being product-led versus project-led,” he stated, which implies “defining the issues you remedy as a set of digital merchandise that you just create and construct.”

By way of making Lego Group extra engineering-led, Bhardwaj desires to concentrate on structure and craft. “What’s the engineering craft that you just need to have in place to have the ability to engineer world-class scalable methods?” he asks.

After all, software program engineers will play an enormous function, however the brand new digital hires can be complemented by digital designers, product managers, and technical program managers because the digital workforce grows.

Constructing a cloud-native expertise infrastructure

All of those ambitions will should be underpinned by a robust digital structure. Bhardwaj desires Lego to construct methods that “can scale, function 24/7, and are versatile, open, and straightforward to attach into.”

The corporate is constructing a brand new unified information platform and refreshing its infrastructure to be extra versatile and cloud-native. Ranging from little or no cloud utilization 18 months in the past, Lego hosts 54% of workloads within the cloud in the present day, with ambitions to be 100% within the public cloud sooner or later.

“We’re going for velocity, responsiveness, and suppleness, which the cloud provides you,” Bhardwaj stated.

Lego Group employs a variety of languages and frameworks, from Unity for a few of the new consumer-facing merchandise, to React for, and SAP ABAP for back-office methods. “We have type of bought every part,” Bhardwaj stated. “Within the information platform, we’re utilizing Scala and Python. What’s cool in the present day we’re utilizing. In case you are an engineer fascinated about a contemporary tech stack, then you definately’ll discover it right here.”

Connecting with the Lego story

Software program and Lego have lengthy gone collectively, as many engineers take pleasure in constructing bodily fashions of their spare time as they give the impression of being to get away from their workstations.

“Each particular person I interview has a Lego story,” Bhardwaj stated. “There may be connective tissue there with the model.”

Modular software program parts have lengthy been marketed for his or her Lego-like utility that may “snap on” to different parts. That concept now extends to how Lego itself builds software program, via loosely coupled methods and in depth use of APIs.

“Once I describe nice structure, it’s like Lego bricks, the place we will construct one thing, break it aside and rebuild one thing else comparatively simply. That is what we’re attempting to create right here,” Bhardwaj stated.

Lego additionally expects its engineers to function in loosely coupled groups, with the autonomy to construct options as they should.

“We need to construct a tradition with autonomous groups with freedom to unravel issues in the best way they greatest see match,” Bhardwaj “We’re a playful firm, with play anchored in what we do. That may be a huge a part of our tradition.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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