Swarm Wars… may the force be with them!

Hello Jules ! A few weeks ago, you started the “Swarm Wars” within the iAdvize R&D team, the beginning of a long tradition ? Thank you for taking the time to explain for us, humble observers, the origin, rules and benefits of this new warrior concept. 

“Swarms” … ?

Yes, swarms. We use this word at iAdvize to designate a multi-disciplinary team (front-end, back-end, mobile, product, design), focused on achieving a common goal over a certain period of time. The Swarms are autonomous, can decide how they want to work and submit their own roadmap. They can disappear once their objective is reached.

For more information, take a look at Florent’s article, in English on Medium, in French on the iAdvize blog.

What are the “Swarm wars”? Where did this idea come from?

One of the reasons we started working in Swarms was to face iAdvize’s fast growth and the consequent need for the R&D team to be extremely scalable. Indeed, the team has grown from 30 people when we launched this new organisation mid 2015 to 54 today.

So yes, we’re quite a big group and we don’t all bump into each other that often… plus we’re developers so we’re asocial, shy and a bit gruff which makes things even more complicated  ;-)

I’d been wanting to organize an event to get us all together for a while. All I had to do was add a play on words a 6 year old could have come up with and voilà ! The Swarm Wars were born. It’s a tournament and involves games that are already available here within the iAdvize offices (baby-foot, board games, video games). The winners of each trial and the best team overall get a prize (financed by my Genius Cagnotte*).

Here’s the introduction video that I shared with my colleagues to get them on board :-)


How is the whole thing organised? Which talents are required ?

For each trial, the 7 teams compete, (1 team for each Swarm plus 1 for the transversal teams: the Data Scientists and the Infrastructure team). The tournament lasts 2 months and for each trial there’s a round-robin phase, semi finals and a final.

When it comes to the talents required, Simon Robic’s draw at Fifa against a regular lunch-time player shows that everyone has a chance at winning the Swarm Wars!

It is not a laughing matter when the Intégration and Engagement Swarms compete at Fifa.

Subtle reference to Star Wars… Are you a big fan? Your favorite character?

Indeed, hard to hide :-). Darth Vader without hesitating. He’s the central figure and the true hero of the Star Wars universe. People often think that Luke has this role but Vader is the real chosen one, the one who brings balance to the Force. 

So do these “wars” aim to spark the competitive spirit, strengthen Swarm identities or just a good opportunity to have fun and bond?

Mainly just an excuse to spend time together and have fun, let’s not forget that one of our values is #JoinTheParty. However, it cannot be denied that it’s always unifying to win against 2 colleagues at table football :-)

The tournament ends in March. Which team do you think is most likely to win?

The Salesforce Swarm remains unbeaten so they have great chances but I don’t really see how my swarm, the Integration Swarm could loose considering the fact that I’m in control of the results… ;-)

The Salesforce team shows true phlegm when faced with the abrasiveness of the data scientists…

Can this concept be duplicated, repeated?

Let’s see how this first edition pans out, see what people liked and then what can be improved and adapted for the second edition!

Your final word?

May the force be with you !

We are currently recruiting a front-end developer, see all open positions here.

*Genius Cagnotte : the ‘genius cagnotte’ is a sum of €150 that each employee has, every year to organise gifts or events for clients or colleagues. This gives everyone the means to carry out their ideas, alone or with other colleagues, to be creative and enterprising! 

Miranda is in charge of internal communications at iAdvize, where she started working 3 years ago, originally as communications officer for the UK market. She has a BA from UCL in languages and a masters degree in translation and communication from the ISIT school in Paris. Although her passport is British, she feels at home on the continent ;-) Intrigued by all things cross-cultural, disruptive and customer service-related.

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