Evolution Product Business Analysis Bootcamp Recap
How did it all start…
We, Evolution Business Analysts, truly believe that talent and passion are equally important as knowledge and skills. We are growing fast in many locations across the world and are looking for new talents to join our team. Running such bootcamp would allow us to find new and promising junior specialists, who have the potential to grow into high-level professionals under our support and mentorship. More than this, we were eager to share our special approach for business analysis in game development with other industry professionals as well!
We were impressed by the success of Evolution Scala and JS/TS Bootcamps, and for sure couldn’t resist planning to do something similar but for BAs. And in a pretty tight timeframe, we planned and did it! What can I say — if BAs set their mind and passion to some project — we become unstoppable.
We wanted to achieve the impossible — combine game development, Evolution's special approach for business analysis, but still have as a foundation golden standard for business analysis theory. We planned 10 weeks full of theory and practice, covering a lot of topics BAs in Evolution are practicing on a daily basis — game development foundation, business analysis standard theory and adjusted business analysis process in Evolution, design thinking, elicitation, requirements and user stories, diagrams and modeling, JIRA and Confluence tools, usability and user experience, validation and verification, and finally presentation art.
As for the idea, in this photo, you can see the results of our brainstorming session:
We initially wanted this program to be international, for both Riga and Minsk. In total, we received 892 applications. Definitely, something to be proud of!
During these 11 exciting weeks of learning and discovering we planned and discussed the following topics:
- Product BA role and processes in Evolution
- Evolution live games
- The journey from game Idea to the game concept
- Research and requirements in product development
- Diagrams and visuals in product development and many other things…
Almost half of the participants ended up completing the test assignment; we got 392 tasks to check! This was a real challenge — quickly checking submitted assignments and carefully selecting our further students. The participants were really creative — we even received 2 songs, as there was no limitation on expressing one’s creativity.
51 participants started the Bootcamp at the end of April 2021, while 35 out of them completed it in July 2021 and are now working in 9 game teams. What can I say? It was quite a journey, which ended up with epic projects presentations, cool game ideas, writing specs, creating prototypes and even doing real usability testing!
How it was organised
We had our own Confluence & Jira spaces! It took me almost 2 months to get security approval and fully set up these environments for external users. This was the first case for EVO Bootcamps to have separate environments to work in. As a result, it was easy for us to organise all materials in one place. Our students received homework after each lecture. It was an intense program — but as mentors, we wanted to be sure that we will end up with the most proactive and responsible ones. We believe that sharing feedback is an essential part of the learning process, thus, each task was evaluated by mentors and teams. As mentors, we were always trying to give more, share additional materials that participants may study on their own. Ksenija Lace, our Department Lead, shared a lot of books from her ‘Library of BA treasures’.
We had our online sessions in MS Teams, all written communications were happening in a common Slack channel, also later once the students were split into the teams — separate slack channels for each team were organised for their convenience.
Final presentation evening
This event is for sure to be remembered, all 9 teams were presenting their game ideas. We had our fantastic jury members evaluating course projects: Director of products Fredrik B., Portfolio Lead Eriks Nukis, POs Ilya Trapachka and Kristela Tara Campos, UX Researcher Anete Serecenko.
Maybe you are wondering how we got these 9 teams and game ideas? Oh, it was always the part of the plan, part of our program. At the beginning of our Bootcamp we covered common topics, charged our participants with inspiration and creativity during the Workshop with Ksenija Lace and sent them to think of the game ideas. A lot of participants returned with nice drafts on the games and as mentors, we reviewed carefully and selected the most promising and interesting from the Evolution perspective. So all students were organised into teams and idea authors became team leaders of each group accordingly. The team journey began: the students worked on shaping their concepts, creating prototypes and writing specs for their games. And it seems pretty logical to end up this with the final presentations for our stakeholders, so as to give the guys the opportunity to feel, what’s like to pitch your game idea to the very important people.
What game ideas were presented
The game combines two absolutely different things people really love: story-telling and gambling. The exciting stories are created in real-time — only the chance will decide what happens next.
Tetris to the Moon
Tetris to the Moon game, where the presenter comments how the blocks fall. The player gambles on the color and form that is shown on the background screen. The final is to create a type of stairs for the Host to get out and reach the moon.
Age of Heroes
Become a real Hero in the upcoming battles against the monsters that have invaded our world. Get unexpected and valuable prizes in epic battles. Like a real hero to call and defeat the Epic Monster Boss in the epic bonus round.
Play Your Cards Right
Play Your Cards Right is one of the most popular TV shows in the UK, it has many fans in the UK and USA. People remember this show and active use: mobile game, board game, slot machine, online game Play Your Cards Right.
Hamster race is a live online game where players bet on the winning hamster. Race track is unique when every new game starts and it is projected as a hologram on the game table. Game is hosted by a game presenter who leads and comments on the race.
Jenga Live is a virtual version of one of the most popular games of physical skills in the world. Over 90 million Jenga games have been sold worldwide. Players bet on which one of the 6 blocks will be removed from the Jenga tower by the math algorithm.
Victory Tower is a live card game built on the merge of Match 3 mobile puzzles and betting on card combinations. Players get an opportunity to fulfill the exciting task of winning the cards from the casino table and adding them to the player’s tower.
Players try to predict winning marble by betting on them. Marbles are released from the starting platform and race towards the finish line. Marble racing has never been created in Live casino format, however, is growing in popularity in the sports betting market.
Money Heist is a Live Game Show with the appealing style of the Roaring 20s’ and gangster America. Players participate in a bank robbery, guessing the door which leads to the vault; multipliers-rich mini-games are built in between.
This was really an epic journey for all of us!
I want to thank every student for their energy, passion and willingness to learn. Each of them showed incredible results, I truly hope that the knowledge they have gained during this Bootcamp will help to reach new horizons and earn a lot of stars in the future!
Feedback from participants:
On behalf of the whole EVO team, I would like to thank our mentors for their enthusiasm, dedication and expertise!
- Ksenija Lace — mentor and lecturer
- Ineta Bucena — mentor and lecturer
- Yauheniya Karol — mentor and lecturer
- Liza Antanovich — mentors’ support team member and lecturer
- Anastasiya Plisava — mentors’ support team member and lecturer
- Margarita Akatalovich — lecturer
- Sandra Ruduka — mentors’ support team member and lecturer
- Vjaceslav Zascirinskis — mentors’ support team member and lecturer
- Anete Serecenko — lecturer and one of the jury members for the presentation event
And of course, thanks to the Talent Acquisition team for your support and help — Anastasiya Tarasyuk, Jana Moisja, Lizaveta Rabava, Yuliya Shchuka.
Thanks to all parties involved in creating, running and participating in this amazing project! BAs rock!
And the best part of this recap! We ended up with 10 job offers: the guys will soon join us in the Riga and Minsk offices to boost and make our Evo BA Family even stronger. And the second-best part of this recap — we plan more bootcamps in the future! So stay tuned for more updates.
The article was written by Yauheniya Karol, with the help of Ksenija Lace, Liza Antanovich and Natalija Hramcenko