Technology upgrades and more - agile, CI & CD for WDR mediagroup

About WDR

The Westdeutsche Rundfunk (WDR) is a public-law institution (Landesrundfunkanstalt) of Nordrhein-Westfalen located in Cologne. The WDR is running radio, TV and other herewith related activities. Furthermore the WDR is the largest broadcasting organisation of the ARD and related to number of employees Europe’s 2nd largest following the BBC. In 1956 it had been originated by the split of NWDR into NDR and WDR.

The WDR mediagroup digital GmbH (WDRmg digital) as one commercial subsidiary, responsible for this project, provides full-service portfolio of multimedia communication, production and archiving solutions.


As ARDs’ leading broadcasting organisation the WDR serves the online portal in conjunction with providing a service to share sport results across the TV program “Sportschau” as well as other ARD applications.

WDR planned to update this service to deliver additional sports results data together with improved maintenance (architecture and currentness of involved open source components), performance (demand for resources and response time behavior) and software quality (test cover).


ThoughtWorks together with WDRmg digital agreed on an agile approach. On a weekly basis the actual development status had been showcased together with priorities discussed for the following week. During short daily conference calls upcoming challenges have been specified in detail. Retros were used to continuously improve the team processes.

The ThoughtWorks team had created a specific CI / CD infrastructure working on it virtually from Hamburg and Cologne. Since the WDRmg digital team members were involved in development they could also follow the source code at any time. The teams exercised test driven development (TDD) and pairing.


Server maintenance and performance for the publishing of sport results have been improved. Furthermore the process quality could have been increased by automated tests. New types of results data could have been provided by downwardly compatible extensions.