Update your team to be more extreme
How can you help your peers to embrace the change?February 26, 2022 - 566 words - 3 mins Found a typo? Edit me
Our profession is constantly evolving; therefore, it demands a non-stop learning process. Embracing the change is not optional in our software industry.
We need to create spaces to get out of our comfort zone, so our cognitive brain can train and improve how to adapt to our surroundings, which are constantly transforming.
Create learnings opportunities
Schedule some time every X weeks for practicing together.
At the end of each sprint, we celebrate and work on katas in pairs/groups for 1.5 hours. That space is also an opportunity to create an internal tech-talk presentation to share exciting knowledge with the team non-directly-related to our regular daily business.
The goal is to get out of our comfort zone, improving our recognition for change in general while learning other subjects regularly.
What’s a code kata?
As a group, software developers don’t practice enough. Most of our learning takes place on the job, so most of our mistakes get made there as well.
The term “kata” comes from the repetitive movements done in karate that help you improve your fighting skills.
Katas exists to help developers get the same benefits as practicing in any other profession. There are simple, artificial exercises that let you experiment and learn without the pressure in a production environment.
There are no right or wrong answers in any software kata: the benefit comes from the process, not the result.
- Work on refactoring techniques.
- Work on TDD examples.
- Work on SOLID principles.
- Work on live coding sessions.
- Work on driver-navigator concepts.
- Work on team cohesion.
- Have fun while learning and practicing together.
If you’re interested in my thoughts about TDD and katas, I wrote a post about it not long ago: Test-Driven Development.
What’s a tech-talk?
Tech talks allow us to share some knowledge related to our tech industry with our team members.
It can be any FrontEnd, BackEnd, DevOps related. But I encourage also:
- a new programming language that you are learning,
- a summary of one book that you finished,
- a new technology that you are studying or feeling curious about,
- a piece of software that you would like to share and present thoughts about it,
- a new tool that helps you to improve your productivity,
- really: anything related to creating value or knowledge.
How can I present a tech talk?
I wrote this article with some tips about how to improve your tech-talk. Some key questions that might help you to find something on your own:
- What have you learned recently (in the last X months)?
- What knowledge might be interesting to be shared with your peers?
- Which aspect of yourself you’d like to improve professionally and/or personally?
Just one rule: Be curious and “embrace the change.”
Why biweekly katas and tech talks?
- To provide flexibility to do one or another thing.
- It’s up to the person and the team.
- It’s an opportunity for self-growth and learning at the same time.
- Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck.
- Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson.
- Clean Agile by Robert C. Martin.