Overseas inspiration for growth
Despite common knowledge regarding the benefits of constant self-development it is still hard to save some time for horizons-broadening activities, isn’t it?
Given that undeniable fact wouldn’t it be nice if your environment enabled spreading of interesting ideas? Since training programmes designed for growing our skills have already become one of SolDevelo core values, the next step should be to make every-day-learning a habit and therefore a really casual, team-building experience.
Such thing wouldn’t be obviously possible if not for our people who once again showed that are always willing to undertake new challenges. Inspired by one of his business overseas travels, our colleague Sebastian came up with an initiative of building Lunch&Learning events into our culture.
What is Lunch&Learning?
Lunch&Learning is a concept which has been gaining more and more popularity among companies caring about the growth of their employee’s skill sets or willing to support communication efficiency within an organization.
It is basically a 30-45 minutes long meeting, usually taking place on a lunch break and serving for knowledge spreading. The topics covered during Lunch&Learnings are usually somehow related to work but all the matters are discussed more freely, not in such a formal manner as it happens on course of regular training.
What is it for us?
As for SolDevelo – we decided to stress out the discussion part even more than it is normally done, for we do believe that sharing opinions is an enormous value and we want to encourage that. The only requirement when it comes to the possible Lunch&Learning subject is its relevance to an IT sector, which seems like an obvious choice taking into account our scope of expertise and business profile.
Having all that set (including a surprise-pizza for participants) the first edition of Lunch&Learning could start last Friday.
12:30 pm welcomed us with a lovely scent of a hot pizza inviting whole Gdynia office to the conference room already filled with an unexpectedly large number of armchairs and plates. Sebastian, whose speech we were about to listen, quickly explained the topic. We were there to discuss Q&A platforms, starting from Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange examples.
Q&A goes first
After investigating also some open source Q&A sites, reviewing couple of their core functionalities and remarking on the gamification aspect which may additionally motivate contributors to share their expertise, we moved to more hypothetical, yet innovative deliberations.
What if such open source platforms which enable creating brand new Q&A site easily, could serve as a replacement for technical documentation or user guide? Would it be a reasonable solution to some common problems with getting to the necessary information fast enough, or would it cause even more chaos?
The discussion was vivid, opinions differed and some doubts aroused quickly, although the idea appeared to be somehow attractive and worth considering. We even had to extend our 40 minutes slot to finish thoughts exchange and everyone seemed to be genuinely engaged in conversation.
To be honest, it has ended with some actual action items to be performed in order to investigate the usefulness of our own Q&A platform. It is supposed to launch soon and become a collection of necessary guidelines for working on our projects. Well, so much for a casual and non-committal meeting, huh?
Benefits of L&L
As you can see brainstorming can really be quite productive, so we are all curious how our Lunch&Learnings are going to grow and develop. Yet, creativity is a vital but not the only advantage of having such educational meetings incorporated into every week schedule.
Among benefits, there are often listed such as improvement of communication in a company, strengthening company culture or enlarging the knowledge regarding organization’s business activities. Lunch&Learnings might be a great addition to regular training programmes and reinforcement of the overall motivation as well.
Since there is so much to gain, we are dying to know what reflections will the initiative bring to us at SolDevelo. We are only after the launch now but next Friday is coming soon and perhaps Fat Thursday will leave us with some additional donuts to consume during our second Lunch&Learning so there is something to look for at least.