Sharing knowledge and experience is what we love, but it took us a long time to establish a format where interested people come together on a regular basis, talking about the newest tech, all cross-team and cross-project.
We failed multiple times, COIs/COPs are always centered around a common topic of interest, meetings during lunch were interrupted by delicious barbeque (shout outs to our chefs!), and finding even more timeslots in full-packed weeks led to distraction, less interest and never really took of.
But there is one constant in AOE’s work-week, which is “the weekly”, where every Monday the whole company comes together (online, nowadays), to get the most recent updates about business development, teams, and so on.
This is where we introduced the Dev-Weekly, just following our weekly, we quickly introduce the topic that has been prepared this week, and everyone interested can just stay.
By today the Dev-Weekly sparks new ideas every week, and topics ranging from CSS frameworks to monorepo tooling to analysing iOS exploits make sure everyone finds something they are interested in.
How does a recipe for a successful Dev-Weekly look like?
First, find people interested in presenting, this is by far the most challenging part. I do simply ask people if I notice them being interested (or even experts) in certain areas.
We track them all in Gitlab, that’s where work happens anyway, so we don’t spread over multiple tools. A gentle reminder to be ready by next week helps everyone to have their topic prepared.
Second, make sure to not have a boring Dev-Weekly: focus on that one topic, use the regular weekly as a teaser, and you’ll find half of the company joining and listening.
Eventually, make sure to record the presentation (if okay for the presenter), as people will sometimes miss it, and this gives everyone a chance to follow up.