“We never talk anymore!”

That’s what happen when engineers get busy. We sit there with our heads down and write a bunch of these things: { ; ) =. Oh, sorry, I forgot the Python programmers out there. :.

In an attempt to get our tech team talking more, I put a monthly happy-hour on the calendar to chat it up, and while that  might be interesting in its own right, what is really interesting to me is what came out of it.

One month, we were discussing professional development opportunities such as local meetups, conferences, even bringing experts in for training sessions, when one of the engineers stated the obvious: “Lots of people here know a lot of stuff. Why don’t we just learn from each other?”

Well, shoot. Why don’t we?

Most Mondays at Jellyvision, whoever wants to gather during lunchtime to learn something can attend our weekly “Lunch & Learn” sessions. They are an hour long. Sometimes it’s a case study on a project someone is working on. Sometimes it’s an introduction to a technology.  (We had two back-to-back sessions on Backbone and Angular.)

At our last lunch and learn, with the help of our general counsel, we discussed the legal implications of using code snippets from websites. Spoiler alert: it’s not trivial!

To date we’ve been discussing topics that relate directly to the work we do at Jellyvision, but I don’t think that needs to be the case every single time. I’m hoping occasionally we’ll hear someone talk about their home brewing rig or the life-sized papercraft dolls they make that really aren’t that creepy once you get to know their personalities. It’s not weird! I don’t understand why people keep saying that. Sigh.

I’ve long thought that Jellyvision’s forte is taking topics that seem complicated or boring and making them fun and interesting to learn about. There’s very little in this world that isn’t interesting. Taking an hour a week to learn about some of it has become one of my favorite work-time activities.

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