Maximize individual growing in a software team: 2 month progress report

Couple months ago we started an initiative in our team here at Trantor with the focus on nurturing a culture which optimizes personal growth of an individual in the team. I believe it is turning out to be quite successful. We decided we’ll focus on 4 things to achieve our goal:

Interactive sessions of tools/technologies

This is where we’ve observed most success. We have had 4 sessions in past 2 months (we do two-week sprints), with following primary topics:

  • Up your ops game: Ansible and Vagrant (delivered by Charanjit Singh (me))
  • Up your ops game: Docker and Docker Compose (delivered by Charanjit Singh (me)
  • Quick and Dirty Kafka (collaboratively delivered by Charanjit Singh (me), Rupinder Singh, Sheenam Narula, Krishan Saini)
  • Getting acquainted with Elasticsearch (delivered by Krishan Saini)

Collaboratively studying open source projects we use

We started off with chai.js, but after probably spending only a few minutes each, the google doc we created for collaboratively creating notes didn’t see much action.

Being active in Trantor forums

Plan was to use Trantor Forums as a platform for proposing (revolutionary) changes in our project. We started off with a proposal to introduce mutation testing in our test-coverage reports, but didn’t move forward from that.

I believe this is because we don’t really spend as much time exploring new/different things/subject-matters to be able to bring more of such proposals. This problem is one of many that should fix itself if we are successful in fostering a culture of self growth in the team.

Day long hackathons

We are yet to realize this dream. Shiva proposed a neat little idea to solve a problem faced by Trantor employees, but turned out an official solution was already in the works and about to be released in couple weeks (it didn’t). I believe we should have just gone ahead and spend a day to build what we wanted, just for the heck of it. That would have been more fruitful.

Above points are more than just steps to achieve our goal, I believe, they are also metrics of our success. How much engagement each of these get reflects on how much of a self-growth culture is prospering in the team. I wonder if we can somehow quantize these per-person. If nothing else, that’ll create some cool graphs to gawk at.