This past week, the Spring Data team had a face-to-face meeting. And it was fan-TASTIC! I had entered the meeting with sort of an average-to-below average feeling and left feeling energized, excited, and with a stronger sense of purpose than I had felt in a while.
So what happened? Did our team leader tell jokes? Did we spend the whole time telling war stories of past and present work life? Did our team manager promise us a rich bounty of double bonus pay and equity grants?
We did something very different. We connected on a HUMAN level. And in the rest of this article, I’ll share with you some of the tactics we used to do that.
1 — Put the technology away
For a software development team distributed around the world, we sure love our tech. Zoom chats, Slack channels, M1 Macs on standing desks, and cloud-based SaaS tools.
All of it is incredibly empowering from a tools perspective. And I can do my job from literally anywhere I can find an internet connection.
And for this week, we set it all aside. Instead, we used a whiteboard, giant sticky pin-up sheets with cute doodles (courtesy of our team leader!), and back-and-forth talking.
Tech is cool, but sometimes you need to get your head out of all that and connect with your fellow humans. And human interaction is one of those things that when given the opportunity, you should spend the time to invest in. The lot of us (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria) were all in one room for just a week.
Don’t squander this opportunity by spending it all doing coding and ticket management.
We spent a LOT of the time voicing thoughts and feelings. But what, exactly, did we say? Keep reading to find out!
2 — Take the time for a retrospective
Once-a-month we try to have an online retrospective. This is a change to reflect on things done in the past and ponder what’s coming. Online we usually confine it to an hour, but during our face-to-face meeting, we ended up spending two hours.
What, exactly, is a retrospective? Simply put, everything writes down on sticky…