As you may know, our Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/Visualitypl) is not as active as was before. There are a few reasons:
pandemic time, when offline presentations ware cut off and we was pushed to remote work
the new way of sharing knowledge in Visuality absorbed Lighting Talks completely
At the beginning of last year, I decided to introduce meetings where engineers could share knowledge. As Visuality is most about Ruby we name them backend meetings. There were so many topics to discuss which didn't have a place to be faced. Even when we have our standards and way of doing things, we have to sometimes update them and each of our developers has to know why. Quickly we have realized that bi-weekly meetings are not enough, so we have started to meet each week.
We have talked about so many things over the last 15 months, like:
- our internal standards
- developers seniority levels, so what we expected on each level with some materials to achieve that. We are not orthodox so it's only a path.
- expected outcome form recruitment exercise
- different ways of auditing code
- how to estimate projects
- event sourcing, DDD, CQRS - we are still into that topic :D
- tools and tips & tricks for daily work
- real problems in our projects
- real-time workshops where we updated Rails in our internal platform
- and a lot of more
Our meetings are flexible. People can join online or come into the office to interact in a one-room. We are planning topics ahead or spontaneously. It could be a prepared presentation or not, for example, engineers can bring code/problem from their projects. The funny fact that in my opinion, the most interesting discussions are about: bad architecture, refactored code, crazy bugs, or how to implement something.
From time to time we invite former employees or experts from other companies. They can also come with any topic. If the topic could be interesting for frontend devs we are inviting them too.
We are recording our meetings for those who couldn’t join or for future employees. On top of that, we have notes and logs to easily find what the meeting was about.
To sum up, our meetings are a great way to share knowledge, but we have other ways to do that, namely: mentoring, conferences, courses, pair programming, and sharing resources. Maybe it’s not a modern approach but it’s still working properly. Based on the success of backend ones we have reactivated also frontend meetings, as those worked great before the pandemic world.
Additionally, a good atmosphere and flexible approach have helped to unblock people and they are more active, or at least some of them 😛 On top of that, I feel that engineers act more as a team, even if they don’t work in the same project. And some of the topics have been transformed into PRUG (Poznań Ruby Users Group) and WRUG (Warsaw Ruby Users Group) presentations so we are back to share knowledge in the community.