Social learning during Lunch Break
Lunch break: the time of the day when people stop work to have lunch. But if you stopped working, does it mean that you actually stopped generating ideas?
Thought so, you haven't! The office and lunch breaks cause even stronger connectedness and heavy idea flow. It's a time of the day when you see everyone: hear their thoughts, jokes, problems, solutions and much more.
Just recently I've got in contact with Stuart Blacker and heard his success story. So here's a lunch talk share for you:
So I'd never heard of the concept of a developer lunch before when at a previous company my technical director said about getting people together and learning about the topic we were talking about. I asked him if he could provide some food for the troops since they were giving up their lunch hour - to which he did. We started covering things that people at all levels in their careers could understand from the SOLID principals to Dependency Injection.
When I switched companies a few months later, I took the same format with me and introduced it at my current company. It has gone down really well with both technical and non-technical (Product Owners/Managers) staff. The trick is making it applicable so that everyone that attends learns at least one thing. Even technical topics as event sourcing can be broken down in a way that everybody understands. Whenever I introduce the idea to someone new or get a new person to speak, I always say that everyone knows we are not experts in what ever we are talking about, we are sharing our experiences with X.
There are different formats that I've tried - a this is technology X approach and more of a Q & A approach (so what do we think is meant by testing). The Q&A approach really helps to engage the group as a whole and challenges their perceptions on things.
Lesson learned! Let's not become introverts during lunch. Share your expertise wherever you are. Tapping into lunch talk knowledge might be the next competitive advantage. After all, people are the most creative, while relaxing.