As you might know, I’m keen on delivering technical meetings for my co-workers within one business unit in company.
It is very important to keep developers working on their knowledge and that is what my company is trying to do. It organizes special seminars on different topics for all of the offices, it also creates its own certification model to evaluate knowledge of employees, etc. , but before that all started my team had our own technical meetings called “developers meetings”. Those were providing by one smart guy, who has moved to another country, but since team felt sad about that we continued having developers meetings, so we proceeded with scheduling topics and assigning people to them.
Fun, but while it was like official, conference room was full of people and everyone was listening to junior talking on some design pattern. As I think everyone got disappointed by such meetings, but I do not say that this was bad idea to have junior talking on patterns. Turns out it has something good inside, because that person learns something for himself and trains to present. Sad but true, he is not able to deliver something properly to the big audience.
I know this, because I also was in role of such presenter, talking on Prototype without clear understanding of it and using sophisticated example from book of GoF – I simply did not understand it and I’m sure that none get something valuable for him/herself out of that talk.
My conclusion is that presentation should be delivered by person, who has really solid understanding of things he talks about. If it is small team and it contains juniors, he should start with ever simplest code. But since anyone should start with something, junior also should have presentation sometime. In this case I would recommend to make presentation for limited number of people, like other starting developers and few experts who are really interested in people growth.
Back to Developers Meetings we are having now, I really would love to see them thriving, but it requires investment of time from interested people. These months I’m trying to deliver presentations more often, and since we’ve got lot of new staff we can repeat old topics with new breath. How to know if developers want those meetings again?
To get some feedback I created survey, which I sent to my co-workers, but I would be really happy if you, my readers, will fill-in it also. (It shouldn’t take longer than 1 min.)