At tretton37 we have a big weekend coming up – we are combining a conference trip to Höllviken with two of our company wide competence days, or Knowabunga days as they are known.
During these days people tend to tweet about what we are doing, who’s presenting what, sharing stuff they created, fun things that were said and so on. While most of these tweets are interesting only to us, they do generate some questions from our followers. So, let me pre-empt the most common questions – what are we doing? and how did we plan it?
I’m going to make it easy for myself and just share exactly what we wrote to our ninjas a couple of months ago;
The planning for the double Knowabunga is on the way and we need your help. For one of the days we intend to create a conference-like schedule with tracks and everything. We need you to share your knowledge by offering to host one or more the sessions throughout the day.So, let me go into more detail about what each of these tracks should contain. If you are interested in contributing then contact the person responsible for that track.
The day may look something like this:
Cinema track is just what it sounds like: Pre-recorded talks that run all day on a big screen (and I’m hoping we can arrange some popcorn).
Since this pretty much takes care of itself, all we need is for you to suggest videos or potential speakers and topics.
Track responsible: firstname.lastname@example.org
Code labs are hands-on sessions where you can go to get help getting started with a particular technology. Code labs are hosted by a person who is knowledgeable in a particular technology. It doesn’t require a lot to host a session; if you stayed up a few nights fiddling with ElasticSearch or are using Octopus deploy at a client then chances are your more knowledgeable than most of your colleagues. Preparation can and should be minimal.
A code lab could, for example, involve;
Labs are 90 minutes but you can continue coding by going Ronin (a special track where you can do what you want). If you’re interested in being a host, then e-mail/talk to the person responsible for the track.
Track responsible: Roger Wilson
We want to make the Talks track very dynamic with lots of variety and no dead spots.
To achieve this we are dividing each 1,5 hour slot into 6 x 15 minute micro slots. In doing this, we can increase variety and flexibility to allow different types of talks.
If you think that you only need 1 micro slot (15 minutes) then go for it! However, if you have a more complex topic to discuss and require 3 micro slots (45 minutes) then this is also possible.
We have 4 (big) slots, which leaves us with 24 micro slots, so we have lots of flexibility to talk about many different cool topics.
Some ideas for tracks:
You should see this track as a massive shot of knowledge! How far do you think that we can take this? :D
We can also bring in external speakers, so you may suggest that too!
Feel free to start sending ideas and topics, we will try to make this as public as possible so that we can get inspiration shared between one another.
Track responsible: Bernardo Antunes
Imagine a gathering of people that share the same interest. For example, you could have a “lean” meet-up where you discuss experiences with the lean methodology, or a Sharepoint meet-up to discuss vNext. You could also discuss matters related to tretton37, for example “how do we take Knowabunga days to the next level?” (and be sure to share the results).
The format is up to the attendees to decide; you could do a fishbowl, brainstorm or have open discussions. The only requirement is that someone acts as a moderator and makes sure that the session ends on time.
Track responsible: Anders Persson
As always, we want you to have the flexibility to do what is best for you. Therefore, there will be a room ready where you can work on whatever you like (as long as it qualifies as competence development). One example to go Ronin is if you want to continue a code lab after the session has ended, or if you want to work on your open source framework. You get the idea. This, however, is not a place to sit and talk about your mad WoW skills or other non-work related stuff.
Track responsible: you
That’s about it. We now have around 22 sessions and the whole thing is pretty much organising itself. Of course, we couldn’t have pulled this off without the ninja’s inherent desire to contribute what they know. That’s what makes tretton37 a great place to work – especially if you are the organiser :)
Open source and the open source community are, and always will be, an important part of our company culture. It was not too long ago that we spent a full day contributing to various open source projects, as a small way for us to show our appreciation for the projects and all the hard work that goes into them.
Of course, we like to write code as well and many of us share out work in the form of open source projects. I have compiled a short list of some of the many projects that are being shared by my fellow ninjas. Who knows, maybe you will find something in the list that will help you with your work or solve a problem you have been struggling with?
HTML5 templating framework that helps you build web applications using HTML, CSS, and Jaavascript!
Unit Grid System
A simple localstorage extender for the Knockout.JS project
Scrapin’ lunch menues because everyone are too lazy to surf for lunches. Feel free to fork to add new sites to scrape!
Because npm was lacking a magic 8-ball package
A simple library for uni-directional dataflow application architecture inspired by ReactJS Flux
A configure in code LALR(1) parser generator for C#
An in-browser game that is controlled by the gyro and accelerometer of your smartphone.
by Victoria Lodge
I started at tretton37 just about a year ago. My first couple of weeks at tretton37 involved a lot of mug posting to the far corners of the globe. I couldn’t quite understand why requests were coming in from all over the world for a mug that had something about France being bacon on it. I just didn’t get it. So, I bought in about 900km of bubblewrap, thought “computer nerds are a funny bunch” and posted them off. Job done.
The weeks went by, and over the past year I’ve managed to find my way amongst the numerous computer cables, ‘Game of Thrones’ quotes and the other day I even understood a Sharepoint joke (well, ok ‘understood’ was perhaps overkill, but I knew when I should laugh). Anyway, slowly but surely, the talk of Leetspeak began to surface more and more frequently. Dates were set, it was to be in Gothenburg, and the speakers were going to be awesome. As the 4th of October drew closer, the organisers were an omnipresent force at the Lund office. Hush hush phone calls were made, plans were laid and Leetspeak became more and more present in daily vocabulary.
The weeks prior to Leetspeak were a haze of late nights, long days and giveaways. The awesome giveaway idea that had been concocted was visual and metaphoric perfection – a seed of knowledge that once planted was to be nurtured and in time it would give great rewards. How very Yoda. And so I set about spraying 400 plant pots with the Leetspeak logo (remember that haze I spoke of? I think it was the paint), seeds were individually counted and placed in hand stamped envelopes, our resident gardening expert advised on the purchasing of plant nutrients, care leaflets were printed and the other assembly parts were organised. I saw the vast amount of time, energy and love that was put into the giveaways and know that this amount effort, time and care was put tenfold into every decision made in relation to Leetspeak.
The next thing I knew it was time to jump on the bus and head for Gothenburg. Upon arrival we got stuck into all the pre-Leetspeak jobs that needed doing. As I stood there at 2am, up to my elbows in plant soil, I admit that I asked myself – is it worth this? Just over 4 hours later I would get my answer. Stifling a yawn, the first happy Leetspeaker made their way to the registration, and ‘boom’ it was show time. The day flew by from there, I heard snippets of “awesome”, “brilliant”, “…an amazing talk”, “they always have the best stuff” and (my personal favourite) “can you take soil on a plane?”. The atmosphere was buzzing, discussions were animated and the word of Leetspeak was tweeted like no other. I stood back and took it all in. Holy cow. This is where I work. This company, right here, that does all of this amazing stuff with such attention to detail. This is how it is to work for the most admired company. The sense of camaraderie, the family spirit, was burning bright for all to see.
So, I asked myself again, was it worth it? A resounding ‘Yes’. Totally. 100%. Just maybe next year a simpler giveaway perhaps ;)
ColdFront is a brand new, single-day front end conference taking place in Copenhagen on the 4th of September 2014. It’s kicking off in style with a pretty impressive speaker line-up, which can be found here.
ColdFront (being just awesome) want to give back to the community, and in keeping with that tretton37 are proud to receive some tickets to give away to three lucky winners.
If you want to be in with a chance of winning, then all you have to do is keep your eyes peeled on the 21st of August at 9:30 am to our official twitter account. We’ll send out a tweet and all you need to do is retweet it. It’s that easy. :-)
Good luck and get ready to get retweeting on the 21st!
Previously I’ve discussed the challenges of organising our Knowabunga days due to the wide range of different and exciting interests we have here at tretton37. When planning companywide activities we have to cater to all of these interests or we run the risk of not getting a return on the investment. We are convinced that learning goes hand in hand with the individual’s aspirations, and therefore interest is an important factor. I like to think that we have succeeded with that so far, but we can always strive to make it even better.
We typically organise these days around common goals and establish a few boundaries. Teams are usually created based on your areas of specialisation or areas you wish to develop further (for example Sharepoint devs, front-end devs, tranditional C# devs). The goal is set up so that you can use any technology, which is typically how we deal with the fragmented interests. Now, we also have a few people that work with the ‘soft aspects’ of our trade – those we call ‘coaches’ and the like. Since coding is not their ‘thing’ they usually plan something different on their own. This Knowabunga we facilitated two tracks in line with this area called “People and Leadership” and “Presenters Guild” and allowed these tracks to be open to all.
I expected that all the devs would go for coding in the “Perfect Stack” track, and – heck – we even called it the main track. That assumption turned out to be wrong; “People and leadership” was the most popular track. This was as an eye opener for me. While we have always covered all technological interests we forgot somewhere along the way that devs are more than just code and this should also be taken into account. Communicating with project members, stakeholders and product owners is a big part of what we do besides coding. Therefore, I expect we will see a lot more soft content at Knowabunga days in the future.
The “Presenters Guild” track had the fewest participants. This doesn’t discourage us from having this or similar topics in the future though. Depending on the feedback we get it might just be just the opposite. The way we see is that its better to have sessions that are fantastic to a handfull of people rather then sessions that are just average to the whole lot.
For those curious about the outcome of the ”Perfect Stack” track, here are the repos:
About this blog
We at tretton37 believe in having a strong company culture that promotes craftsmanship, professionalism and knowledge sharing.
We want to use this blog to share what we know and give everyone insight into our thoughts.
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