Coffee sessions with the team

Original: https://unsplash.com/photos/It0DCaCBr40

Nowadays, it’s not possible to create a product by only one person. The time of one hero is already gone. It’s more productive when there’s a team on a specific product. And the most important thing here is communication within the team. The team should always understand short term and long term goals. That’s why the team has everyday meetings and sprint planning. But besides these sessions — daily status sharing and weekly planning — it’s also important to have a session for sharing knowledge. It could be knowledge about the current project, about specific technology, or everything else useful, that could improve performance of the team. So let’s examine this session in detail.

What’s the difference from everyday’s standup?

Let’s think of the coffee session as the synchronization of thoughts, knowledge and skills. In contrast to daily standup where you share your status, and the goal is for everyone understands what the team is doing overall. Daily sessions are really important, because they help the team to go in the same direction and achieve common goals. But on everyday’s standup you shouldn’t describe technical problems in detail, mostly you should provide what you did, what you are doing and which problems you have. If everyone is going to talk on technical details, standup will take a lot of time. That’s why you should separate standup and the discussion on technical things. Such discussions could be done right after standup, but it takes a lot of time so overall time could be unpredictable. From my experience, it’s better to make the technical meeting every week or fortnightly to let participants be prepared for the discussion. And this discussion is called the coffee session!

Original: https://unsplash.com/photos/RDYdOvk8ats

What you can share?

You can share whatever is valuable for the team:

  • technical design
  • knowledge on new technologies
  • discussion about the last conference
  • someone’s impressive research

It also could be a live coding session. It could be just discussion on technical problems and solutions. If any valuable information for the team is shared and discussed on it — this session brings some magic to your project: people feeling freedom to generate new ideas and less fears on highlighting existing problems!

Who should provide and schedule the session?

For the coffee session, each team mate should be involved in this. Ideally, the tech session should be prepared in a round robin way by each participant. In this case, everyone should do it! Here you can see the possibility to share the most valuable things from your point of view. And since the team consists of different people with their own knowledge experience, the team in overall could understand knowledge of each other. Better knowledge results lead to better results overall.

How it should be prepared?

It’s better if all the materials could be shared before the session, so participants could be prepared. It shouldn’t be long about 10–15 minutes to understand the term and prepared materials. In this way, the session will be productive. Sharing too much material requires spending a lot of time for preparation. Prepared material could be in the form of presentation or small document, and it’s better to put the result of the session on the same document. After the session all the materials outcomes should be shared on the specific page devoted for coffee sessions to let everyone have access to them. It will help you to track activities and manage the history of discussions. After 3–4 sessions, you will be able to analyze the results, and, believe me, you will be impressed by them!

Original: https://unsplash.com/photos/lQwWZI_WjSU

In conclusion.

Please, do not hesitate to share your knowledge within the team, be more open and help the others to achieve the goals! Good luck!

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🚀 Marvelous Senior Backend Software Developer 📚 Like to share my knowledge 🎤 Beginner Public Speaker 🏠💻 Live and work in London https://github.com/oleg-sta

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Oleg Stadnichenko

Oleg Stadnichenko

🚀 Marvelous Senior Backend Software Developer 📚 Like to share my knowledge 🎤 Beginner Public Speaker 🏠💻 Live and work in London https://github.com/oleg-sta

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