How Arranging Tech Huddles is Helping Us Build a Healthy Company Culture

March 8, 2022 |
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Being a company that incentivizes growth and preaches a knowledge-driven culture, it is important for us to invest time in our employees’ technical proliferation as well as their enjoyment during the work day. That is why we try and arrange a lot of on-premises activities. One of such activities is the Weekly Tech Huddle.

What is a Tech Huddle, You May Ask!

The word ‘Huddle’ is defined in the dictionary as ‘heaping together in a disorderly manner’. And that is what Tech Huddle is to us. It is a casual arrangement among our tech team members where many conversations about the latest and greatest technologies happen in a rendezvous setup.

Our tech huddles consist of four types of alternating activities.

Knowledge sharing

The first one is a generic tech ‘adda’. In Bengali, ‘adda’ means a conversation among multiple people where everyone participates somewhat equally. In the tech adda version of our tech huddles, the whole tech team sits in our conference room to have a casual discussion of topics ranging from new tech innovations to problems they are facing in their projects. And in an attempt to understand different working styles of each individual, we collectively share knowledge.

Problem solving

The second format of tech huddle we do at Astha IT contains problem solving. We arrange a short hackathon where interested coders are given a couple of problems to solve within the shortest time possible. On top of that, many of these huddles consist of problems from Leetcode or HackerRank.

Presentation

The third type is a seminar, tutorial or presentation. We are not biased when we say our team members are quite talented and passionate about their work. They often achieve wonderful things and solve complicated problems amongst their day to day work. And we believe in the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

So whenever a member of our tech team accomplishes something intriguing, we ask them to share their experience in a tech huddle. It can happen in the form of a presentation, a seminar or even a tutorial on how the technology behind it works. And of course, would it even be a huddle if the viewers did not participate in the discussion? So there definitely are casual back and forths of opinion even when it’s in the form of a presentation or tutorial.

Code analysis

The fourth version of tech huddles for us is the code or architecture dissection and analysis where a piece of code or the architecture of a software is presented in the huddle to be dissected and analyzed by everyone. This is one of the most intriguing activities taking place in our office. A lot of new ideas are born out of these conversations.

That’s the four types of tech huddles we are currently involved in. They are different, yet have two common goals – fostering knowledge and having fun! And of course, there’s delicious food served in all of the tech huddles.

You Might be Wondering Why We Do This Every Week.

Investing in weekly tech huddles may seem like a waste of productive work hours. But it really is not. During the past few years of keeping up with more-or-less regular tech huddles, we have found that these activities significantly spike up the team’s productivity. In fact, tech huddles have majorly impacted the rise in the average retention rate at our company from 2 to 3 years along with increasing the overall happiness index of our team members.

One of the potential reasons for it is that our team is filled with highly-skilled people who have vast knowledge within their expertise. These conversations usually create room for exchange of that knowledge both from seniors to juniors and from juniors to seniors while still keeping the fun and excitement alive. Our tech huddles have solved many developmental problems that were not easy to solve otherwise. You know, many brains are definitely better than one brain!

Another reason behind us arranging regular huddle sessions is the team building aspect of it. It is important for developers to be aligned with one another while working together on a project. But it is sometimes as difficult to achieve as it is necessary.

Which coding convention is the best? What is the preferred library to parse JSON? So many questions to agree upon! We have found that regular technological discussion among the developers has helped our team to be on the same page about many of them.

We also love how tech huddles foster innovation and encourage debate. In an exponentially growing industry like tech, it is important to encourage experimentation. And regular huddles have done just that for us. Many constructive debates have taken place over the years which led to innovative experimentations. And the culture of taking everyone’s opinion into consideration has also helped us maintain the flat hierarchy we try and follow as a company.

Do you want to keep up with how we are practicing a healthy culture within our company on a day-to-day basis? Then follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and be a part by sharing your views.
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