Growth day happenings – Friday the 13th
(This is the first of a recurring series describing our work during most, if not all, growth days at Bendyworks. Note that we won’t do growth day on Friday the 20th, because it’s UXMad.)
What’s a “Growth Day”?
Bendyworks invests in our developers and the Open Source communities by providing growth days on Friday. We spend our growth days working on side projects, studying, honing our skills, contributing to the community: generally, anything that improves Bendyworks or ourselves. The interpretation of this is pretty generous. Past growth days have occasionally strayed fairly far from what you’d expect, into mathematics, robotics, non-mainstream languages and platforms, even origami. Do these directly contribute to us as software professionals? Open question; but they definitely strengthen us as software craftsmen. There’s no substitute for genuine intellectual enthusiasm. If you’ve got it, it shines through everything you do. If you don’t, well.
Learning and teaching is always a big part of Fridays. We’ve found, over and over again, that it pays to level up new developers. Of course, it’s a benefit to the new developers, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much our senior developers learn in the process.
Learning and teaching also includes exchange of the things we’ve discovered, whether on the job or off. Sometimes those things are kind of complex and require some dedicated time for explanation and discussion. Growth day gives us an opportunity for that.
So, what did our Friday, July 13th look like?
Besides teaching what we know and learning what we don’t know, we like to share when we find out about something cool or exciting. Joe recently had a serious conversation with UX guru Dale Sande about the way CSS can be put together in a semantically structured way. Joe put his findings into a blog post about a kind of presentation logic that will revolutionize how developers think about CSS. Also, Dale will be presenting at UXMad about this exact topic! Catch it if you can.
Last year Bendyworks hosted a RailsBridge workshop in conjunction with Madison Ruby, and plans to again this year. In preparation for that event Bill has been busy reaching out to Rails Bridge students from last year to get feedback and advice for participants of this year’s Rails Bridge event. While waiting for responses Bill is extending and updating a Rails for newbies documentation project he began when he first started learning Rails himself.
Jim and Jen worked on the upcoming conferences UXMad and Madison Ruby. They met with students from University Wisconsin and Madison College who are volunteering a few hours of labor for free tickets to those conferences. They also pushed forward some plans for the RailsBridge and KidsRuby events.
Brad spent the day working on a presentation for the City of Madison’s Economic Development Committee about improving the city and region technology scene.
Kelly, our designer and newest member of the Bendyworks family, put her design talents to work on nametags for the upcoming UXMad conference.
Throughout our weekly adventures we use many tools. Oftentimes we notice that those tools could be improved. Our growth day is the perfect opportunity to make those improvements.
- Matt submitted a pull request to fix the SwigWx recipe in the homebrew-fuerte tap.
- Brad and Matt added a turnip recipe to Rails Apps Composer.
- Jaymes answered some issues on Bwoken.
- Jaymes also contributed a tuneup_js Spec to CocoaPods for use in development of iOS projects.
While doing research for his blog post, Joe spiked on a number of css frameworks. Matt has been going over the Land of Lisp book, re-implementing the examples in Clojure in order to better his understanding of that language. Ryland gave us an overview of his Craftsman Swap experience at Thoughtbot. And Jaymes gave a presentation on another new framework and toolset a few Bendyworkers have been working with this past week.