Recruiters
July 27, 2020

Tips on Building a Culture of Continuous Learning for Developers

Moving from silos of knowledge to a more comprehensive mode of learning will help organizations during taxing growth periods.
Source: Unsplash

Continuous learning for any organization is all about how employees stay connected and continue to grow in the face of competition or adversity. Growth requires learning, otherwise it might not happen. That’s why when an organization is experiencing a growth phase or trying to compete in their respective industry, it is the job of managers, but also team members in general, to figure out the tools and methods that will increase learning. This will ensure that such a growth period is more of a smooth transition, and less of a chaotic situation.

Managing continuous learning is not easy as it sounds though mainly because its hard to activate all of the knowledge potential in a company. Silos emerge because knowledge either stays hidden, or it is not shared across teams efficiently when it’s needed to be.

For developers, a very unique skillset is needed to join an organization. Developers in particular are well versed in coding languages, problem solving, and logic. For some organizations looking to hire top talent, developers have to go through platforms like Impactian and pass Communications, Coding, and other assessments before being considered for a position. This means that the talent base for developer teams is usually set at a very high bar, but again that doesn’t translate to direct learning unless the right tools are in place.

Encouraging Remote Pairing with developers

One way to encourage such continuous learning with developers is to test out paired programming, which is basically when a coder works alongside a “checker”, someone who reads their code and gives immediate feedback on the process. 

One of the ways that paired programming has caught on and has become slightly more known is through the founding of Tuple—a remote paired programming app for Mac-OS. The organizations co-founder, Ben Orenstein, says he wants to get rid of the stigma around paired programming and create an industry where it becomes an organic and more natural process. He thinks that paired programming should be thought of as “a tool in your tool belt…Don’t think of it as a religion you need to adopt or a crazy practice that needs to be spread around your team.” 

Some of the main benefits of paired programming include:

  • Working in pairs allows your checker to add perspective to the way you are coding and perhaps lead to more effective coding down the line.
  • Coding can be an isolating exercise that affects the mental health of coders everywhere. Being able to work in teams can make it more of a social process
  • Faster learning curve. Instead of Google searching or going to books when problems arise, pairing can often manifest a very unique relationship where knowledge is ascertained, and shared, to complement one another's skillsets.
  • Even if paired programming is not adopted at the organizational level, some type of communication technique like this should be considered amongst employees. It shows how even if employees are uncomfortable with sharing their knowledge or perhaps facilitating new dialogues, these processes embody learning and growth that everyone can benefit from.

Communications and keeping up with the news beat

While remote pairing is an activity that is deeply internal to co-workers and their relationships with others, there also needs to be a wider Communications role that is external to help with continuous learning.  

This might look like one or two employees taking turns reporting on industry headlines, news, or current events, and sharing it in a bi-weekly newsletter. When a company is experiencing growth, it can be an exciting and energetic time, but employees still need to follow the news beat of what their competitors are doing, and if someone makes a discovery, they’ll want to share it at an organization wide level so that others can latch onto this information as well.

Mediums like newsletters allow this to happen and prevent knowledge from being stored to knowledge being disseminated more timely and when it’s needed most. Oftentimes, no matter the sector, employees might read a headline that they think is important at that moment, but might fail to realize the information they just learned could benefit others or simply become consumed with other tasks and miss potential sharing and thus learning opportunities.

TagsContinuous LearningRemote Pairing
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

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RecruitersJuly 27, 2020
Tips on Building a Culture of Continuous Learning for Developers
Moving from silos of knowledge to a more comprehensive mode of learning will help organizations during taxing growth periods.

Continuous learning for any organization is all about how employees stay connected and continue to grow in the face of competition or adversity. Growth requires learning, otherwise it might not happen. That’s why when an organization is experiencing a growth phase or trying to compete in their respective industry, it is the job of managers, but also team members in general, to figure out the tools and methods that will increase learning. This will ensure that such a growth period is more of a smooth transition, and less of a chaotic situation.

Managing continuous learning is not easy as it sounds though mainly because its hard to activate all of the knowledge potential in a company. Silos emerge because knowledge either stays hidden, or it is not shared across teams efficiently when it’s needed to be.

For developers, a very unique skillset is needed to join an organization. Developers in particular are well versed in coding languages, problem solving, and logic. For some organizations looking to hire top talent, developers have to go through platforms like Impactian and pass Communications, Coding, and other assessments before being considered for a position. This means that the talent base for developer teams is usually set at a very high bar, but again that doesn’t translate to direct learning unless the right tools are in place.

Encouraging Remote Pairing with developers

One way to encourage such continuous learning with developers is to test out paired programming, which is basically when a coder works alongside a “checker”, someone who reads their code and gives immediate feedback on the process. 

One of the ways that paired programming has caught on and has become slightly more known is through the founding of Tuple—a remote paired programming app for Mac-OS. The organizations co-founder, Ben Orenstein, says he wants to get rid of the stigma around paired programming and create an industry where it becomes an organic and more natural process. He thinks that paired programming should be thought of as “a tool in your tool belt…Don’t think of it as a religion you need to adopt or a crazy practice that needs to be spread around your team.” 

Some of the main benefits of paired programming include:

  • Working in pairs allows your checker to add perspective to the way you are coding and perhaps lead to more effective coding down the line.
  • Coding can be an isolating exercise that affects the mental health of coders everywhere. Being able to work in teams can make it more of a social process
  • Faster learning curve. Instead of Google searching or going to books when problems arise, pairing can often manifest a very unique relationship where knowledge is ascertained, and shared, to complement one another's skillsets.
  • Even if paired programming is not adopted at the organizational level, some type of communication technique like this should be considered amongst employees. It shows how even if employees are uncomfortable with sharing their knowledge or perhaps facilitating new dialogues, these processes embody learning and growth that everyone can benefit from.

Communications and keeping up with the news beat

While remote pairing is an activity that is deeply internal to co-workers and their relationships with others, there also needs to be a wider Communications role that is external to help with continuous learning.  

This might look like one or two employees taking turns reporting on industry headlines, news, or current events, and sharing it in a bi-weekly newsletter. When a company is experiencing growth, it can be an exciting and energetic time, but employees still need to follow the news beat of what their competitors are doing, and if someone makes a discovery, they’ll want to share it at an organization wide level so that others can latch onto this information as well.

Mediums like newsletters allow this to happen and prevent knowledge from being stored to knowledge being disseminated more timely and when it’s needed most. Oftentimes, no matter the sector, employees might read a headline that they think is important at that moment, but might fail to realize the information they just learned could benefit others or simply become consumed with other tasks and miss potential sharing and thus learning opportunities.

Continuous Learning
Remote Pairing
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles