At Culture Foundry we are 100% remote. We have core hours, but other than that, we don’t care if you live in Kalamazoo or Timbuktu. As long as you have a fast internet connection.
We use a variety of tools, but more important than the tools are the rituals that promote interpersonal contact. Some of these are company wide and some are one on one. But one very important meeting is “Developer Club”, often abbreviated “Dev Club”. This is a standing one hour video chat meeting where all developers can discuss anything they want. A tool they’ve discovered, a question they have, something they’ve built, or a problem they’re not sure how to handle.
Developers at any agency are faced with a dilemma. The company’s profitability is based on hours billed, but if you don’t spend any time learning new things, eventually you will be bored, burned out and possibly unemployable. At Culture Foundry, we recognize this tension. Obviously, if a company can’t make payroll, everyone loses. But if a company can’t keep its employees happy, it can’t continue for the long term. So having time for developers to hang out and chat acknowledges that knowledge sharing, learning and career growth are important to both Culture Foundry and the employee.
What does the team talk about at “Dev Club”? Here are some previous discussion topics:
- Gulp vs grunt vs webpack
- Our development process
- Craft CMS
- A father’s day couch
- Future development direction
Basically, anything is on the table. Managers don’t drive the conversation. Everyone can talk. However, we end the meeting early if there is nothing to discuss (no meetings for the sake of meetings, thank you very much). Sometimes devs just want to get back to coding, either because of deadlines or an engrossing project. And that’s OK too. Holding the space for discussion, learning and companionshiop is important, but that doesn’t mean the space always has to be used.