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Internal tech-talks, canva, featured image

Internal Tech Talks

Technical knowledge that team members have, not always related to day by day job, is incredible. Very often it’s hidden and almost impossible to discover due to the lack of opportunity to express and share it.

Based on BlueRiders team request we start a new series of internal Tech Talks to share knowledge and allow our employees to express their technical passions.

Meetings are scheduled to happen every two weeks and take around an hour. Each team member can reserve time in the calendar for their presentation.

What could go wrong?

When you organize this type of meetings it might happen, even if you have best intentions, that the interest is going to be low. The risk is even bigger when a team is small. Two possible cases are:

  • There is no one that would like to prepare a talk
  • There is no audience
  • After the initial success interest goes down over time

In our opinion, it’s still worth to try especially since there are a few things that you can do to prevent a failure.

How to prevent a failure?

Let’s address this one by one:

There is no one that would like to prepare a talk.

First of all, make sure that there is enough topics for presentations. Create a reserve list where you can put your own subjects to pick up if needed.

Motivate your team members to make an effort and prepare the presentation. For example, in BlueRider knowledge sharing is part of a development carrier (will make another post just about that). In order to grow as a professional everyone decides that sharing knowledge is absolute must. Making internal talks is amazing opportunity for the first step, before making firsts presentations in front of a larger audience.

There is no audience.

It’s definitely not a good situation, someone makes an effort but nobody shows up. First of all, make yourself available.

Second of all, maybe trivial but extremely important, communicate time and subject as good as possible: calendar invitation, slack message, email, a quick reminder in office. Make your message positive and exciting.

Make it part of development carrier a specially for junior members of your team. Participating in technology events including internal tech talks is an important part of learning. This is what also happens in BlueRider case where developers agree that it should be part of the professional growth path.

After the initial success interest goes down over time.

There is only one way to prevent it. Talks have to be interesting, exciting and come from the true need. In order to increase chances to make them such you can:

  • Give presenters a bit of time during working hours to prepare correctly on a chosen subject
  • Help with the presentation, give your suggestions and show interested at least propose it.
  • Recognize and suggest subjects during one & one meetings, company events, casual talks — recognize where is the need.

How it went in our case?

Internal Tech Talks
Internal Tech Talks1
Internal Tech Talks2

We are extremely happy how organizing Tech Talks went in BlueRider. Our Tech Talk schedule is booked in advance for the next two months. The first presentations given by Agnieszka about ISTQB certificate and Józef about SonarQube brought almost 100% attendance with some of the team members joining online. Both presenters received very positive feedback!!! and it looks like new tech talks in our case is going to be the regular way of sharing knowledge among BlueRiders.

Tomasz Roszko

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