Naming engineering teams has to be one of the most interesting yet heated processes in dev circles. Creativity, wit, and unwavering pride all come out for the show. But let’s face it, picking out one phrase from a timeline as wide as Greek mythology to the ultrafuturistic era in Star Trek is not easy.
This post will impart that aha moment with mentions of some cool-sounding names for engineering teams.
Before we do this, let’s just look into what a name means for a team, the impact it has, and the angles you can invoke whenever a name is called out.
What’s in a Name?
Well, this part depends on why you’re coming up with a name as much as the final noun itself. If you’re representing your company in a hackathon, then maybe you want dominance and creativity blended in a mouthful of words. See what we meant by this not being child’s play?
A Name Can Be Fun: Why So Serious?!
Names derived from cartoon characters often hint at a playful vibe. A team donning the name “The Flintcodes” itself often embodies that clumsy yet entertaining drama consistent with their name source, The Flintstones!
If fun is the theme you’re going for, consider more than cartoon references to ensure inclusivity among the team. As fun as a random shout-and-agree session can be (think Zoom sessions), you could find yourself going down a time black hole. For this reason alone, you’re best narrowing down your options to just a handful with a quick survey prior to your naming meetings.
A Name Can Be Technical
Since you’re naming a bunch of code crunchers, why not make the name resonate with their focus. Toss a programming language or framework next to a noun or verb, and you could have the kind of cool that your team is proud to call themselves. “K8 Surfers” would quickly alert anyone reading (or hearing) the name of how well a team is capable of using Kubernetes. It could also be a couple of surf enthusiasts who happen to code!
A Name Should Be Easy to Remember
Picking out a name should not become a recurring task. In fact, once done, the only time another name needs to be coined is when another team sprouts up. That’s assuming the first was a good name to begin with. Another sad case could be that your engineering team name faded into the noise of activity. People can forget your team names if they don’t have a connection to it.
Here’s what you can do to make sure your engineering team names don’t slip out of everyone’s mind.
- Include everyone in the naming process.
- Extract parts of everyone’s names and blend that into one.
- Make sure to infuse an element liked by most members of the team.
- Use the name! Say it out loud and mention it in Slack enough for it to stick.
Having a numeric name—say the value of pi—is a sleek trick, but unless everyone in the team actually knows the value off the top of their heads beforehand, chances are they’ll forget it shortly after the naming ceremony. Why not just name it “Py” then? You didn’t look up the value of pi, did you?
Keep in mind that while your pick can be easy on the tongue, being hard to forget is a totally different construct altogether. That’s a variable of team performance more than its title.
Let’s look at a few fun, technical, and easy-to-remember engineering team names.
25 Good Engineering Team Names
You don’t have to use any of these, but they’ll sure serve as inspiration for your name tags.
- Red Diamonds: A play on the Ruby programming language’s gems and the glamour-strength ratio around actual diamonds.
- Agile Codesters: Less of the fun element, but infuses how the team handles code tasks. PMs will love this one.
- Django Fever: Love the Python programming language much?
- Go Buddies: Makes sense when Go is the preferred programming language.
- Code Busters: Say it loud enough and you could break into the Ghostbusters theme song.
- Python and Chill: A reference to the laid-back and comfortable movie streaming generation.
- The Terminal Pack: When everyone uses bash like they have a CLI black belt 🥋.
- Pirates of the Terraform: A cool, rule-bending group of DevOps engineers, maybe.
- Ctrl Alt React: Perfect for teams that rely on React for everything.
- Bit Minions: A horde of experts who love the life of zeros and ones.
- Git Wreckers: Expert version control mixed with a retro reference to being very good at something.
- Non-Binary Devs: An all-out “every day is pride day” group of engineers 🏳️🌈.
- Angular Avengers: You’ll have a hard time deciding who gets to be Thor or the Hulk with this one.
- JavaScipt League: DC, anyone?
- Dudes on Rails: When RoR is your bread and butter, or just the boy band equivalent of Ruby devs.
- ASP Nest: A catchy .NET reference.
- Gnarly Grails: This is perfect for cases where the Grails framework is your Holy Grail equivalent.
- Live Long and Code: 🖖.
- The CSS Enterprise: A well-orchestrated ship of front-end developers.
- Vulcan Code Meld: When your team always works miracles together.
- May the Swift Be With You: Apple applications devs will love this.
- Code Jedi: If being in total control of code was a group of people.
- KubeClan: A twist on Kubernetes and the chemistry associated with clans.
- Docker Nightmares: Ask your team if they ever dream of their clusters.
- The Amazonians: Certified AWS pros will love this one.
Just one look and you can quickly pick out some movie franchise references along with commonly used frameworks from the engineering team names on the list. The last piece of advice you ought to follow is to make sure your “name space” stays relevant to the bearers.
Be wary of the team’s composition. If your team is made up of girls only, then let them call themselves vixens if that’s what clicks. The key is letting motivation ooze into the mix straight from the name. At the same time, someone might view this female fox derivative as objectification. Since they’re your team, you should be in the best position to douse any flames before a name erodes the morale of your crew.
Reach Wide for Inspiration
Not sure which names to use as your template? Why not approach other developers and see what they think. Sometimes getting an opinion that’s totally disconnected from your immediate coworkers yields surprisingly refreshing ideas. To that end, you can join LinearB’s Discord community and poll people there about how they go about naming engineering teams.
As long as your team enjoys calling themselves by their name, you should be on your way to reaping the collaborative benefits of your efforts.
How about a few more names to spark your conversations around engineering team names?
- Cloud Hangers: Hang in the cloud a lot?
- Azure Assured Agents: That triple-A service guaranteed team.
- The LOC: That metric most developers stress about mixed with a hip vibe.
- Dev Matrix: You won’t have to pick the chosen one since there’s no “I” in “team.”
- The Flintcodes: Treat your team like a family? Then this one will be a hit with any ’90s kids there.