One of the reasons I love the software development world is that there are rarely times when there is one clear “right” way to do things. This means there is lots of room for creativity. I love watching how our team combines technical prowess with creativity to elegantly solve problems. If you’re managing a team of devs, remember that you’re really managing a team of (code) writers.
The downside is that it can (and frequently does) result in disagreements between devs. After coding, the next most important skill devs need is communication.
Debating ideas helps our team overcome most issues. Every now and then, something comes up that we can’t come to a consensus on. This is where we need to rely on our “Having Opposite Opinions & Picking Solutions”, or HOOPS system.
Check out our latest game here. As happens in most dev arguments, product management comes out on top 🙂
In our case, HOOPS literally means hoops. Our office has an amazing mini-hoop (metal rim on a spring) and we use it regularly for team building and dispute resolution. Disagree on “Using rational DB to model the data of the new feature or use snapshots on DynamoDB?”, let’s take it to the court!
Now there are an infinite number of variations of basketball games (HORSE, Around the World, 21, etc.). To resolve conflict quickly or build comradery over lunch, we needed a game that wouldn’t drag out. So here are the official rules of dev mini-hoop basketball.
- Starting with player 1, then 2, 3, etc. each player takes a shot, from a spot they choose.
- If the player directly before you makes a shot, you need to make your shot from exactly the same spot, if you miss you get a strike and the next player starts a new round from a new spot.
- If you make the shot the next player needs to make the shot from the same spot. If they miss, they get a strike.
- Once a player reaches 3 strikes, they're out.
- The game continues until there is a winner.
We usually wrap up our game in about 10 minutes if a whole team plays.
Whether its mini hoops or rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, every team needs a creative and fun way to bond and resolve conflict.
//side note: Just don’t resolve conflict the way hockey does it.