A Culture of Learning

on June 18, 2013

I’m pretty Culture of Learningnew here at Centresource; I’m pretty new to development in general and Centresource took a chance by hiring a Junior Developer. I’m glad they did–I like it here. I like it for a number of reasons: the people are great, the space is comfortable, ROWE is sweet, and the work is challenging. More than anything, I love the culture of learning.

Every Wednesday morning, we have a Development Team meeting. When I first heard about this practice, I must admit I was a little wary. I don’t know anyone (especially of the developer stripe) who gets excited at the thought of a weekly meeting. I was relieved to find that these meetings would not only be painless, but that they would become something I actually look forward to (and blog about).

Our weekly meeting consists of each member of the team doing a quick blurb on what he/she has been working on and what he/she has learned in the past week. Lately, we have even been encouraged to throw onto the projector for all to see what we have learned or written recently. This is so fascinating to me for a number of reasons.

Experience Through Osmosis

Since my experience level is so low compared to my peers, it is a chance for me pick up a lot from a wide range of talented people. I have never bothered to tally up the collective years of experience in that room, but it’s certainly in the decades range. It’s safe to assume that the people in that meeting have forgotten more about development than I have learned at this point. And I get to sit there and soak in as much as my brain will hold. Even if I don’t use any of what I learn today, tomorrow, or next year, it’s in there somewhere.

The Learning is Never Over

It serves as a reminder that even the senior level devs still spend most of their days learning new things. One of the best thing about the development field is that it is constantly changing. The technologies we work with are fluid. New features for existing tools and new tools altogether make it an exciting space to work in. When I am in the dumps and feel like I’ll never be any good at development, it’s nice to know that ours best devs still learn new things. The Wednesday meeting serves as a reminder that, in software, “you never know enough” (and that’s a good thing).

You’ve Gotta Have Something for Show-and-Tell

I like that I have to have something to share every Wednesday. If the work I do for Centresource ever becomes so routine that I don’t learn something new each week, I have to go out and find something to learn. As a member of the Development Team, it is my duty to find something to bring to table for all of us. It causes me to think about where my weaknesses are and to keep a tally of new things I learn. In a job where the most seemingly minor task may require multiple Google searches, I think it’s important to not lose sight of how much I learn day-to-day.

Like I said, I’m pretty new to the field and to Centresource, but I love what I do and where I get to do it. What I love most about this place is the emphasis that is put on learning. We are not a culture where you don’t want to expose how little you know for fear of being canned (which would be a real concern for me elsewhere, I imagine). We embrace learning on the job and growing as a developer– and, dare I say, growing as a person.