Knowledge sharing and self-learning culture at beBit
At beBit, we thrive on the motto “Sharing is caring.” Knowledge sharing has been an essential culture at beBit. We devote some time to learn and share what we learned and how it’s beneficial for our day-to-day work during the period of each quarter.
Here’s how we set the practice of learning and share in beBit.
Organize "Read and Share" sessions
The idea behind this session is that we read the book “Beyond Legacy Code: Nine Practices to Extend the Life (and Value) of Your Software” by David Scott Bernstein and share what we learned from the book with our colleagues. This book was recommended to us by our CTO. Since this book is available in English and Japanese versions, it was not difficult for native Japanese speakers to get meaningful insight from each chapter. We first defined a fixed schedule to read the book throughout the last quarter of 2020. We then allocated 2 days (15 min each day) a week to share what we learned from the book.
One day (15 min) was allocated for the team reading and internal sharing, while another day’s (15 minutes) was allocated for sharing the things we learned with the members by three teams rotating the turn. We all read the book in our free time as it was just one chapter per week. And on the team's internal sharing session, we conduct a 15-minute session, list out the important points we learned from the book, and list out what can be implemented in our day-to-day work to make our legacy codebase more maintainable. On the day we share with the whole engineering team, one team member shares with all the members by using the PowerPoint slides. Lastly, after all the presentation/sharing for a chapter is over, we document the things we learned on our internal confluence page. We finished reading the book on Dec 29th, 2020 and documented everything we’ve learned on our internal confluence page. Writing everything that we’ve read and understood is very helpful because it’s easier to reflect on the book's essential concepts and the things we said we could implement in our organization.
On the retrospective, this process has been a great source of inspiration and helps in team building. Sharing what we learned internally and with the whole members allowed us to know that we all are on the same page.
Another vital part of sharing culture is organizing knowledge-sharing sessions and inviting all team members (optional) to participate. In this one, anyone is free to hold a sharing session. We invite all members to our shared calendar, and the developers who are interested in joining the session can join it and have a discussion, ask questions, and share ideas. Generally in this kind of knowledge sharing session is about 30 minutes to 50 minutes long. In this session, the organizer shares what they’ve been working on lately and the changes made to the project, and how it affects our product, USERGRAM.
This knowledge-sharing session is an excellent opportunity to know what other engineers have been working on and share ideas and get suggestions.
We’ve also been getting certified. Mainly AWS and Kubernetes certified. We believe that getting certified is an excellent opportunity to improve our skills, gain a deeper understanding of technology, showcase our talent and validate our skills. We encourage each other to get certified, and in this journey, many engineers are now AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate, and AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate. Since AWS is the core cloud provider for our application, USERGRAM, getting AWS certified is a bonus point for the organization. Similarly, many engineers are also Kubernetes certified, such as Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) and Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). Kubernetes is the powerhouse of USERGRAM; hence it’s highly beneficial to get Kubernetes certified, which we use heavily in our day-to-day work.
Sharing outside the organization
Embracing the sharing culture at beBit, we are now encouraging and focusing on sharing outside beBit. In this case, we encourage fellow engineers to share what we learn outside the organization on various mediums such as Qiita, Wantedly, YouTube, and engineer’s blog (if they have one). We started doing this as a part of our OKR in the 1st quarter of 2021. Sharing outside the beBit is done to make our engineers globally competent, let others know about beBit and beBit’s engineering culture, and facilitate new recruitment.
Weekly sharing session
A weekly sharing session is a 1-hour session whereby any 4 of the engineer can share anything related to tech, productivity, encouragement, etc., with all the members. We started this in the 1st quarter of 2021. A weekly sharing session is held every Wednesday at 2:00 PM, where an engineer has 15 minutes to share on any topic. Weekly sharing session is an excellent opportunity to showcase our knowledge regarding our colleagues' specific topics and techniques.
Learning and sharing allow us to grow ourselves by getting ourselves outside of the comfort zone, developing a strong bond with colleagues, and becoming competent engineers. Getting certified adds value to our professional careers, validates our skills, and helps immensely in our day-to-day work. In conclusion, we can proudly say that we all engineers highly embrace the sharing culture here at beBit.