Staying Relevant in IT: How We Foster a Collaborative Learning Environment at Daugherty

While there are many things that I love about my job at Daugherty St. Louis, there’s nothing quite like helping a developer grow in their craft. If we’re honest with ourselves, one of the toughest parts of our job is staying relevant. Technology is moving so fast, and it takes a community of caring individuals to help inspire, motivate and teach to stay on top of our game.

That’s one of things that I’m so proud of here in the Software Architecture and Engineering Line of Service. We all motivate each other, teaching and learning from everyone, to keep driving technology forward and solving some of our client’s toughest business problems.

With that, one of our goals as an organization is Alignment. We try to understand where the technology is going, what our clients are implementing, and ensuring that we train every one of our consultants to stay relevant. One of the more entertaining ways we do this is through our Annual Summit.

It’s a full day event where our teammates can come together for learning, great discussion, fun, and camaraderie. Nearly 70% of our team packed our two largest conference rooms on a Saturday for 10 distinct classes. Who says learning can’t be fun? With our passionate group of individuals, the Annual Summit is one of my favorite days of the year.

Classes this year included Responsive Web Design, Intro to Microservices, Cloud Development, and Internationalization as well as thought leadership topics like Dev Ops, Bi-Modal IT, Agile in the Real World, and Solution Architecture. Daugherty employees were able to select between classes that were newly developed for the Summit or that they were not able to participate in during our normal round of Lunch-n-Learns and evening classes.

It wasn’t all lecture and discussion… Half way through the day, the teams broke into smaller groups to participate in a team-building event. They built a deck of “cards” that was quite impressive. In fact, we were all amazed at the ingenuity of our employees.

It wasn’t all work, either. After a full day, we hit the lanes for some bowling. When you work with clients all across the St. Louis region, our team gets fairly spread out. Events like our Annual Summit, regular hackathons, and Daugherty social events remind us just how important it is to continue fostering an environment of collaboration, respect and learning opportunities for our people.

I would encourage anyone who is a developer or a manager, make sure that you never lose sight of the importance of teamwork and team building. What can you glean from those around you? Take a break, check out some training, have a discussion with your teammates, and never stop learning. (Which goes for managers, too.) We’re never too old to learn something new.

So, what’s your environment like? How can you foster more collaboration and learning among your peers? Share your thoughts with me in the comments, and of course, I’d love for you to consider joining Team Daugherty if your environment isn’t quite what you’d like.

Photo Credit: Dave Oleksa via Twitter