Our software delivery team at Esendex (made up of the operations and development teams) is full of people who are always exploring new techie things, and also love to share their ideas with each other. As a result, we thought it would be fun to have a more informal way of doing that. Also, (almost) all of us love cheese, as a result, “Cheese & Wine Friday” was born.
Once every two months or so, the SMS development and SMS operations teams get together on a Friday afternoon for one of our Cheese & Wine sessions, and this is how it works…
Four people volunteer to give a ten-minute talk about something “techy” they are interested in – this could be a code demo, a presentation on a new technology, telling a story. It could even be to show off a Netduino project. Also, the people doing the talks all have to bring a cheese.
There are no rules about what kind of cheese they have to bring, but each cheese is given a mark out of ten by the audience, and so far the cheeses have been as varied as the talks – from nice farmhouse cheddars to Stilton, to French cheeses you need a spoon to handle! The talks have included subjects such as Node.js, Distributed Version Control, 3D printing, lean practices and of course Netduino electronics.
It’s a really good chance to evangelise about a pet project or interest and have a good lively discussion. Some of the talks have lead to changes in our approach or new tools being adopted in or day-to-day work at Esendex. Sometimes it’s just good basic brain-food and inspiration. It’s also been a chance for people who may not often (if ever) have talked to a big group to experience presenting.
This time the winning cheese was Ossau Iraty brought in by Adam Bird (who talked about Redis.io) – an extremely tasty sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region which is, apparently, “the best cheese in the world”!