Next Jump has a lot of smart engineers, but one thing we often struggle with is taking time away from our daily work to engage in more complex engineering topics. That’s why I’m so thankful for The Dev Poets Society. Born from an idea my Project Padawan mentor gave me several months ago (to share my technology passions with other developers), the Dev Poets Society is an open group of engineers that meets once a week to discuss and develop technology. We collect and share useful scripts, and we have an on-going Speaker Series, in which members of the group and other NxJ engineers can give talks about topics of their expertise. I’ve learned much from these meetings that has been immediately useful for my work (new bash and vim commands, how to use views effectively in SQL, and all the ins and outs of RegExp). This lets me be more efficient and gives me more time to help other people.
In addition to sharing knowledge, we also bring in interesting problems (e.g. our Code Golf series), and we tackle complicated issues facing our own and other departments (e.g. Test Jump, our site testing framework that we will be rolling out for the Q.A. team next week). These things keep me alert and motivated, by presenting new and interesting engineering challenges.
Our Vx goal is to further the “Engineering Spirit” at Next Jump, and eventually to spread it to the engineering community at large. We’d like to work Code Golf into our recruiting process and to contribute to some open source projects outside of NxJ. The engineering talent at NxJ is so great, it has to be shared.