By Yoan Thirion, Agile Coach and Software Craftsman at Agile Partner.
Have you ever asked yourself one of these questions?
- How can I spread my corporate culture?
- How can I keep my employees motivated?
- How can I quickly integrate a new employee in my company?
- How can I boost my recruitment?
At Agile Partner, we found a solution to answer these questions quickly, simply and efficiently: gamification.
What is gamification ?
Appeared in the late 2000s, gamification was born following the emergence of new marketing and managerial practices. Gamification is made to motivate individuals and to encourage them to change and master their practices. The inspiration was taken from the world of games, such as video games or game design elements, which was then associated with a non-playful context.
The goal? To stimulate the desire to discover, learn, understand and improve without feeling the constraints.
Gamification is using the mechanics of the game to achieve external and extrinsic goals, rather than simply having fun.
This mechanism can be used for many purposes and in different contexts:
- To motivate and encourage certain practices
- To stimulate participation
- To distribute a corporate culture
- To improve processes and productivity
- To improve and deepen experiences
- To promote collaboration and sharing
At Agile Partner, we believe deeply in the power of gamification.
Our teams of communicators and recruiters use it both to spread our values and our corporate culture and to conduct job interviews.
Our consultants, developers and coaches, use it to deliver training and facilitate workshops, to do individual or team coaching, and to teach good practices in general.
This is especially the case for teaching practices related to Software Craftsmanship.
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What is Software Craftsmanship ?
Software Craftsmanship could be summed up in one word: professionalism.
This professionalism is reflected in the use of practices, mostly derived from the eXtreme Programming (XP) method. , such as Test Driven Development, Pair Programming, Refactoring, Continuous Integration, etc. These allow to create software of high quality and participate to groom the pride of the teams which develop them.
In the framework of our developments, we ensure technical excellence to serve our customers. For several years, we have been striving to spread this agile mindset and the good practices.
The Gamification of Software Craftsmanship
In the context of certain missions, our coaches team might need to accompany several teams on different topics. That's why we have created a card game called "CRAFT CHALLENGES", which allows the craft / agile philosophy to be spread rapidly and simply.
The game has 4 Categories, each consist 13 best practices to be explored:
- "Challenges" cards consist of team building, involving individuals on specific topics, and adding a bit of fun: participating in a job interview, taking a team photo or facilitating a retrospective *.
- "Dev" cards contribute to the improvement and sometimes discovery of good development practices: refactoring legacy code, developing a Test Driven Development feature, or practicing a kata code *.
- "Culture" cards help to improve the corporate's culture: listen a podcast and share it with other colleagues, give positive feedback or start the day with an ice breaker *.
- "Practices cards" brings good practices within the team: performing Pair Programming, Mob Programming or creating a Kudo Wall *
* list of non-exhaustive examples
On each card there is a QR code which gives access to a web page explaining the practice in detail: the goal, how to do it, examples, etc.
Every week, a participant chooses a random card out of a deck of 52 cards, carries out the indicated practice, and give it to another colleague. And so on...
This is how the Craft Challenge shares and diffuse the good practices !