One of my favorite parts of being the CTO of HubTran is building an amazing team. We try to do that a number of ways. Obviously, we want to hire outstanding developers (I’m firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more!) but we also want to help the team improve. One method we’re using is a book club.
We have a few goals with our book club. First, we want to read books that focus on skills we want to improve. Second, we want to find books that are relevant to the whole team. For now, we’re all reading the same book at the same time. Finally, we want the books to be enjoyable both to read and to discuss.
We started in January with The Goal by Eli Goldratt. You may be surprised that the first book we chose for our software development book club wasn’t about software at all, but was instead a book about lean manufacturing. We made that choice intentionally. We wanted to make sure that everyone understood that there is more to being a great software developer than just learning how to code.
We decided to meet weekly covering several chapters at a time. The first few meetings were definitely a bit rough. In the first one, I delivered a fine but boring lecture on the first ten chapters. I was glad that several teammates suggested improvements to the format. Over the next few weeks, the gatherings became more enjoyable with everybody on the team participating. By the end of the book, we knew we were headed in the right direction.
Since that first book, we’ve averaged about a book a month. We’ve read several UI/UX books and are currently finishing the excellent Test Driven Development By Example. The team is learning from the books, but more importantly, we’re learning from each other. Without fail, every discussion includes a member of the team making an incredibly insightful point that I would have otherwise missed.
The HubTran book club has been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot and I’m excited to keep it going into the future. If you’re interested in joining our book club, reach out to me at email@example.com or 773.259.0145. We’re currently looking to hire at least one developer to help lead one of our product teams. We would love to have you become part of the club!