Inspired by my famous CSS YouTuber Kevin Powell and his CSS battles on YouTube, I organised a CSS battle in my company, Netresearch. Why? I noticed how quickly after a few tasks on CSS-battle, I was up to speed again. I learned so many new things, and it was great fun. Having fun and learning something with friends is of course even better, I thought to myself and started the challenge in our company.
Knowledge sharing is one of the keys to sustainable, successful businesses. Maybe my approach will help you and your colleagues to reach this goal faster and happier.
- one round lasts 20 minutes
- afterwards there is a 10-minute evaluation
- everyone writes human-readable code (no compression)
- use of any documentation is allowed
- The entire event is recorded. A moderator switches to the participants' screens via screen-sharing and asks questions.
To entertain the spectators and participants during the competition, the participants take turns describing what they are currently working on. Furthermore, they are asked prepared questions. Here are a few examples:
Pot 1 – Serious questions
- What are your tasks at Netresearch?
- Have you had another job before?
- What else do you do when you are not programming?
- What is your favourite programming language?
Pot 2 – Fun questions / tasks
- Tell a joke!
- What profession would your parents have imagined for you?
- If you had become a girl/boy, what would your first name be?
Pot 3 – Tricky questions
- What can you find on info.cern.ch ? – The first website ever.
- Have you ever peed standing up?
- Have you ever stolen a sweet from a colleague's desk?
- What was your most embarrassing experience at work?
Pot 4 – Nasty questions for an applicant
- How do you feel about being criticised?
- What was your biggest mistake - and what have you learned from it?
- When was the last time you disregarded a rule or regulation, and why?
- What added value would your attitude bring to our company?
To participate in the event, the opponents will need the following items:
- Video conferencing software with the possibility to share the screen
- Microphone and a webcam
- A browser
To organise such an event, you will need
- Video conferencing software with screen sharing capability
- OBS for recording and streaming
- Voting tool
- Coding Battle platform such as cssbattle.dev
At the end of a competition, the award ceremony is always a crowning event. The appreciation of the winner's performance by all participants. For our first battle, I chose CSS. Getting the frontend developers excited wasn't particularly difficult, but I wanted to get more colleagues on board from the backend as well, so I asked our marketing department for prizes for the winners.
- Audience Award (Voting)
- The Highest score in CSS Battle platform
Imparting knowledge in a playful way is not a new invention. My goal with this article is to show that this can also work for knowledge exchange in companies in the IT sector. At our first Coding Battle, we had a lot of fun and learned a lot. Organising an event like this takes a lot of effort the first time. The second time, it's much easier. So the key to success is regularity.
I would be pleased if you would also conduct a battle in your company and tell me about your experiences! You want to know more about it? Get in touch with me!