The web development field is an ever-evolving world where developers have to keep up with the constantly changing coding standards, best practices and tools. Studying and research are critical for long-term growth and success, but it can be difficult to balance time between studies and customer projects. Enter Agency Leroy’s ‘Friday Roast’.
What is a Friday Roast?
The Friday Roast, originally named after the act of ‘roasting’ something or somebody on a Friday, started as a small-scale internal event that we organised for the first time some years ago. The goal of the roast is to learn something new by having somebody, oftentimes a developer, give a light-hearted presentation about a topic related to development. The presenter’s role is to research and learn something new and present it to others in an easily digestible way. After the presentation, the topic is discussed together, which is a good opportunity for everyone to ask questions and learn a thing or two. The roast itself is not supposed to be a long affair. The presentation should only be around 10-15 minutes long and the discussion that follows it should be around the same length. After all, nobody has the energy for drawn-out presentations on a Friday afternoon.
Topics that we have explored so far have covered web developer basics, including HTML5 and CSS3, but we have also dabbled in many other things like Git, Composer and different package managers. In addition to this, we have dived into more abstract themes such as web accessibility and security. When it comes to future roasts, the list is long and includes topics that range from bigger concepts like SEO and performance to smaller ones like author experience and newsletters.
Frequent Friday Roasts are a good way of making sure that everyone is on the same page and agrees on our core working methods and techniques. Sure, we could organise a roast on any day of the week, but we prefer having it on a Friday as it doesn't interfere with our hectic midweek schedules. Also, Friday Roast simply sounds better than, for instance, Wednesday Roast!
What have we learned so far?
In our field, we are constantly bombarded with updates and introduced to new tech, which can sometimes be overwhelming. With the help of a Friday Roast, where any subject can be discussed freely together, we can focus on what is relevant and spot things that could be improved. Many of the conversations we have had during the roasts have improved our ways of working. Sometimes, these conversations have inspired new and more optimised workflows which, in turn, have led to better products overall. We are constantly updating our base code, or the so-called boilerplate that we use for each web project, and the updates are often inspired by our Friday Roasts. Learning together also improves teamwork and builds trust – something that is valuable for any team. Besides, sitting down together on a Friday with your favourite beverage in hand to discuss something new and interesting is simply a good way to end the week!