Today we had our retrospective! For those of you who don't know what a retrospective is (eh, us, a few hours ago), it is a meeting where you talk about what you have done well, what you can improve on, and finish with some action points. We began with a 'safety check' where each team member ranked their feelings on 1 - 5 on how comfortable they felt before the meeting, the rational being that if a team member feelings fell below 3, it was best to postpone the meeting for another time. We had a bunch of fives, a 4.2 and one 3 (low, due to upcoming travel and not project related), and so we began.
Not surprisingly we all agreed that many things had gone well during our first month: administrative (setting up a Trello board and Slack channel), educational (including particular learning sessions), communication (instituting daily stand-ups with coaches, in-person and remote, attending) , and technical (PRs, understanding the codebase). What surprised us was the number of times the word trust was mentioned. It was clear that having trust between teammates, with our coaches and with our mentors was something that was very important to us, and in this we have succeeded.
We trust, respect and adore our coaches and always remind ourselves of how lucky we are. Aside from their technical skills (a given) they model a type of behavior and communication that we try and emulate in our interactions with each other and with everyone we encounter on a daily bases.
The trust has developed over the big little things like David teasing Lori about the errors she'll make in Ruby (mutable strings!!!) because of her Python background; the encouraging message Nacho sent during our trip to Brighton; the diagrams Javi makes when explaining something; Emily and Jorge the staying until 9pm to teach us about inception; the "Hmmm, have you considered..." gentle way Maihka pushes us to expand our viewpoints. It was also the social time we spent with our mentors that built trust as well, such as when Jeremy coached Amalia on climbing or the 7am coffee Lori had with Katrina. We are grateful to the team we have.
The Action Plan
In the retrospective we learned that we haven't clearly created our learning road map, so our coaches haven't always known how they can help us. Moreover, some of our coaches weren't sure if they were helpful enough. This is a problem and we are tasked with creating a document outlining what we think we need and working with them to set up a learning pipeline. We spent some time after the meeting brainstorming on ways we can align our personal goals with our contribution to the exercism project and will forward the plan to our coaches and schedule the next sprint accordingly. Basically, we know where we want to be in 2 months, and by clearly communicating this, our coaches will be able to help us get there.
So we'll end with a thank you to our beloved coaches and mentors David, Emilly, Javi, Jorge, Maihka, Nacho, Klaus, Jeremy and Katrina. We have a long way to go to be coding ninjas like you are, but having you on our team makes us believe in the possibilities.
Favorite things we learned today
- How to do a retrospective
- Getting our heads around procs
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