Team building activities for developers are a great way to foster team spirit and bonding for workplace efficiency. While all teams can enjoy these general activities typically, it’s a good idea to consider the type of work and the nature of the team or division when planning these out. Developers are usually one such type of resource you usually find buried neck-deep into work and typically function in high stress and deadline-oriented environments.
In pursuit of offering that much needed breather, here are some fun and creative team building activities for developers to participate in.
1. Why is Team Building Important for Software Developers?
The most important reason is that developers are desk-bound for most of the day, and they deserve to socialize, recharge every now and then. Virtual team building activities for software engineers encourage interaction and break the rut once, which helps them focus and work better.
Here are some more reasons why team building activities for developers are important –
- Creates a bond between team members, which contributes to better collaborations and synergy.
- Helps smoothen departmental tensions by engaging them in interactive activities that enables them to understand each other better and minimize rifts.
- Fosters an open and collaborative culture.
- Encourages shared learning and exchange of best practices.
The question is, how do we engage the tech savvy people? The idea is to arrange activities that suit their interests. We have compiled some of the best team-building activities for developers that you can introduce to your team.
2. 5 tech-friendly team building activities for developers
2.1 LAN Games
Not stereotyping, but a lot of tech nerds are avid gamers! Then, why stick to online games or gaming consoles at home while you can arrange for the same experience at work? Go the good old-fashioned way and set up popular LAN games like Warhammer, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, etc., on an internal server and connect all the gamer developers to engage in some friendly fire.
The bonus is you can keep your office computers safe from the perils of the internet as the multiplayer game is on the internal network. When we arranged this in our office, some of the younger team members asked if this was how we used to play before online multiplayer games became popular.
What better team building activities for developers than to engage these tech-nerd in cross-training and helping them learn new tech skills? Take a survey beforehand of what they would like to learn, invite an internal or external trainer to take them through the concepts and provide hands-on training. This will not only be a refreshing change of pace, but they will also gain some additional knowledge about other technology concepts.
2.3 High Tea With Field Experts
All employees who are serious about expanding their knowledge or looking for growth will hands-down appreciate a tête-à-tête with the subject matter experts. Select your MVPs, choose a couple of tech experts, and organize a high tea event. Your geeks will experience some fine dining while getting to pick the brains of top people in their field.
2.4 Brainstorm a Bug or Idea
You can also arrange this as a weekly or monthly team-building activity for developers as it is a dynamic domain. Set up an organization-wide conference call (if you are working remote or spread across multiple locations), or brainstorming sessions with all the developers to discuss a bug in the latest version of the code they are working on, or pool in best practices, etc. You can also combine this with getting them tickets to one of the world level conferences, keynotes and having a post-talk discussion with each other.
What can be more stimulating than a little bit of professional competition? Organize your own coding battles or enroll them in ongoing coding competitions like Google, IOI, Halite, etc. You can also enroll them in different training sessions for coding competitions like CodeChef, Hacker Earth, UVa Online Judge, etc. After all, coders never shy away from showing off their coding acumen!
3. 10 Non-tech Team Building Activities For Developers
That was too much tech, at least for us! So, let’s figure out ways to engage the tech nerds in some non-tech team building activities for developers.
3.1 Icebreaker Sessions
Occasionally, we organize random icebreaker sessions at our workplace, and it has always helped in better bonding with the new and tenured teammates alike. Be it in person or virtual, ice breaker questions like “what do you think of the new cafeteria policy?”, “What weird food combination do you really enjoy?”, and cheeky “would you rather…” break the virtual wall between your teammates, and they emerge from the activity with ease and smiles!
3.2 White-Collar Dinner
Organizing an internal white-collar dinner, maybe with the departmental heads or the organization’s CEO, would be an excellent team-building activity for developers as fine conversations over fine food open up multiple arenas of thought-flow. They will also get a chance to know and understand the founder(s) or CXOs, while using the opportunity to familiarize them with your work and knowledge.
3.3 Soft Skill Training
Soft skills training helps develop empathy, communication, interpersonal , and leadership skills and problem-solving capabilities as well. Most of these trainings are centered around hands-on activities like coffee talks, one-on-one with a celeb, situational games, etc., allowing tech-nerds to hone their skills while interacting with each other. Sometimes this also acts as an icebreaker session, all of which gives a productive break to your IT team.
3.4 Game Nights
It is not without reason they say that work without recreation leads to mind-rust. Game nights are exciting team-building activities for developers as it gives them a chance to be away from their (arguably) love of their lives – laptop. Organize one or more of these board games occasionally to energize and rejuvenate their minds.
3.5 Weekend Retreat
A weekend getaway is unofficially the best team-building activity for developers and basically anyone with a desk job. A change of place, especially when you choose a retreat surrounded by nature, gives an immersive experience that cannot be matched with anything else. Just ensure you take a quick poll beforehand about their preferences. Our developers chose a beachside resort unanimously just so they could relive their childhood moments – chasing waves, swimming in the ocean, some of them even built sand castles!
3.6 Cook-off Competition
Here is an exciting team-building activity for developers. Secretly, make a list beforehand on who can cook and who cannot, then pair off a developer who can with someone who cannot. Give them time to prep, and they can either cook up fireless recipes on the campus or cook at home and bring it. If they are doing the latter, they need to make a video showing both working together on the recipes. Alternatively, you can also arrange virtual team-building cooking classes if everyone is abysmal with a pot and stove. A potluck after that is just what you need to make the day!
3.7 Virtual Wine Tasting
This is another team-building activity for developers if your organization is still working remotely or spread over multiple locations. Organize virtual happy hours or fancy it up with a virtual wine tasting party. Various wineries across the world deliver kits and organize a tour of their winery, and you can sample their finest Rose from the comfort of your homes.
3.8 Volunteering / Charity Work For a Day
Most organizations have a CSR wing or give a paid day off for the employees to give back to society. Get your developers to choose a charity of their choice and arrange for them to meet up on the scheduled day. Not only will you get to see the compassionate side of your teammates, it will also be a great bonding opportunity for them.
3.9 Escape Room Game
An ideal mind-boggling team-building activity for developers is to lock them together in a room! Well, not literally – we meant taking them to one of the top-rated escape rooms in your city and having them figure their way out in 60 minutes. With most games going virtual, there are innumerable options to play virtual escape room games as well. We tried Prison Break, and all of us who played it rated it 10/10.
3.10 Hosted Corporate Team-Building Experience
Do you want your developers to truly have the best team-building experience, and do you want to organize it quickly? We have one recommendation for you – Outsource! Hire team-building companies who will bring in their expertise and creativity to give your team the best experience bonding with each other there is.
- What is team building activity?
An activity organized by an organization to motivate employees to familiarize themselves with each other, develop their strengths, and address any weaknesses is called a team-building activity. It encourages them to collaborate for better outcomes rather than building unhealthy competitions. They usually focus on enhancing communication, problem-solving skills, adaptability, and trust-building. virtual team building activities for software engineers.
- What are some virtual team-building activities for software engineers?
There are plenty of fun and quirky options for virtual team building activities for software engineers. You can look into this comprehensive list of virtual team-building activities, games, tools, and ideas.