Janis Leuenberger
Janis Leuenberger

Power Days allow new ideas to flourish. Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The continuous training and development of our employees is an essential part of our corporate philosophy. We use our Learning Weeks and so-called «Power Days» for this purpose. In this article, I want to show you what these Power Days are all about, what three major advantages they offer and what three tips we can give for planning them.

«New ways» is one of our corporate values. We believe that continuous personal and professional development of our employees is necessary in order for our company to continue to offer the highest quality to our clients and to remain competitive. That is why we developed our Power Days:

The Renuo Power Days

In the ever-changing environment of software development, the evaluation of new programming languages, frameworks and tools is a frequently asked task. That is why at least once a year we come together as a team to spend a day intensively dealing with a new programming language.

In doing so, we evaluate possible areas of application and advantages for our projects. We call these one-day training courses Power Days. Usually, these are organised by one person who has already gained experience with this new programming language and provides resources and tasks for the other team members to learn the new technology.

The Go Power Day

Last month we held our latest Power Day to learn the programming language «Go». Go was released back in 2009, but has only become more widely used in the last few years. It is mainly developed by Google, but is also open source, so contributions from the general community are welcome.

Go is very different from our most widely used programming language, Ruby. On the one hand, it is compiled, which gives it a big performance boost. On the other hand, Go has type safety, which can reduce errors before the program even runs. We also looked at Buffalo, which like Rails is an MVC framework. Buffalo provides the basic site infrastructure to quickly start developing business logic.

Go unfortunately also comes with a few negative aspects. For one thing, the handling of possible errors is not yet very sophisticated, which leads to the program code becoming bloated. In addition, Buffalo is still relatively new and not very widespread and accordingly has a small community.

The Go Power Day was therefore very informative and valuable. Our conclusion is: together with Buffalo, Go has a lot of great features. Still, Go doesn't seem to be able to offer the same magic we know from Rails. And this will most likely remain the case for a while. (By the way, if you want to learn more about why we are big fans of Rails, I can recommend this blog post by Nick.)

The Renuo Learning Weeks

In addition to the Power Days, we also organise so-called Learning Weeks every year: 7 Power Days in a row, which we usually spend together at an external location, combined with other company-related and team-building activities. Often, these weeks are dedicated to a larger topic that we want to learn about or dive into more deeply. The last two times, this was machine learning and virtual reality.

Why Power Days are also worthwhile for your company

Of course, not every company develops software, which is why the nature of Power Days for other companies will be very different from ours. Nevertheless, all these days have three points in common:

  • They ensure competitiveness: To remain profitable in our industry, we need to outperform our competitors. Every industry is susceptible to change and our employees are responsible for the success of our company. They should therefore evolve to cope with the changing demands.

  • They increase productivity: Many studies show that employees are more productive when they receive regular training and are allowed to develop new skills.

  • They promote an attractive corporate culture: Every company has unique employees and its own culture. Training events give a positive boost to team spirit and corporate culture.

I hope you are now as convinced about Power Days and Learning Weeks as we are and start planning soon! For a successful Power Day, here are 3 extra tips to consider:

  • Find the right topic: Make sure the Power Day theme is of high value to both your organisation and your employees.

  • Make it fun: The easiest way to learn is by having fun. Therefore, make your Power Days varied and exciting. Give your team enough freedom to pursue their own interest within the topic.

  • Get feedback: Discuss with your employees what went well and what did not. Involve them in the choice of topics for the next Power Day; this will significantly increase motivation and the learning effect.

Now we wish you good luck and much success with your own next Power Day. Feel free to write us how it went or comment on this post below.