Written by Eric Reichwaldt . Should take about 2 minutes to read.
The top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs calls it "Self-Actualization", Daniel Pink refers to it as "Mastery", others simply call it sharpening the sword/axe (take your pick). Whatever you want to call it, at Shyft Solutions we love to learn new things and grow our skill sets. Conferences are just one of the ways that we learn about the latest and greatest technologies, as well as what other tech companies in the region are trying. This year was the first that our team was able to represent Shyft in a full-time capacity, and it was great to receive so much support and congratulations from colleagues in the area on our launch this past year.
One of the things Shyft prides itself on is our agility, and not just in the big “A” Agile sense of the word. Our team embodies the continuous improvement principles surrounding Agile, and we try to share our lessons-learned with the world. This year was my third in a row giving a presentation, and it was great to talk about innovation in terms of concepts our company truly represents, and not just in a philosophical or academic manner.
Nebraska.Code() is a regular conference for our team members because of the great variety of topics and presenters, the affordable price model, the proximity to home, and of course the awesome social events surrounding the event! Whether our team members attend talks about new technologies that we could potentially employ ourselves, soft-skill sessions on sharpening our processes, or even just something fun like programming a game--the value added is immeasurable.
I think too many organizations get caught up looking for an immediate return on investment when it comes to self-improvement activities. While sending a team to a conference is not free, you cannot accurately assess the value without acknowledging the less empirical benefits. Great developers love to learn, giving your team an opportunity to do this on the company's time is a huge morale booster. You’re also sending a message to potential employees and partner companies that you value growth and knowledge.