Game of Roles (Senior Developer)

programme and timeline

Welcome post

Welcome to the group, gamers!

We’ll be posting challenges in this group and you’ll be posting your results. Every challenge will be posted in the evening, so you can think about it overnight and start completing it next day. We are starting next Monday (Jan 22), so you’ll see first challenge here on Sunday evening.

You will be given 8 assignments over the course of 2 weeks. Each Friday will be a catch up day, with no extra assignment given.

Of course we would like to see each one of you finishing all the tasks, and getting the most out of this program, however it’s clear that everyone’s schedule is very different, and sometimes it’s really hard to find those extra couple of hours. Therefore we do not demand 100% completion. Think of this game as an OKR, with the following key result guidelines:

  • KR 0.3 - 4 assignments fully completed
  • KR 0.7 - 8 assignments fully completed
  • KR 1.0 - 8 assignments fully completed, and you provided feedback to other participants.

But even if you haven’t fully finished any of the challenges (say you either have partially done, or you only had time for a rough sketch), it’s still encouraged to share it within the group: we’ll try to help you to gain experience from the task even if it’s not completed.

Every challenge needs different amount of effort from your side, some of them will take 10 minutes of your time, some of them can be hours. Therefore feel free to post you results out of order, get those quick ones first, and continue working on longer ones for an extra day or two.

Reading and commenting posts of other team members is highly recommended. That’s how you can understand yourself better through seeing alternatives. This is important part of the game, having positive group dynamics will help everyone to grow faster. But remember, the earlier you post results of your work, the more time other people will have to read it and comment on it.

We will have several moderators in the group (senior developers) who may also provide their feedback to your posts. You may request feedback explicitly by mentioning the person in the post, or they can do this ad-hoc if they feel they have something to say.

Everything here is a subject to the group’s Code of Conduct (see this post). We want to believe that everything we discuss here stays with the group and doesn’t go outside. No one will blame anyone for their actions, thoughts and feelings. So feel free to share whatever you want.


Code of Conduct

  • Trust. Everything we discuss in the group regarding private topics should stay in the group.

  • Privacy. If you have to share something related to a person from outside of this group, please don’t mention that person’s name.

  • Safety. Don’t judge or blame others. Instead, try to listen and provide feedback and/or suggestions. If you want to give feedback, follow BIO model.

  • Be open to receive feedback. Think of it as a opportunity to grow rather than something wrong with you.

These are the top rules we need to follow, however most important one is - use common sense. We are all here to help each other to grow, so respect this. There will be group moderators, who will take care of code of conduct as well, but we hope they won’t be involved.

Day 1

Challenge tags: #day01 #expectations

Read the document about expectations from Senior Developer:


Make a list of skills/requirements that you think you need to improve on. Describe what have you already done to achieve it. On which points do you already meet the expectations? Post it in the group. Try to make it short and clear for a reader.

Read the posts of other people: try to understand where you can help them and where they can help you? Share your thoughts to support each other.

Day 2

Challenge tags: #day02 #diagram

Make a mind map of one project of your team (or any other kinds of diagrams). Describe strong and weak parts of it.

Try to make it short, but descriptive, so that new team member can quickly understand it without much extra explanation.

Day 3

Challenge tags: #day03 #tasks

Describe what kind of tasks do you like to do and tasks you try to avoid doing. It can also depend on conditions of work or environment, e.g. timing, amount of people involved, quality of communication, codebase, etc. Try to be specific, give examples, try to make it complete list.

E.g. I like complex unstructured tasks with many stakeholders, but I dislike when there are major misalignment between them… And so on.

Day 4

Challenge tags: #day04 #community

Have you ever heard about community projects? If not, this a perfect opportunity to learn about it. We won’t give you hints here, search for yourself, talk to people, try to find out what your colleagues and friends are busy with besides picking items from the team’s backlog.
As a result we would like you to have a list of “community projects” or “task forces” you’d like to contribute one day. It would be great, if you already can offer you help to an owner of any of those.

If you are already part of a community project, see how you can bring it to the next step. For example by looking at the project from a high level and identifying what is missing to make it successful. How can you help the sponsor of that community project? Talk to stakeholders about your idea to receive feedback.

Being a part of a project is excellent first step, but understanding the personal impact there and looking for a way to increase it to a benefit of the project is also important.

Describe your experience.

Day 5

Are you on track? If not it’s perfect opportunity to catch up on tasks.
If you are, take a look at what others wrote this week in this group, maybe you’ll spot someone who can benefit from your feedback?

Day 6

Challenge tags: #day06 #flog

Find 1 error and/or warning in Flog (any role) ideally high frequent one, probably in the area you don’t work on a daily basis. Take ownership (click “Assign” button in Flog). Investigate the reason. Fix it yourself or find a person responsible and delegate. Make sure it’s picked up. Don’t cause new warnings in the process =)

Describe how do you prioritise what to pick. What was the outcome? What did you notice working with someone else code? How do you feel?

Day 7

Challenge tags: #day07 #talk

Find one or two senior or principal developers and schedule a 1-on-1 with them.
1-on-1s themselves don’t have to happen this week, so don’t rush it.
Prepare a list of questions for that 1-on-1 about the role, what are the expectations, responsibilities, etc. - something you don’t know or not sure about. Try to make it useful for yourself.

Describe how did you pick a person to talk to. What were the criterias? What was the reaction of the person? What questions are you going to ask?

Day 8

Challenge tags: #day08 #parallels

It’s a useful practice to look for parallels between your work and some other activity you’re passionate about. It helps to empower your creativity and discover unusual solutions.

Find some connection and try to elaborate on it. Even if it doesn’t match completely, comparing can give your interesting insights. How does your work correlate with with your life?

Describe your thought process, being verbose is just fine in this exercise.

Some examples:

  1. I like visual arts. Every painter has its own style, which can be difficult to recognise sometimes. Just like when you open another perl module. And so on…
  2. I’m interested in anatomy. Organ systems are services, blood vessels and nervous system are messaging infrastructure, reflexes are triggers, all the business logic is in the brain. And so on...
  3. My life is like a program. I follow the same schedule every day. Some of exceptions I handle well, some bad. Sometimes I can do multithreading. And so on...

Day 9

Challenge tags: #day9 #neverstop

What are your plans for personal growth for the near future? What principles can you use to find a mentor for yourself?

Find a mentor and continue your growth with their help.

If you already have a mentor, what do you think about finding a mentee for yourself? How would you imagine the process?

See you at the retro on Friday! (let us know if you haven't receive an invite)

Day 10

Challenge tags: #day10 #feedback

Are you on track? If not it’s perfect opportunity to catch up on tasks.
If you are please take some time and provide extensive feedback about the initiative

  • What did you like?
  • What we can improve?
  • What have you learned?
  • Did it help you?

See you at the retro!