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3 months ago

Clapping and Cringing

By Jim Remsik

When your job is to "be the expert" and provide advice to other people, it sometimes feels uncomfortable to share your mistakes or ignorance. One way that we approach this is to normalize talking about failures and misunderstandings. Those should be as much a part of our conversations as celebrating our successes.

Every two weeks, we get together for a quick company-wide show & tell called Clap & Cringe. In addition to exposing the team to what everyone is working on, it reveals the conditions we are working in.

Claps do not need to come with Cringes nor do Cringes need to come with Claps, yet the context is often helpful.

A designer might share a sweet new logo they created that wowed the customer. Just as importantly, they will show off the screens and screens of iterations that it took to get them to this simple mark.

A developer might share a small feature request they received from a customer and how it works. Ideally, we'll also learn about any struggles they encountered along the way, whether it was a poorly architected system that meant they had to go out of their way to implement it. Or that they struggled to notice there was a misspelling that ate up more time than it really ought to have.

Everyone on the team is encouraged to share as well. That means sometimes we'll see an amazing spreadsheet that is a feat of engineering in and of itself or the ridiculous terms of a contract that has come in from a prospective client.

All of this enables the team to understand the roles our people play, showcase the talents on the team, and build empathy with and for one another. Even if we don't understand all the details, we can and do appreciate the work that goes into making a team like ours work.

Psst! We're always looking for people, like you, who are interested in learning and motivated to get better to join our remote team. Get in touch!