We've been doing ShipIt Days for a while now, typically every quarter. As we've said before, we really believe in it because it helps our culture and our productivity.
ShipIt Day helps our culture
About ⅓ of our team is now working from remote. Additionally we have a flexible work schedule, which is awesome, but can lead to a less connected team if you aren't careful. ShipIt Day is a time where we bring in the remote Sixies (if they can make it). We all work long hours and the out-of-towners stay at a team member's house. We eat meals together and we hang out in the evening.
To kick off this ShipIt Day, we went to a bowling alley for food and some friendly competition that lasted until about midnight. Jim and Jen Mukes, who have been with the team since the beginning of the year, finally met Chrissy in person. They got to hang out and exchange more than the usual Trac tickets! Bryan and Daniel, who both joined the team this summer, also got another chance to visit and get to know more of the team.
Besides keeping the team glued together, it also helped us work on some projects that will make the team happier while doing their work. It gives everyone 24 hours to work on something they enjoy and that will make their jobs easier. This brings a lot of satisfaction and helps people get those lingering projects off their plate.
ShipIt Day helps our productivity
Since all ShipIt Day projects are usually internal "back burner" projects, the event really helps the team's productivity:
Chrissy tackled a team annoyance with one of our SVN repositories. It was some tedious work, but the whole dev team is rejoicing! Everyone was so happy, in fact, that she won the competition!
Bryan, Clayton, and Daniel worked on an internal Pyramid app that reduces the amount of work required to keep our project management systems in sync.
David worked on a project that speeds up our testing process through the use of new data snapshots
Phil enhanced our password management portal, making it easier to coordinate passwords while keeping them secure.
Other productivity boosting projects included data center organization, online marketing activities, cleaning off people's personal backlogs, and performing a summer cleaning of our project management system.
One of the most amazing aspects of ShipIt Day is the collective sense of satisfaction where everyone took on a project, and all finished them at the same time.
Adopt ShipIt Day at your company
We write these blog posts to share our culture and the positive impact ShipIt days have had for Six Feet Up since 2011. If you want help implementing one at your company, or want to join us at our next ShipIt Day event (Jan 16-17, 2014), give us a shout!