Software developers are a funny bunch.

It’s been said that trying to manage developers is like trying to herd cats.

A key issue is that developers tend to be both bright and curious. So they get bored easily and like to pull things apart to figure out how they work. In fact that’s what “hacker” means – someone who breaks stuff to try and understand it better.

So, to try and keep these cats in a line, I make sure that I keep them interested. And the way to do that is to keep them learning new things.

Every week we have an “education slot” – where we go over some aspect of the way we do things. This is to reinforce how things are done – but also to try and get them to question it, so we all improve things.

And at least once every two months, I ask that they take a training course of some description. Generally technology related, but nothing to do with the stuff we have for work. We may never use it in the course of a job, but it’s a vital part of keeping things interesting.