Book Club

The Book Club is a gym where we read to expand our knowledge and inspire knowledge sharing.

The goal of the Book Club is to promote:

  • learning something new (continuous learning)
  • learning something useful (real-world applications)
  • collaborative learning (inspire and be inspired).

The Book Club is an initiative of the Training Circle. It is run by the Training/Collaborative Training Guru.

The Book Club in a nutshell

Small improvements are our key to success

In our reading gym, we train iteratively.

A training program is a set of training iterations that focus on a training theme. When a training program is completed, we have new elections to vote the next theme.

A training iteration

  • is usually timeboxed at two weeks. To make the most out of our timeboxed training, Collaborative Training Gurus recommend starting exploring a new topic - typically by reading a new book chapter - on a start date and recapping the progress so far on a training session date.
  • focuses on a topic of the training theme. This topic is usually the title of a chapter in the book recommended by Training/Collaborative Training Gurus for the training theme,
  • has the goal to gain a better understanding of the given topic at the end of the timebox. We don't aim to master all there's to know about the given topic at the end of the timebox. Perfection is the enemy of progress.

We own our own success - and our failures too. The training program is as effective as the time and effort we reserve for our training practice.

Our training practice is: Explore, Post, Join

Every training iteration,

  • We explore a topic in async. You can decide to explore the given topic in the way you prefer. For example, you can choose to read the material - typically a new book chapter - recommended by the Training/Collaborative Training Gurus, consume other media (eg videos, other books or blog posts) about the given topic, get your hands dirty hands-on activities (eg code katas) to practice key concepts in the topic, discuss the topic with an experienced colleague or your coach, or other. You choose how you want to explore the topic in a training iteration.
  • We post contributions about the given topic on the Dev > book club channel on Teams. Contributions include:
    • favourite quotes from the book - including why this quote resonates with you or why you disagree with it,
    • contents (e.g. videos, blog posts, quotes, or chapters from different books) related to the given topic (e.g. explanations, applications, deep dives),
    • questions about the given topic,
    • questions about related topics,
    • lessons learned from making experience about the given topic in a real-world data project.
  • We join a training session (30min) to recap and discuss contributions.

You can start training with us at any time

If you need any help, Training/Collaborative Training Gurus are just a message away.

You can use personal budget time for training in the Book Club

Yes, you can! You can safely use training time budget to train with books: reading or exploring the topic with your weapon of choice, contributing and joining the training sessions.

This means you need to track Book Club activities on ElapseIt as explained in the table below:

Activity Project on ElapseIt
Reading outside office hours Nothing to track
Reading during office hours <current year> Agile Training - Personal Budget
Session (during office hours) <current year> Agile Training - Personal Budget

For more info about Training time budget, see Training Budget in Benefits.

You can purchase the current book and get reimbursement

You can buy the digital or the paperback book and get full reimbursement.

  • If you're motivated to actively participate in the training program, you are welcome to bill the current book to the Training/Collaborative Training Guru budget. Training/Collaborative Training Gurus trust your judgement to make a fair use of their budget. On Elapseit, record one expense and select the project: <current year> Agile Training - Book Club Curator

  • If you don't want to commit to actively participate in the training program but are still curious about the training theme, you can bill the current book to your training cash budget. On Elapseit, record one expense and select the project: <current year> Agile Training - Personal Budget

For more info about your training cash budget, see Welfare and Benefits.

For more info about the general purchasing process, see scenario 1 in Spending Company Money .

LMS courses are our Swiss knife for anytime learning

Training/Collaborative Training Gurus distill key concepts and lessons learned from the reading/discussion as an LMS Course.

These courses are meant to:

  1. enable anytime onboarding of new Book Clubbers,
  2. enable anytime catch-up for paused Book Clubbers - life happens and that's ok!
  3. process and review what we learned collaboratively at every training iteration - think protege effect with gamification,
  4. crunch knowledge from books for the circle:Engine Circle.

Collaborative Training Gurus kick off a new training program

  1. Training/Collaborative Training Gurus collect themes for continuous learning. Ideas from the Engine Circle strategy should be considered too to identify possible themes that are good match for the Book Club format.
  2. Training/Collaborative Training Gurus select at least a book for each theme.
  3. Training/Collaborative Training Gurus share the selected themes and books in a poll to all participants of the Engine Circle.
  4. All interested people vote the theme(s) they are interested to train on in the next training program, based on current personal interest and/or career goals.
  5. Training/Collaborative Training Gurus communicate the training theme and book - meaning the top voted theme and book - to all participants of the Engine Circle.
  6. Training/Collaborative Training Gurus communicate next steps, including calendar of training iterations, book purchasing details and topic for the first iteration.

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