What makes it possible for people to excel? We run an agile development shop in the highly competitive Los Angeles market, so there isn’t room for anything except the best work from our teams. We’ve found three ingredients that help our developers be successful and go beyond their limits:
Inspired by some experimental approaches to productivity at Boston Consulting Group, we brought all three of these elements together last year for our first GamingPTO event, and the results have been pretty spectacular.
GamingPTO combined all the motivational aspects of gamification, the health benefits of time off, and a protected space away from market pressures so developers could really let their imagination soar. At the same time, there’s nothing like a little healthy competition to spark their drive to win and really give it everything they’ve got. We divided our designers and developers into four teams. Each team was pitted in a competition to build the best game they could imagine.
Each month, the teams would take off one to two days to focus on building their game internally, then two rounds of elimination would select the best of the best. The first round was voted by peer review and the second by external judges. The prize was having the winning game fully developed and published by Neon Roots.
There is a great deal of scholarship about why games are so effective at motivating people to concentrate and excel. Basically, games meet our most basic needs for self-determination, mastery of skills, and relatedness to others who we value. These are internally-driven desires and no amount of external rewards can compare in effectiveness.
During our GamingPTO event, our team members got to learn new languages like Unity 3D while exploring all the latest technologies in mobile app dev, like augmented reality. They were able to fully investigate artistic styles they normally wouldn’t have access to via external/client projects.
Gaming is serious business, and our developers took it to a whole new level. Here is what our teams came up with:
Our entire GamingPTO event was always intended to be about much more than games. It involved asking the best from our developers. It was about giving them to tools to go farther and achieve more than they imagined possible. That’s what it takes to excel in today’s competitive world of app development.