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Knowledge Sharing as a Catalyst for Professional Growth

We had another Devopsicon — our internal engineering (un)conference. We record most of these company-internal sessions to ensure we can share the knowledge with those who were unable to attend, and to build a knowledge base over time.

We have decided to go one step further and share some of these sessions publicly. This post describes how this approach has benefitted both us as a company and the professional growth of our engineers.

Creating a Knowledge Base

The last unconference produced a lot of video material! About 130 sessions were recorded and shared throughout the organization. Many sessions happen in parallel, so recording the sessions helps the audience to overcome their FOMO, at least a little bit. :)

Since we ran recent Devopsicon events fully remotely, we got a lot better at recording, cataloging, and sharing those recordings after the event. This has created a great knowledge base of 500+ videos about all sorts of topics:

  • A live hacking JavaScript session
  • Understanding brain chemicals as a way to strengthen teams
  • Using terraform with GitHub
  • Backstage as a tool for improving Developer Productivity

We figured that some of these sessions would also be interesting for people outside of Meltwater Engineering. These sessions will give you an idea of who we are, how we work, and what we are working on.

What’s in it for Meltwater?

Let’s come clean: We are always looking to hire new, great colleagues for our Engineering teams. To allow people outside of Meltwater to understand our work culture and showcase that we are an attractive employer in Tech, we need to provide sufficient opportunities for them to get to know Meltwater Engineering.

But how do we create relevant material?

We found that writing a blog post has a high barrier to entry for many of our colleagues. However, at our internal unconference many of those people deliver short internal presentations. Apparently that is easier than writing! So we decided to turn some of that existing video content into material that we can share publicly.

In addition, we want our engineers to grow! These presentations are a way for us to support their personal and professional growth.

Reasons for Meltwater Engineers to Present in Public

We selected some of the best presentations from our unconference and asked the presenters to re-record them. Ufff — extra work for them! Naturally they asked, “What’s in it for me?”

There is a lot to learn from presenting something publicly:

  • Showcase your work — In a B2B product like Meltwater’s, it can be difficult to explain or show what you do. Creating a video about something that you are working on provides a glimpse into it.
  • Personal development — Learning how to articulate complex topics, while making it clear yet simultaneously interesting, is a difficult task. Therefore, presenting a topic in public greatly contributes to the personal development of the presenter. As a bonus, we help our engineers by providing constructive feedback on slides and demos. We also handle most of the editing, resulting in professional-looking video with relatively little effort.
  • Professional branding — Through these videos, our engineers present themselves as knowledgeable professionals or even experts in a certain field. This aids them in building their professional brand, which among other things might help them land speaking opportunities at conferences.

Where Do I Find the Videos?

We are starting with a session about “KEDA in Terraform - The good, the bad, the savings”, by the fantastic Patrick Nanys from our Budapest office. Thanks for going first Patrick!

[Update 2022-09-26]: Next up are Alinur and Cemal with their story “Becoming a Java Team - One team’s journey from multi-stack to single-stack”.

We have more videos in the pipeline. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are released. You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram too.

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