I need your help. My talk, entitled “Where did all the fun go?” was accepted by the HalfStack Vienna team, and I will do it live on September 15th.

What is it about?

After three days at a metal festival (in Pilsen), I realized something sad. In the software world, we don’t have fun at work anymore. I am not talking about the HR-inspired fun; I am talking about the joy that comes from the inside. I want to change that and challenge you to bring back our fun.

Do you remember the chair rowing? Do you remember how amazed we were to crash a keyboard or two on each other backs? Do you remember us singing songs about Java while writing fake protocols? 

Recently, most of the world decided that IT is an elite profession that needs to produce only value no matter what. Why do we have feelings, emotions, and personalities if we no longer have fun?

How can you help me?

What kind of fun did you use to have in your teams before the HR-organized joy of playing volleyball and drinking beer from PHP-shaped mugs? Help me inspire more people.

Add it as a comment here or drop me a line or two on my e-mail bogomil aatt talkweb.eu

Here are some of the examples I am going to present:

I will mention you during my talk if I include something from you.

Photo by Daniel K Cheung on Unsplash

5 thoughts on “Help me build my talk: Where did all the fun go?

  1. We had a name for each day of the week: sexy Wednesday etc and any “innapropriate” behaviour would be ok if inline with the day’s name.

    We also had pranks with unlocked computers but even if it was locked, we’d do something. E.g. crumpled up toilet paper all over the keyboard.

    Friday would usually start with alcohol.

    Once, during a random Friday party in the office, we got drunk and decided to deploy a massive update to production via FTP. After upload we checked the site – it was alive so we called the client over the phone to tell him that the website is alive. Only on Monday we realised that deploy didn’t work, nothing was changed. We never found out what happened.

    We also had many sexists inside jokes. I was the only female out of us 10. They were all my bitches (not sure how appropriate for talk that is, just wanted to point out that we had more fun before political correctness kicked in).

  2. There was a rule to lock your computer, when leaving the desk. Whenever a colleague forgot, we did some prank, like turning the OS main theme to pink, put some funny wallpaper, put the orientation up-side-down, or my favorite – exchanged a physical keys “z” and “y” on a keyboard – very frustrating if you use Czech an English keyboards where these two are exchanged. Or set some script to run when some shortcut is hit (e.g. shortcut to compile the code).

    I personally was placing some funny memes or IT-related comics into serious presentations – usually the very first slide – so we had some fun before everyone joined the call where we run through the presentation. No one ever said to me to be more “serious”.

    And then we had a lot of fun outside the office – laser tag after every sprint, bowling, some drinking evenings, “LAN-party” – all of them were initiated by us – team members. No HR-involved:)

  3. Not sure if it’s qualified as “fun”, but we used to keep lots of alcohol in the office and drink it on special occasions. We had a special locker full of the finest stuff and every Friday we celebrated the “best” code review with shots.

  4. We gifted a dear colleague of ours a Shame Bell (GoT inspired). Thanks to this he was able to shame things when he felt that it was needed (during code reviews, retrospectives, or random events)

    Sadly, using a huge bell was not desired at the office.

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