PDT: Six Months On

Six months ago, we introduced the Personal Development Time (PDT) scheme for all our Software Engineers. Since then, our Webbies have embraced the half a day per week they are given to improve themselves as a developer.

Studying towards industry certifications has been a common use of the time. Gaining recognition of their skills is an important achievement, and can be a great motivator to learn. As we are a Microsoft Gold Partner, and base our software on Microsoft technologies, naturally Microsoft certifications are the most popular. Taking Patrick as a fantastic example of what can be achieved – he has studied towards and passed four exams, making him a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer!

Researching new technology and coding techniques is great way of expanding knowledge and discovering more efficient ways of writing software. Some of our developers have been looking into things such as test driven development, the principles of object-orientated design (SOLID) and watching various CBT nuggets.

One of our Software Engineers, Kris uses some of his time to conduct experiments with code. For example, SQLExperiments is a practical investigation into the various efficiency foibles of SQL. It consists of objects to build up a query and a script to run the objects along with commentary and explanations. Current experiments include the inefficiency of scalar valued functions and the usage of triggers, but Kris adds to this each week. Intended as a source of reference, Kris has been able to use this as a tool for knowledge sharing with other developers.

The time belongs to our Software Engineers, to do whatever they want to improve in their roles. It’s clear that their enthusiasm ensures that none of this time goes to waste. Whatever each individual is working on, everyone is pushing forward and becoming a better developer.

Over the coming months, we’ll be posting updates on some of the fascinating projects that are taking place during PDT.