Unless your team gets together for drinks after work, you need a better way to get to know each other than arguing over bugs. Bring in some board games or card games and invite your devs to play over lunch and watch the magic begin. Here we are playing R-Eco.

I'm lucky enough to work with Rob, a dev lead who happens to be a board game enthusiast, owning some 600+ games. Like most people, I felt a little awkward when Rob showed up at my cube 2 years ago and asked if I wanted to play a board game with some of the devs. We've been playing ever since and we've gotten to know each other far better than when we used to stay at our desks shooting each other in Unreal Tournament death matches.

The trick is to find the right game, that supports the right number of players, hits a sweet spot between luck and decision making, is easy to learn, and lasts about 30 to 45 minutes. Rob introduced us to Euro-Games, which tend to be shorter than American games and usually involve more decision making. My favorites are the ones that scale from about 6 players down to 2 so I can also play them at home with my wife.

Here are some of our favorites that fit into lunch breaks:
The more comfortable you and your team are with each other, the less time you will waste misunderstanding each other. Have fun!


  1. Anonymous said...

    Why restrict yourself to just playing board games during lunch?

    You can be creative and take advantage of other opportunities to interact with your fellow developers such as say during a domain walkthrough meeting by playing footsie under the table. Or if you come across a dev in the hallway, find a piece of paper, ball it up, and once they walk past you, quickly turn around and smack them in the back of the head and run away like a third grader during recess. I'm sure you can come up with other creative ideas, and as you said "let the magic begin".

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