Daily coding challenges - morning yoga for your mind

Feb 15, 2018

morning in office

My mom used to make me exercise for 15 minutes every morning when I was a child, she said that my body will be more awake and starting my day will be easier. As you can probably imagine I hated this routine with passion, because push-ups were the last thing I wanted to do having just woken up. Despite that, she was right and I only came to appreciate her efforts 15 years later. I’m not about to suggest you organize morning sessions of yoga in your company, but keep reading and see what daily coding competitions can do for you and your team!

Your employees love their morning ritual around the cup of coffee, and probably so do you. There’s nothing wrong with having your favorite beverage to kick off the day, but what about those, who refuse to consume caffeine? Oh, believe me, there are people like that, me being the first example. We can be a minority, but we do exist, and our start of the day is equally as difficult!

When I was a child, as almost every boy I loved playing computer games when I was ill. No school meant that I could spend all day doing what I enjoyed and sure enough I had been using all the time I had for games. What was surprising was that I could wake up early in the morning, play for an hour or two, and be very present for the rest of the day, when, in contrast, slowly starting the day by sluggishly getting off the bed and doing everything at a very relaxed pace meant I really needed a few good hours to start being “alive”.

OK, hold on, what does my story have to do with coffee? See, I mentioned how physical exercise in the morning keeps you up just like this beverage would, but as it turns out some mental gymnastics is equally as effective in doing so. Why not do something both creative and beneficial with that knowledge? How about introducing a routine of a daily coding challenge in your company? You can devote 20 minutes at the beginning of everyone’s shift to focus on one intensive task, putting every talented mind in your company on overdrive mode and achieve something great in the process!

Let everyone express themselves

I wrote an article on why your programmers are essentially artists, so building up on that, I suggest that you let them express themselves. Let them code anything they desire, after all, working on something you’re passionate about can really make you feel alive. Who knows, maybe they are going to code something your company will never have any use in, maybe they will decide to try and approach the project they’re responsible for form another angle. Whatever it is they choose, let them do it.

Use your new small daily hackathon for an internal project

Managing between customer and internal projects might be a challenge in smaller companies, especially when customers demand clear set deadlines. Why not start the day being focused on your own product to get the momentum? Errors are more easily forgiven when working on an own project, but the benefits of such morning mental exercise are undeniable.

Start a bug hunting adventure

What if you’re not such a small company? That internal project you have just started could surely use some more intensive testing. Set a reasonable bounty for successful bug discoveries to motivate your employees and wait for the results. Nothing gets people going like a perspective of some additional cash, and with this series of events taking place in the morning you can kill two birds with one stone!

I asked my lovely boss, Izabela Błażowska, co-founder of ChallengeRocket.com, a global platform specializing in the use of AI in automated recruitment in IT to chime in on the topic, and here’s what she had to say: “It’s no secret that we’re getting progressively less productive towards the end of our shifts, we are all tired and look forward to going home. But in the morning we are all ‘in the zone’, ready to climb any mountain, achieve any goal. At our office, we schedule the most demanding tasks for the start of our working days which definitely improves our productivity.”

So go ahead, do your company and employees a favor, help everyone get going in the morning. Organize a series of daily coding challenges today. Is it going to be bug hunting? Maybe you’re going to let your team work on their own small projects? Whatever it is that you choose, just wait for the benefits such practice will bring! If you decide to spread your wings in the future we’re happy to help with a fully fledged programming challenge of your own!