How to have a Virtual Code Jam

In a world where project team members telecommuting has grown nearly 80% since 2005 in the US and we work with people all over the world, we need to be able to jam out work as if we were all in the office together.

code jam
Reasons for a code jam: When projects are nearing a deadline or caught going off track, sometimes you need to have a code jam to catch back up.

Online forum/Instant Messaging

It is essential to have a real-time chat that all team members have access to and participate in. In our code jam, everyone stayed in the IM call on mute unless they had a question. This way we were all available and didn’t have to wait for a response.

Everyone Online

The whole team should be online at the same time, just as if they were in a conference room together.

Set the Hours

By setting the hours for the code jam, the team will know that they won’t be expected to stay on all night. The team will be more productive if they know they only have a set time frame to accomplish their work. Recommended time for a Code Jam 3-4 hours.

Give Updates

Have one person track the progress of defects, or code being accomplished. This will let the team know that they are making progress and getting closer to the finish line

What tools and techniques have you used for virtual code jams? What have you found to be most helpful?

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