What if you could work on anything you wanted?

This week we’ve downed our tools and organised ourselves into small project teams or struck out alone. We’re working on whatever we like, with whoever we like, wherever we like. We’ve called it Down Tools week and so far it’s a blast.

It all started a few months ago with an idea from Neil, our CEO. You can read his blog post here. Neil wanted to capture the excitement, innovation, and productivity of Coding by the Sea and extend this to all Red Gaters working in Product Development.

A brainstorm is always a good place to start for an “anything goes” project. Half of Red Gate piled into our largest meeting room (it’s pretty big) armed with flip charts, post its and a heightened sense of possibility. An hour or so later our SQL Servery walls were covered in project ideas. So what would you do, if you could work on anything you wanted?

Many projects are related to tools we already make, others are for internal product development use and some are, well, just something completely different. Someone suggested we point a web cam at the SQL Servery lunch queue so we can check it before heading to lunch. That one couldn’t wait for Down Tools Week. It was up and running within a few days and even better, it captures the table tennis table too.

Thursday is the Show and Tell – looking forward to seeing what everyone has come up with. Some of the projects will turn into new products or features so this probably isn’t the time or place to go into detail of what is being worked on. Rest assured, you’ll hear all about it! We’re making a video as we go along too which will be up on our website as soon.

In the meantime, all meetings are cancelled, we’ve got plenty of food in and people are being very creative with the £500 expenses budget (Richard, do you really need an iPad?). It’s brilliant to see it all coming together from the idea stage to reality. Catch up with our progress by following #downtoolsweek on Twitter. Who knows, maybe a future Red Gate flagship tool is coming to life right now?

By the way, it’s business as usual for our customer facing and internal operations teams. Hmmn, maybe we can all down tools for a week and ask Product Development to hold the fort?

Post by: Alice Chapman