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5 Virtual Team Building Activities for Tech Teamsby@tobsch
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3,579 reads

5 Virtual Team Building Activities for Tech Teams

by Tobias SchlottkeAugust 3rd, 2021
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AWS GameDay challenges teams to solve a DevOps challenge for a fictional company. Gamification makes things more fun - pity it doesn't exist in real life. Spreadsheets are fun. Chocolate Tasting Virtual Event is more inclusive than wine-tasting and beer tasting. Virtual Escape Rooms are great team-building activities just as well as escape rooms. The best way to engage in the services of a professional ‘Chocolate Tasting virtual event’ provider is to have a professional chocolatier curate the tastes.

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How are we going to work on team spirit in this remote world? While most typical team-building activities don’t work over Zoom, these do.

Although there are plenty of mega lists of virtual team-building activities online, I decided to prepare this for busy CTOs based on recommendations of other CTOs in the alphalist.cto private slack channel.

TOP 5 Virtual Team Building Activities for Tech Teams

1. AWS GameDay

What - more work? Somehow just a break from routine is enough to have fun - even if it's tech.

3 Things that make AWS GameDay different from the daily grind:

  • Risk-Free - The best part about AWS is that it's risk-free. The challenge is real but the data you are playing with isn't and there will not be any mess for the company to clean up afterward.
  • Scoring - Gamification makes things more fun - pity it doesn't exist in real life. The code produced by the team is graded and they compete with each other on a scoreboard.
  • Time Limit - Nothing like the rush a ticking time brings
  • Here is how  AWS GameDay works. Other than the AWS Onboarding Video series, your team is on its own. They need to solve a DevOps challenge for a fictional company. AWS GameDay typically starts with a kickoff planning session, followed by a morning of discovery and problem solving sessions. Then there is a late morning recap, break for lunch and then teams spend the afternoon building, troubleshooting, and hopefully deploying.

2. Spreadsheet Wars (source: MuseumHack)

Spreadsheets are fun. Everyone on your team knows some formulas. Now its time to challenge them to build tools using spreadsheets online like

  • Design a choose your own adventure story.
  • Create a beat-box harmony using sound scripts.
  • Compete to reproduce the best pixel art - use famuos artworks for inspiration
  • .Build a tool that someone would pay at least $5 to use.
  • Make a recipe generator.

3. Virtual Escape Rooms

Pre-Covid, Escape rooms were a great team-building activity. And they still are. Just virtually. You can decide to make your own using a LARP like GatherTown or use one of the many online escape rooms

From a build vs buy perspective, we think Buy is best. Though we hope someone will sell a virtual world equivalent of an escape room soon.

4. Chocolate Tasting Virtual Event

Who doesn’t like chocolate? 

This makes it more inclusive than its sister events: wine-tasting and beer-tasting. The best way to engage in the services of a professional ‘Chocolate Tasting Virtual Event’ provider. This enables you to have a professional chocolatier curate the tastes and take care of the entire culinary journey for you. Most providers will talk about the way chocolate is made, how the different methods allow for diverse tastes and you can even make your own truffles. Ensure team participation by making sure to take dietary requirements into account though. 

5. Drawing Game

Pictionary is a great party game. But even adults like it too!

Online Pictionary

 Skribbl is a free platform that generates drawing prompts, provides a canvas and scoring. At each player’s turn, they receive a word as a drawing prompt. They draw while the other users watch their canvas in real-time and guess. The system allocates points to the correct guesses. 

NERD ALERT: Up the nerdiness by mixing nerd words to the drawing prompt deck. Words like:

    Example Nerd Words for Pictionary

  • Serverless
  • LAN
  • RAM
  • Kubernete
  • Wifi (remember no symbols :))
  • Database
  • Trojan Virus
  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Machine Learning
  • NoSQL (send me your drawings :))

Telephone Pictionary

Pictionary + Broken Telephone = Telephone Pictionary. Not only is typical telephone Pictionary hilarious with garbled prompts, but the online Gartic Phone - The Telephone Game makes it even funnier by generating bizarre phrases as drawing prompts - or each player can write their own. First, each user writes/generates a wacky sentence. That sentence is then passed onto another user who draws it. The drawing is then passed on to another user who describes it in a sentence. That sentence is then passed on to the next user who draws it. In the end, you get to see how one wacky sentence garbled even further.  

    In Conclusion

    'Neccessity is the mother of invention' it seems. Now even remote-first workplaces pre-Covid can benefit from a lot more resources on this topic. Which one have you tried? Let me know in the comments!