How GIFs Have Improved Our Company’s Developer Culture

Reviewing code is a terrible task — but really doesn’t need to be.

From the time it takes away from your own productivity, to the delicate balance of being objective, truthful, and constructive with your peers — or complete strangers in the case of an open source project.

When you work with people day in and day out, it can be hard to create a trusting and empowering environment by pointing out problems in their work. And if nothing is wrong, how should you effectively reward that same person? How do you celebrate small wins everyday and build a stronger team bond or developer culture?

At PopKey — a micro-content distribution platform and makers of the world’s first GIF keyboard — we love GIFs (obviously). To the point that we’ve made it a central part of our developer culture with our desktop app. Each pull request involves a GIF. Our HipChat rooms are also filled with them.

Man, you even included the unit tests this time— well done!

GIFs just seem to have a natural, carefree way, of helping to break the ice and bring up delicate subjects. They help enhance communications across teams, regions, and even language barriers.

Bigger and more established companies probably don’t have this luxury, but as a small startup and scrappy dev team, we do. And it’s working.

Spend the time — find that perfect GIF to express your excitement on your well crafted code

Whether it’s good or bad news, a GIF helps to get the point across without coming off as malicious. There’s a certain naiveté with GIFs that make it fun, carefree, and harmless — but that can also communicate a huge win, a celebration, and something truly special.

We definitely aren’t the first company to adopt this — GitHub Selfies were among the first to help start this trend — but we’re big time evangelists after seeing the shift in morale, team bonding, and plain old fun around our office.

Try it for yourself — check out PopKey web or desktop (Mac & Windows) and add some fun into your company’s developer culture.

Here’s a quick how-to GIF — of course ;)

Using PopKey Desktop for positive and fun code review