Why we created a card game as a security company?
As a start-up, it is important that every team member is on the same page when it comes to company goals. The work attitude of every single team member is shaping the office life for everybody. In a large organisation you may be able to drag people around with you, which is not possible in a small team.
As a company grows, structure is getting more important. Currently, we are organising our tasks within two scrum teams. One development team and one sales & marketing team. Quite often, you hear loud laughs of one of the offices (mainly sales and marketing) without hearing their jokes. Unfortunately, developer jokes quite often do not attract any acknowledgement from the sales people. But how could you connect the teams which are both working for a highly technical product again, to laugh together about the same jokes?
During our offsite in the Bavarian alps, we not only did a hiking trip in the Partnach Gorge, but also played a very long round of Cards Against Humanity mixed with Cards Against Cryptography.
During the game, we spiced it up with a few card that we wrote ourselves and shuffled them into the game during the play. The next day, during our hiking trip, there was an insane flow: Not only of water in the gorge, but also of creativity. At the end of the trip, we ended up having a list of 228 cards for Cards Against Developers on one of our smartphones. The original game is licensed under Creative Commons as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA). Therefore it was possible for us to use the game mechanics and the existing cards. We used the Cards Against Cryptography templates and included some of their cards into our game as well.
Find the whole Cards Against Developers Game on GitHub: https://github.com/crashtest-security/CardsAgainstDevelopers
So, is it only fun and games?
Of course, we had a lot of fun during the creation of our own cards. All team members, regardless of their position in the company were included. Everybody feels proud for the game we all created. The same way, we all feel about our software.
Additionally, new cards or changes for the existing cards can be submitted via GitHub. We are using the same processes that we use for our software development for the initial and further development of the cards. A change will be requested using a pull request which is reviewed and finally merged. Our sales & marketing team knew these concepts already from working with our statically generated website (no CMS used here). Using those concepts for game changes as well, makes it easier for us to explain the concepts in a completely non-technical environment.
And of course, everybody is already looking forward to the next round of Cards Against Developers as the next team building experience.