I have seen some lists to encourage developers to stay current with technology, but none as complete or innovative as this post from Scott Hanselman.  I'll only show a few of his ideas here (check out the full post for more great ones).  I don't know if one place could implement all of these, but imagine the possibilities (not sure what "Nerd Dinners" are but I want to find out) … – Bruce

[Link – Sharpen the Saw for Developers – Scott Hanselman / Computer Zen]

  • Build a library of technical books at your office, and dedicate a space or room for reading and reference.
  • Host technical brown-bags at least twice a month and encourage everyone to present at least every year. (I would say even more…do them weekly at lunch and everyone needs to present at least twice a year)
  • Encourage developers to attend a local Nerd Dinnerto get in touch with other local developers. If you don't have Nerd Dinners, create one.
  • Have all your developers attend your local .NET User Group. Go one further and get them to present.
  • Create a Thanks A Bunch Cabinet. Corillian had a great system where peers could reward peers. Our administrator, Kate, had a budget given her by the Engineering Department. I think it was less than $1000 a quarter. She'd go and get as much cool stuff as she could, each under $25. This included iTunes cards, stuff from Sharper Image, Flashlights, just nerdy stuff. If you went above and beyond in some aspect of your job, one of your peers could reward you by sending you to the TABCab. You get to go home with a cool, unexpected free gift, and your peers get to tell you you're appreciated. It was a great system.
  • Twice a year, hold an offsite Company Code Camp. This was another cool thing Corillian did. We included everyone, admins, accounting, sales, everyone. We gave out an interesting problem, created diverse teams, and set them to work to design algorithms, define, write, document, and test some application. The application needs to have universal appeal, so sales and accounting can have fun. One year we did a Word Search (like the kind in the newspaper). Everyone participated and there were reasonably significant prizes.