The institution of Developer Friday!! (Managers Better Listen)
This is the day we came up with my superior of a way to stimulate diversity, learning and fun for the developers, at least once a week. Our developers can work on personal projects or just learning projects every friday. As long as there are not any pending deadlines, production issues or overwhelming issues.
This has been phenomenal. We have developers learning Flex, creating new web 2.0 apps, showing off their personal projects, and basically promoting learning and a little bit of FUN!!
So managers, listen if you dare!! I did!! and it has paid off. We have been getting the best ideas every friday now. New techniques, getting to play around with new frameworks, specially ColdBox (had to throw the marketing here) which is AWESOME, coldspring, etc.
To tell you the truth, if it were not for this day, I will have not begun to play around with coldspring, which I am a total newbie and need to start learning it so I can extend it for ColdBox.
This is my testimony and it has really improved the learning environment. So developers out there, bother your managers and bother them again, so you can have one day of the week to learn and inspire.