Gather the right ingredients in exactly the right quantities. Mix just so. Gently knead into the proper shape, allot exactly the right amount of time for proving … and, whatever you do, don’t wind up with something half-baked.
Yes, obviously we’re talking about the process of designing and building a great app. But apparently these are all good rules of thumb for baking, too – who knew?
The people at Knead It! certainly did, and last week they spent two days teaching the whole Image+ team – in two shifts, no less! – the baking basics.
Knead it! are a small and friendly artisan bakery, based a mile outside our local theatre hotspot, Stratford Upon Avon. It’s idyllic – they sit on the riverside in a thatched Tudor cottage. It is glorious. But honestly we were way too busy trying to figure out lemon curd to notice.
Here’s the thing: our MD, Alan, had the bright idea of not telling us where we were going. Nobody had the slightest clue. “You’re just going on a course,” he said. “It’ll be really boring,” he said. We did not expect to be making Chelsea buns. And reader: Chelsea buns are hard to make.
They are also a lot of fun. We were each issued with customised Image+ aprons – complete with our respective initials – and all we had to do, for one day only, was step away from the keyboard and whip up some baked goods.
We made a white loaf and some focaccia bread; cheese, onion and chilli rolls and lemon curd buns; we made pizzas … and we ate them on the day. This counts as a great day at the office, people.
The point? We mentioned it was fun, right? Everyone really enjoyed it – even that bit with the lemon curd – and we all learned a really useful new skill. It’s also true that taking a step outside your usual office day makes you think a bit differently about what you do – and how.
It’s not actually that glib to say, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, that apps are like a box of baked goods. The care and attention that are required to bake a good loaf aren’t so very different to the patient planning needed when approaching app development: both have a recipe, both need the proper preparation and both will be no good if any one step isn’t followed through on.
At AppsPlus, we’re pretty good bakers, all told – and, thanks to the great guys at Knead It!, now we’ve got the riverside experience to prove it.
Our next project? Persuading Alan to get a pizza oven for the office …
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