Hosting a Company Lunch and Learn

FindLectures.com began as a list of videos collected at Wingspan Technology for a lunch and learn program.

Lunch and learn programs are a way for a team to develop common knowledge, since you’re walking presentations or videos together. This can help with tactical problems, like finding or learning new technology, or resolving conflict - speakers get some inherent credibility just by being an outside party.

You can also choose talks that are generally interesting to a wide audience. This lets the lunch and learn be a cross-team endeavor. Regardless of how you choose material, this is a great opportunity for people on your team to practice presentation skills. We use our lunch and learn to practice talks for conferences, or to invite sales team members to demonstrate what they show to clients.

Practically, you need to one or more videos per week that fits in a 20-45 minute time slot. You need to leave some allowance for setup, as well as people getting their lunch (or time to distribute a group order).

It’s good to preview videos in advance to check for problems with the audio or speaker. While there is a lot of free content available on Youtube, most of it is terrible. Note that “not safe for work” may be very broadly defined for your workplace.

Beyond FindLectures.com, good video sources are Hacker News and Google’s lunch and learn program.

Some other interesting ideas (not mine):

  • Watch conference talks
  • Use a spreadsheet to vote for content, places to order food