From Ruby to Rifles: The Tech Team Goes on an Adventure!

When someone says the words “team building exercise,” most of us run for the nearest exit with dark thoughts in our heads of awkward trust falls and of Frank from accounting sharing a little too much with the group about his recent divorce. Here at Big Fuel, we try to do things a little differently. A few weeks ago, the Tech team put down the candy bucket, capped the communal bottle of Sriracha, and briefly detached from our monitors for an adventure at the West Side Pistol and Rifle Range.

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Team building in the traditional sense is good in its intention, but the execution of it is what gives it such a terrible reputation. Using a trip to the shooting range as a team building exercise gives us a number of valuable things:

1. Shooting guns is inherently awesome. To achieve the basic catharsis of shooting guns, you just need it to fire and you need to hit something. Pumping lead out of a rifle couldn’t be more different than what we do everyday of our working lives, and when you’re doing something tedious like coding all the time, you need breaks like this to remind you that you’re still a human being and there is adventure out there to be had.

alana

“Who says you can’t shoot guns in a skirt?” – Alana

2. Most of us have never fired a gun before (or haven’t done so in a long time), and this makes us vulnerable in front of each other in a positive/appropriate way. We have (by habit or by design) defined roles among us that stay the same on a day-to-day basis given our titles or our skill sets. When you put a group of people in a situation they haven’t experienced before, you expose vulnerabilities that you don’t get to see when things are comfortable, and you also get to see strengths where you might not have expected to see them.

jack

Jack was not uncomfortable at all.

3. An excursion like this can be viewed as taking a risk if you’ve never done it before, and the ability to take risks is something I value highly in people I work with. Innovation demands an environment that nurtures risk-taking, and abstracting the experience of calculated risk-taking and the ensuing reward into a fun evening out is something that I see as immeasurably valuable.

winter

Winter is imagining vegetables downrange…

4. Another thing that I love about my team is our penchant for learning and sharing knowledge. We help and educate each other on a daily basis, and that spirit carried over into our time at the shooting range. Instead of “here’s a better way to do that validation,” we had “you might not want to put the bullets into that magazine backwards.” I saw a lot of the things we do well translate to this experience, and that made me really happy.

At the end of the night, after we’d all had a total blast (GET IT???) our instructor said to me, “you have a great team here.” He’s definitely right. From Ruby to rifles, the Big Fuel tech team is a solid group, and one that I’m proud to be a part of.

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Hello! Big Fuel is a full-service marketing and communications company based in New York that takes brands from Content To Commerce. A unique approach that bridges "people stories" to "product stories" through social media and branded content.

Big Fuel is one part marketing agency, building brands through consumer insight; one part entertainment company, creating content that people love; and one part distribution company, driving guaranteed results by delivering content to targeted audiences. We work with major brands, leading agencies, publishers and platforms to help marketers achieve true consumer engagement.

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