Making Time for Better Code: The Power of Improvement Fridays

You might know the famous meme with two guys struggling to push a square barrow while a guy with wheels approaches them. Before he can even say anything, they reply: "We don't have time; we're too busy!" Above the drawing, there's a message: "Are you too busy to improve?"

The sad truth is that we all sometimes push square barrows in our programming life. Although the IT environment almost forces us to develop constantly, it's easy to forget to make time not only for development but also for improvement. Deadlines don’t help much here.

And what about technological debt? Do you and your team try to eliminate it regularly or treat it like dust under the couch that you don't see until you want to rearrange the bedroom?

One is certain - you and your team must think about improvement proactively.

How to do it? At Tidio, to address this topic, we decided to implement Improvement Fridays.

The Idea of Tidio Improvement Fridays

Tidio Improvement Fridays are our internal initiative where each engineer spends 20% of their week on improvements that are not necessarily part of their daily responsibilities regarding sprint goals. Typically, work happens on Fridays (Friday Improvement Day), but it is not mandatory. A developer can move the improvement time to another day when needed, with the agreement of their team.

Furthermore, our improvement initiatives are part of our quarterly goals and are included in our workload to ensure they are not skipped during busy times.

In our everyday work, we prioritize code quality and actively work towards reducing technical debt. Improvement Fridays give us extra space for enhancing our architecture and making it even better.

Sounds pretty great, right?

Let’s jump into the pros we observed since we’ve implemented Improvement Fridays into our work routine!

Tidio Improvement Fridays Benefits


Improvement Fridays give us time and space to think outside the box. They are a valuable opportunity to take a step back from our daily routine and reflect on our work. During Improvement Fridays, we have the chance to consider different perspectives. Moreover, by engaging with colleagues who bring unique viewpoints and experiences to the table, we can expand our own understanding and uncover new solutions to the challenges we face.

Mateusz Cholewka, who works as a Backend Developer at Tidio, accurately said:

I think that Improvement Fridays give us the feeling that our product is getting better and better also in many technical aspects, which further drives the desire to introduce even more innovations. During Improvement Fridays, we often work on updating our technical stack to the newest possible versions. Thanks to that, we feel that it is worth expanding our knowledge with new technologies and approaches and applying them in our daily work and solutions, and also sharing with other developers.”

Additionally, I’ve noticed that this initiative plays a crucial role in empowering us (engineers) to have a greater impact on architectural changes. It also provides an opportunity for all of us to enhance the developer experience by addressing pain points and areas where we can improve. We know that we should not only focus on ticking the boxes in Jira but also think about the bigger picture, such as the direction of development of Tidio products, our clients and their needs, and features we may need to add in the future. And use all this information to identify areas for improvement to avoid future roadblocks.

Tidio Guilds: Creating Collaboration and Innovation through Community

We have discussed improvements, but what about innovations? Is there room for them in our Improvement Fridays time?

Absolutely!As leaders in a competitive market, we recognize the importance of continuously developing and keeping up with industry trends. We also believe in the power of collaboration and knowledge exchange. That's where guilds come in.

Tidio Guilds are organized groups dedicated to bringing our technical teams together and creating a culture of continuous learning and improvement. We currently have three active guilds, each dedicated to a specific area of expertise: frontend, backend, and QA.

One of the first initiatives created by the guilds was... That’s right - Improvement Fridays! Within the guilds, we decide how to spend 20% of the time and what to tackle first during Improvement Fridays.

Ok, so what are our main focus areas right now?

  • Addressing technical debt: we focus on resolving and reducing technical debt, including backend optimization, frontend refactoring, and updating outdated systems.
  • Processes improvements: we optimize development workflows by identifying and removing bottlenecks and implementing best practices.
  • R&D tasks: we explore and develop new ideas and technologies to improve Tidio’s products.

These areas constantly evolve to meet current product needs. Guilds also set quarterly goals that align with Tidio’s objectives and strategy, providing a clear direction for their work and measuring progress.

My colleague, Maria Rukat (Senior Frontend Developer), added: “Guilds also organize lightning talks - short presentations where we share our knowledge and experiences on topics of our choice. It could be about new technologies or things we learned from our guild initiatives or conferences we attended.  So everything we believe may add value to our teamwork and development. Additionally, it's a great way to practice public speaking skills in a friendly environment!”

It’s also worth mentioning that developers can decide which initiative they want to be part of during a specific quarter. This gives everyone a chance to focus on topics that genuinely interest them or that they believe will have the greatest impact on enhancing our daily work.

All these make Improvement Fridays an excellent opportunity to learn from fellow developers and gain new insights.


Both improvement and innovation are crucial elements for Tidio to remain competitive and continue growing. For this reason, we take Improvement Fridays seriously and have made them an integral part of our culture.

We see Improvement Fridays as a smart investment in our teams and believe they bring great benefits. They help team members take more responsibility, give us additional space for addressing architectural pain points, and speed up the decision-making process for implementing solutions. Guilds and Improvement Fridays also encourage knowledge sharing across different teams and provide opportunities to gain insights from others.

By setting aside every Friday for improvement, experimentation, and trying new things, we motivate ourselves to think creatively and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. We believe that this commitment to continuous improvement sets us apart from our competitors and enables us to deliver the best possible products to our clients.

We won't always have the barrow with round wheels, but we can try to make our own wheels rounder.

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