We are a recently formed team of 4 developers, some of them new to the company, some of them assembled from other, disbanded teams. I would like to know my team members better, how they "tick", how they want to learn, problem-solve, cooperate, communicate, how we see each other, etc. I would like to do that through some "formalized", structured, time-boxed activity instead of just working with them for some time.

I've looked at the "Team Canvas" method and what's missing there for me is the "personality" aspect: Are they shy or outgoing, do they like to work on their own, what channels of communication do they like/use, when they encounter a problem, do they want to solve it on their own or do they like to collaborate etc.

What other methods of finding out more about the work habits do you know?

  • get them drunk and ask them. be sure to take notes in case you forget – Ewan May 29 '18 at 11:08
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about a people-management problem, and not directly about software engineering. – amon May 29 '18 at 11:13

Have a team lunch or other semi-social yet still work related activities. Try to have a mix of conversation about the job/programming and out of work topics. How they respond and to what topics can tell you a lot of that.

For problem solving, next time you run into a tricky software problem, call in the whole team and have everyone "thought shower" on the best way to solve it. Go around the room and give time for everyone to suggest a solution or improvement. This helps you see how they solve problems, and group collaboration like this can be a great way for veterans to pass knowledge to newer developers.

For communication channels/collaboration, you can probably just ask them in a meeting. I think anyone would appreciate you wanting to make the work environment more comfortable for them.

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