By: Adam Sockel, Pluralsight Content Strategist
In the ten-plus years that “The Great British Baking Show” has been on-air, it’s inspired millions of people around the globe. Regardless of whether you bake bread daily or if you don’t even want to risk following a recipe from Nestle Tollhouse, the show will happily welcome you to their famed tent for an hour of good times and soothing vibes. At its core, the show is hardly revolutionary. Talented cooks come together in a competition and their creations are judged across various metrics like taste and presentation.
“The Great British Baking Show” didn’t invent competitive cooking shows, but it might be the best example of them. What sets it apart isn’t the quality of the food made—although the results are often stunning—but rather the spirit of the show itself that constantly inspires me. And it’s left me thinking a lot about software development and creating a healthy environment. I’ll explain.
Bake Off’s baked-in teamwork
The secret ingredient (yes, I’ll be doing puns in this post) of “Bake Off,” as it’s lovingly known, is the feeling of camaraderie and teamwork that is peppered throughout. It’s a competition show, so there will always be a winner at the end, and one baker ends up going home after each week, but in every episode you’ll see the bakers helping each other if they need extra hands or offering constant encouragement to one another.
The hosts and judges walk around the tent where the competition occurs, breaking the tension with jokes, compliments and lighthearted quips. The show takes place over several months so the bakers end up building close relationships and frequently shedding tears of sadness every time someone has to leave at the end of an episode.
Despite the fact that the bakers are all trying to win this competition, they’re rooting for each other and are willing to lend a helping hand when it’s needed. Competitive shows like this, where your success is determined by your self-reliance and preparation, can create a feeling of isolation or coldness. Cooking shows tend to feed into that with music drops and dramatic pauses.
“Bake Off” goes the other direction, creating a warm, loving environment. The final episode of the season always brings back every competitor from that year’s competition and reminds the viewer of all the many parts that made up the whole of the show that we love so much.