333 Icebreaker Questions to Get Your Dev Team Really Talking

Alex Vernik
Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist
Posted on
Feb 18, 2021
Updated on
Jun 12, 2022
Table of Content

As much as time is money nowadays (and energy!) and you want to be spending every minute of your day and sprint retrospectives productively, it’s always a good idea to ease your team in. 

That’s because solid communication skills are a core part of a productive team...and that begins only when your team feels comfortable sharing with one another. 

Now, you don't have to be a modern-day Michael Scott to know that there are some things that will make your team uncomfortable at best, and dead inside at worst... 

So to make your retros easier on everyone involved (you included!), here's what you need to know about icebreakers. 

How to Use Icebreakers to Build Your Team’s Communication Skills

There are icebreakers, and there are ice breakers; the goal of the god ones is to actually promote a growing sense of team understanding and cohesion. 

and, it's way easier than you thought it could be! Here are 4 quick and easy rules to make your icebreakers work for you (and your team): 

  1. Self-expression: it might take awhile for your team to warm up, but once they do, allowing them to express themselves will go a very long way indeed. 
  2. Go first: lead by example, and answer the question first (even if it's a tough one, or you're not leading the meeting!). Remember, this is the first step towards having a productive, trusting, and ultimately blameless retro
  3. Keep it short and sweet: you don't want to spend hours on icebreakers, so keep them short and sweet and timely - you could always extend the icebreaker session to an after-work activity. 
  4. Enjoy it: having fun together builds culture!

Team Ice breaker Questions

When it comes to self-expression, you need to make sure that the question doesn't set the bar too high or too low, and that there’s no wrong answer., 

Stick to open questions (as in, no direct yes or no answers), and avoid anything too factual (these can make people feel inadequate if they don't know the answer). Open questions will also help you learn more about your colleague’s lives and thought processes! 

Remember though, that you need to make sure everyone feels included and if things get a little too personal, you run the risk of making people uncomfortable (or building a non-trusting, blame-heavy environment) – so always try to start with less personal questions. 

Some good examples of these are - 

  • Tell us about an interesting hobby of yours. 
  • Do you have a secret skill no one knows about? What is it? 
  • Who’s your favorite singer/song? 

Answer Icebreakers First 

It's not just what you ask, but how you ask. 

Answering first will help to make everyone feel a little more comfortable with one another, as well as avoid any awkwardness about breaking the silence (or ice). 

It's a great way to make yourself vulnerable, as well as leading by example. Whether you're the one running the retrospective, or just taking part, you want to start as you mean to go on. 

Remember to keep things personal, without involving anyone else without their permission (even if they're relevant to the story). 

Keep Things Simple

Icebreakers can be pretty complicated (two truths and a lie? That’s the way too much information, and way too long and complicated to get into). 

You want to avoid forcing anyone to reveal too much information about themselves, or have to think too hard – this should be an easing of tensions, not a stress-inducer! 

Your icebreaker session should last up to 10 minutes. If there’s a larger group in the session or some very talkative people you could still have open-ended icebreakers with one-word answers, such as: 

  • What's your spirit animal? 
  • What did you eat for breakfast? 
  • What's your favorite color? 
  • What’s your dream destination, either local or abroad? 

We hope you have fun with these icebreaker questions!

Some of our favorites are in bold. Start with those if you don’t have time to comb through the whole list, or just go right to the next section and learn about our free icebreaker questions generator tool.

  1. Who’s someone you really admire?
  2. What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
  3. Who’s someone you really admire?
  4. Do you have any hidden talents? What can you do?
  5. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  6. If you had a million dollars, what would be the first thing you bought?
  7. What would you like to do when you retire?
  8. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
  9. If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is it homeless or naked?
  10. What’s your favorite podcast right now?
  11. What is your favorite breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?
  12. Have you ever been to summer camp growing up?
  13. What is your favorite book you read in school?
  14. Do you prefer mornings or nights?
  15. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
  16. Who has been your most interesting/confusing/annoying neighbor?
  17. Which everyday office task, if turned into an Olympics sport, would you fail in miserably?
  18. What song do you wish were playing in the background right now?
  19. How many holes does a straw have?
  20. What do you value most in a friendship?
  21. Why do people say “slept like a baby” when babies wake up all the time in the middle of the night?
  22. What would you do with your 15 minutes of fame?
  23. What is your favorite musical instrument to hear being played solo?
  24. What would your dream house be like?
  25. What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
  26. What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
  27. What do you miss about working in an office?
  28. Tell us one big problem you've been forced to solve this year.
  29. What is your favorite genre of movie? Why?
  30. What talent would you most like to develop?
  31. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  32. Teleportation or flying?
  33. What are the useless facts you’ve ever known?
  34. What’s your silliest memory with your best friend?
  35. What’s the best gift you’ve ever given anyone? What’s the worst?
  36. According to you, which reality TV show is the funniest?
  37. What's your most irrational fear?
  38. What would you do with your time if you were independently wealthy and didn’t have to work?
  39. If extraterrestrials landed on earth, who would you recommend as their first point of contact and why?
  40. Heard any good tips lately?
  41. Would you rather lose all of your money or all of your pictures?
  42. What did you get into the most trouble for with your parents as a kid?
  43. Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did he or she impact you?
  44. What’s your favorite car that you’ve owned?
  45. What are you nostalgic about recently?
  46. Would you rather visit a volcano or a rainforest?
  47. In one word, what is the greatest challenge you have faced this month?
  48. What’s the scariest ride you’ve ever been on?
  49. What was your dream job when you were a kid?
  50. If you could go to outer space for free, as a tourist, would you do it?
  51. Would you advise someone to attend a university now that you've completed your education?
  52. Do you have any strange or regional names for things where you come from?
  53. What was your dream job as a child?
  54. If you could learn any skill, what would it be?
  55. If you were in the Olympics, what sport would you play?
  56. Do you mind if I try out a new joke on you?
  57. What company or brand did you love until they betrayed your trust?
  58. Are you a good dancer?
  59. If you could be guaranteed one thing in life (besides money), what would it be?
  60. What physical thing (hurricanes, bugs, heights) scares you the most?
  61. Describe your team in one word.
  62. What’s one work-related skill that you’d like to develop, especially if you could do it easily?
  63. If I visited your hometown, what local spots would you suggest I see?
  64. Can you play any instruments? If not, what do you wish you could play?
  65. Which character from a children’s book or film makes you think about yourself?
  66. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime?
  67. Why do you love or hate classical music?
  68. Which celebrity was your childhood crush?
  69. If aliens landed on earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go?
  70. If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
  71. Which skill have you learned during working from home?
  72. What is your most used emoji?
  73. What catchy jingle or bit of advertising has stuck with you all these years?
  74. What’s the most useful thing you own?
  75. Would you rather be an Olympic gold medalist or an astronaut?
  76. What does your favorite shirt look like?
  77. What outdoor activity do you love doing on Christmas day?
  78. Is it ever OK to waste time?
  79. If you had the chance to go back and start again, what age would you choose?
  80. How do you plan to prepare for your first internship interview?
  81. If you had a time machine, would go back in time or into the future?
  82. At what age do you believe people become "mature?"
  83. Are you a traveler or a homebody?
  84. Name one of your biggest pet peeves.
  85. If extraterrestrials landed on earth and offered to take you with them, would you go?
  86. What would you do if you came home and found a penguin in your freezer?
  87. What’s the first thing you would do if you could become invisible for a day?
  88. You best time of the day is what? Morning, afternoon, evening or night?
  89. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy first?
  90. The zombie apocalypse is coming, who are 3 people you want on your team?
  91. What is the first gift you remember receiving?
  92. What are the top five places on your bucket list to visit before you die?
  93. What is your favorite grocery store portion, and why?
  94. What’s a time when someone did something you appreciated (at work or in another context), but you didn’t let them know? What held you back?
  95. Who is the most competitive person you know?
  96. Would you rather have a quiet dinner with a few friends, or party with 100 friends?
  97. What clubs were you a member of in high school?
  98. You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
  99. What’s the last thing you got in “trouble” for?
  100. What’s the best thing you’ve got going on in your life at the moment?
  101. Would you rather be forced to sing along or dance to every single song you hear?
  102. When you die, what would you like to be remembered for?
  103. What’s the worst haircut you ever had?
  104. Which super power do you want?
  105. What would you do if you had a robot to assist you in school or work but it could only do one thing?
  106. Will it make you more nervous to introduce your date to your family or friends?
  107. What's something you are craving right now?
  108. What was the first team you were part of?
  109. What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?
  110. What's the best dish you make?
  111. Do you drink coffee or tea at work?
  112. What’s one thing you wish could be automated in your job?
  113. What book had the most significant impact on you?
  114. If you had to eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?
  115. Who has been your most interesting, disturbing, or annoying neighbor?
  116. If you could hang out with any cartoon character, who would you choose and why?
  117. If you had to lose all your memories, which one would want to lose last?
  118. You can not time travel, but your phone has the internet from 5 years in the future. What do you search for first?
  119. Are you a morning or night person?
  120. Tell us the very first thing you usually do on Christmas Day?
  121. Would you rather have a pet sloth or a pet parrot?
  122. Your favorite film genre is what?
  123. What would you rather be: the funniest or smartest person in the room?
  124. What's your cellphone wallpaper?
  125. What movie have you seen recently that you would recommend and why?
  126. How do you like your potatoes?
  127. What is the favorite Halloween costume you have ever seen?
  128. When someone finds out what you do, or where you are from, what question do they always ask you?
  129. What is the one thing that would actually help remote teams to function better?
  130. What’s your favorite international food?
  131. What is the best thing a coworker has done or said to you during the pandemic?
  132. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you choose to be?
  133. What would you be found doing if the police unexpectedly breaks into your home in the day?
  134. What's the best animal sound you can make?
  135. Would you rather give up your cellphone for a month or bathing for a month?
  136. If you were famous what would you be famous for?
  137. If you could remove one food so that no one would eat it ever again, what would you actually pick to destroy?
  138. If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  139. If you did not have to sleep, how would you spend the extra 8 hours?
  140. If you were a superhero what would your name be?
  141. If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
  142. Mention somebody you truly admire.
  143. What would the title of your autobiography be?
  144. What school subject is your favorite?
  145. What sparked your curiosity in whatever you’re most curious about now?
  146. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever accidentally texted someone?
  147. Do you find time passing differently when you work from home vs. when you work in the office?
  148. Which movie made you laugh the most?
  149. What would be the last meal you would ever eat?
  150. Which element would you rather be able to control?
  151. What do you miss about kindergarten?
  152. What do you value most in a partner?
  153. What’s one thing that brings you energy and joy?
  154. What crazy activities do you dream of trying someday?
  155. How soon do you reply to emails?
  156. If you could speak another language, what would it be?
  157. Describe your in-laws in one word?
  158. Tell me about a memory from childhood that inspires your life.
  159. What was the first concert you attended?
  160. What was your favorite book growing up?
  161. Who was your childhood actor or actress crush?
  162. Do you want to dance with someone smelly up close, or do you want to smell everybody in the room?
  163. If you could only meet one person from history, who would it be?
  164. What celebrity do most people say you look like?
  165. Who is your favorite comedian?
  166. What is the best 80s movie for you?
  167. Tell us the best piece of advice you've ever received in your life?
  168. Have you ever worked from bed?
  169. Have you ever been to Disney Land or Disney World?
  170. What was the most inappropriate thing you did in school?
  171. What is your favorite restaurant?
  172. What was the first item you bought with your own money?
  173. In high school, what was the stupidest thing you did?
  174. What was your first job?
  175. What’s your number one tip for combating distractions when working from home?
  176. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
  177. What's the most comfortable setting that you miss from home?
  178. A genie grants you three wishes but none of them can directly benefit you. What would those wishes be?
  179. How would your best friend describe you?
  180. Who is the most underrated celebrity?
  181. Would you rather know everything about the ocean or space?
  182. What is your favorite color and why?
  183. Spring, summer, fall or winter: What’s your favorite season and why?
  184. Be honest, how often do you work from bed?
  185. Professional, casual or sweatpants? If there were no dress code, how would you dress for work?
  186. What’s normal where you live, but might seem weird to the rest of the world?
  187. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met and talked with?
  188. What was your least favorite food as a child? Why did you dislike it?
  189. What do you rebel against?
  190. Would you rather go to a house party or a bar?
  191. What kind of jokes do you seriously take?
  192. What talent would you most like to grow and develop?
  193. Who was your favorite childhood movie character?
  194. What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?
  195. If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
  196. What's the best gift someone has ever given you?
  197. What’s the most unique shop or restaurant you’ve been in?
  198. Describe your dream wedding if money was no object?
  199. According to you, what is the most mind-numbingly dull movie ever made?
  200. What item did you hoard when you heard that a lockdown will be happening?
  201. What would it take to give up your smartphone for a month?
  202. What’s your favorite tradition or holiday?
  203. Which talk show host is your absolute favorite?
  204. What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?
  205. What’s the last thing you completed that you’re proud of?
  206. What ice cream flavor best describes your current personality?
  207. What was your first car?
  208. How well do you know your neighbors?
  209. What’s your best scar story?
  210. What is the preferred way to break the ice with a new team member?
  211. Science fiction. Love it or hate it?
  212. If you had 25 hours each day, how would you use your extra time?
  213. What do you consider to be the most important invention in our lifetime, and why?
  214. What is your worst dance move?
  215. What's the weirdest Wikipedia rabbit hole you've stumbled down?
  216. Given the chance to live the life of another person, who would you choose?
  217. Which actor would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
  218. What’s the best cake you’ve ever eaten?
  219. If you could commit any crime and get away with it what would you choose and why?
  220. If you could change your name, what name would you choose?
  221. What year would you visit if you had a time machine?
  222. Where do you want to retire?
  223. If you could bring back a fashion trend, what would it be, and why?
  224. What would you do if you had an extra hour in the day?
  225. Do you have any tattoo on your body and how does it look like?
  226. What was the worst job you've ever had?
  227. What are the five things that are the most important to you except friends and family?
  228. What was the worst injury you ever had?
  229. Which do you prefer: kissing a jellyfish or stepping on a crab?
  230. What’s your favorite color and how does that color make you feel?
  231. What three hashtags would you use to characterize your online persona?
  232. What characteristic do you value the most in your coworkers?
  233. Is there anything hard about working virtually?
  234. If you could be a participant in any game on TV, which would it be?
  235. What would you prefer if you had to swap your legs with animal legs?
  236. What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
  237. Would you rather happy moments become happier or sad moments become less sad?
  238. What's the best thing you've ever eaten?
  239. What are some strategies that you’ve found to be helpful in your recent work?
  240. What is your favorite television show and why?
  241. If you could have any unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
  242. What did you think would be easy before you gave it a try?
  243. What makes you feel excited to be alive right now?
  244. What's one word that doesn't describe love to you?
  245. When you were six years old, what did you want to be when you grow up?
  246. What's your best travel story?
  247. Make a choice: Never hear music again or lose the ability to read?
  248. Do you ever just feel like dancing when you shouldn’t?
  249. What’s your favorite hobby?
  250. If you could be in the Guinness book of world records, what record-breaking feat would you attempt?
  251. Which is a word that you particularly can't stand the sound of?
  252. Seen any good movies lately you’d recommend?
  253. What's your favorite game to play?
  254. What's your favorite mythical creature?
  255. What is that thing you have never done before which you want to do next year?
  256. What is your favorite animal?
  257. What is your preferred way of breaking awkward silences over Zoom?
  258. What’s your favorite food combination?
  259. What is something about you that I wouldn’t know just by looking at you?
  260. What’s one thing we could do to improve our virtual meetings?
  261. Show us your office space!
  262. Notably, what is your happiest memory to date?
  263. Cook a meal or clean up after a meal?
  264. If there was a room filled with ice cream, how would you get out of it?
  265. Have you ever been told you look like someone famous, who was it?
  266. Do you have an internship secured?
  267. What two things do you consider yourself to be very good at?
  268. The zombie apocalypse is coming. Who are three people you want on your team?
  269. What are your top 3 most hated foods?
  270. What’s a movie you always recommend to people? Why do you love it?
  271. What’s something that always confuses you about the work we do here?
  272. If you could write a book, what genre would you write it in? Mystery? Thriller? Romance? Historical fiction? Non-fiction?
  273. What’s your earliest memory?
  274. If you could pick any sport, what sport would you compete in?
  275. Breakfast or dinner?
  276. If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be any why?
  277. Tell us the Christmas film you always watch every year!
  278. Where do you prefer to live - city or countryside?
  279. If you had to eliminate any Disney character, who would it be?
  280. What’s your favorite childhood board game?
  281. What’s the single most important factor that you would change about your job?
  282. What’s the noblest endeavor a person can dedicate their life to?
  283. Show us your cell phone wallpaper. Is there a story behind it?
  284. What's your best sport or fitness activity?
  285. If you could have any view out your office window, what would you choose?
  286. What do you have in common with the person sitting next to you?
  287. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
  288. What sport do you wish you knew more about?
  289. A book that you think will change lives?
  290. If you weren’t in this career, what could you see yourself doing?
  291. When you were little, who was your favorite super hero and why?
  292. What fruit or vegetable would you most want to be?
  293. If you could only eat one item of food for the rest of your life, what would you eat?
  294. What would you have a personal assistant do if you could have someone follow you around all the time?
  295. If you had to lose one of your senses, which would you choose to lose?
  296. Have you seen anything lately that made you smile?
  297. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
  298. Got any favorite quotes?
  299. What was the worst job you ever had?
  300. What did you do with the time you didn’t spend commuting today?
  301. What was the funniest thing you’ve seen recently online?
  302. What new, or additional, skill do you think you need now to progress further?
  303. Do you fold your pizza?
  304. What is or was your major?
  305. Name one of your favorite things about someone in your family.
  306. What is the coolest website you've ever visited?
  307. What skill do you think everyone should have?
  308. Would you rather be in a zombie apocalypse or a robot apocalypse?
  309. What are the top 5 items in your post-pandemic bucket list?
  310. What supernatural creature do you wish existed?
  311. What are you doing when you feel most alive?
  312. What is your favorite thing to do locally?
  313. Would you rather always be slightly late or super early?
  314. In particular, which team-building activity is your favorite?
  315. If you could guest star on any television show, what would it be? Who would you play?
  316. You’ve been granted a one-way ticket to another country of your choice. Where are you going?
  317. Which one do you like: hot chocolate or hot coffee?
  318. Which class do you wish your school offered?
  319. Describe an experience in your life that changed your values?
  320. How has your favorite high school teacher impacted your life?
  321. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  322. What is the most amazing story about your family?
  323. What color best describes your personality today?
  324. Altogether, what is your favorite thing about your team?
  325. Would you rather hear holiday-themed music forever, or never heard it again?
  326. What's a social cause you care about?
  327. What was your favorite cartoon show growing up?
  328. If you could go to Mars, would you? Why or why not?
  329. What was the last thing you did that gave you child-like joy?
  330. What culture would you like to learn more about?
  331. What was the worst job you ever had?
  332. What is one interesting fact about your high school or college?
  333. What was your first ever job?

Can't pick? Use our icebreaker questions generator tool

We just launched a random icebreaker generator tool to help you choose one for your team. Start your meetings and gatherings with over 3000 icebreaker questions designed to build trust, connectedness, and psychological safety.

Have a Solid Icebreaker Session for an Awesome Retro Session

Keeping your icebreakers fun, positive, and trust-building makes for better team communication. And that’s absolutely essential when you're running a sprint retrospective

You need a strong team to be able to easily open up and communicate with one another, for the good, and those less-than-good times.

But, even during those ‘less than’ (disastrous sprint, anyone?) - there's an easy, painless and completely free way to keep everyone seamlessly engaged, happy and proactive. 

Let's GoRetro: completely Free sprint retrospective tool for unlimited team members and boards.

About the author

Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist

Engineering leader, passionate about coding products and value creation. Vast experience with managing R&D teams at various scales. Embracing innovation and transformation for constant improvement.

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