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2 Final Thoughts for 2011: Context and Teams Really Matter

This is my last post for 2011 and I’ll keep it brief. I’d like to wrap up the year with two words: Context and Team.

Context

I read many rants on Twitter, blogs and various online publications regarding one software development approach versus another. In many cases, the context is missing. Without context, I can’t agree or disagree.

  • Is the project small or large?
  • Is the company a start-up or an enterprise?
  • Is the technology new or proven?
  • Is the staff junior or experienced?

You get the point. Every idea sucks in the wrong context and can be brilliant in the right one. Context matters.

Team

I read many complaints about poor development practices and incompetent software developers. It’s important to recognize that enterprise software development is a team activity. Small desktop utilities and mobile apps can be developed, tested and released single-handedly. Enterprise-scale systems cannot.

Software developers on a team have an obligation to communicate, collaborate and support fellow team members. Teams can’t be agile without teamwork. Before you complain about your team, ask yourself one simple question: “What have I done to support my team?” Not your boss, project leader or Scrum Master — your team!

It’s okay to complain — it really is — just do it in a constructive way.

Updated: December 29, 2011 — 10:27 pm
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