Marco Carag

Expert er of things.

April Had Some Great Dev Culture Content

Don’t know what it is about April, but there were a lot of great posts and presentations about development team culture that really struck a chord in me. Here are a few faves; take a look if you haven’t already.

Manifesto for Minimalist Software Engineers
I noticed this “minifesto” by New York software developer, Pablo Guevara, when it got Twitter buzz sometime in the early half of April, and have been mentally repeating parts of it in my head as a mantra ever since. “First do it, then do it right, then do it better.” “Fail fast, learn soon.” “Techincal Skill is the mastery of complexity, while Creativity is the master of simplicity.”
Bacon is Bad For You
This is a presentation done by the amazing Austin-based frontend developer, Garann Means, for BACON conference in which she voices her concerns about developer monoculture, and how it can deter people. Truly hit home for me as someone who’s felt alienated on certain dev teams, and who’s probably done his share of alienating on others. The slides speak terrifically for themselves if you can’t spare the full half hour for the video. Especially love the comparison between the “standard” working professional, versus the professional developer.
Cultural Confusion
This is a post by Jason Stirman (Medium, Twitter) for Medium (a new-ish and beautiful kind-of-collaborative sort-of-blog…It’s tricky to describe) in which he basically nails it in terms of what’s important in forming a healthy culture: the people! There are a couple of great points he touches on: having a diversity of opinion, humility, making sure you actually get along with the candidates you’re considering. It’s easy to ignore how important personality is when staring down a list of awesome work history and accomplishments on someone’s resumé. Love his “airport test” idea. And this:
“The damage a bad culture fit can cause isn’t worth the productivity they can provide.”

I’ve been learning lately the sorts of things that matter to me in a work environment, and I realize I can distill it down to this: don’t hire or be a jerk. Be humble. Solicit feedback. Trust others, and work together.

Just like any community of people, it’s hard sometimes to remember that you’re all on the same team. Being individual is important, but be careful to avoid selfishness. It’s crazy how often I have to remind myself of that.

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