Software development pushes us to get better as people

Have you ever been on a really good software team? There’s this feeling of connectedness, of shared purpose. We know what we’re building, and we are skilled at building it together. This kind of team can grow some amazing software. When we work at making our team great like this, we look for new ways …

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Product teams own capabilities, not (only) code.

As a software engineer, what is your job? and what is your value? On many teams, the work is “add features to this codebase.” We congratulate teams for moving JIRA tickets from “defined” to “delivered.” Meanwhile, the value to the business depends on value to the customers, or to people or software who in turn …

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Better coordination, or better software?

TL;DR: When different parts of an organization need to coordinate, it seems like a good idea to help them coordinate smoothly and frequently. Don’t. Help them coordinate less — more explicitly, less often. Software systems get big, and they have lots of parts, and those parts need to talk to each other. Maybe we’re building …

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Project to Product asks more of our software, and more of us

TL;DR: Projects ask teams do what is asked of them; Products ask teams to invent their work. This requires a different way of seeing the world, and not everyone can do it yet. Software is not an up-front investment that pays off over its use. Software is an ongoing concern, an intricate piece of a …

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Software teams are like Executive Teams

In any large enough company, there are front-line workers, management, and executives. Executives set direction, management sets up the situation for the workers, and workers do the labor. Workers do the company business every day, providing capabilities to external or internal customers. Management gets them the tools and training they need, for today and for …

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