The visible lines of division are not the meaningful ones

Imagine you’ve never cut open a human body before. Nor seen a diagram drawn by someone who has. Back before anatomy textbooks, the organs and systems of the human body would not have been obvious. I imagine asking, what are the parts that make up a person? and getting: head, arms, legs, hands, feet, chest, …

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Software development is like geriatrics

Caring for software takes more knowledge than a single person can acquire. There’s the business knowledge that makes it useful, plus the languages and runtimes and infrastructure and deployment. Then there’s security, accessibility, user experience, each interface, availability, observability, scaling, performance, data modeling, testing, networking, etc etc. Every change to the software hits several of …

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Teams are like bread

Maybe when companies make you do “team-building” activities, what they’re looking for is a phase transition into a gelled team. Because it is a sudden, magical thing, right? When a group of people turns into a team. Once you get there, to that feeling of team, it’s self-reinforcing. You trust each other, so y0u don’t …

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Tradeoffs in Coordination Among Teams

The other day in Budapest, Jez Humble and I wondered, what is the CAP theorem for teams? In distributed database systems, the CAP theorem says: choose two of Consistency, Availability, and Partitioning — and you must choose Partitioning. Consider a system for building software together. Unless the software is built by exactly one person, we …

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Fitting in v. Belonging

In your team, do you feel like you fit in? Do you have a feeling of belonging? These are very different questions.[2] When I fit in, it’s because everyone is sufficiently alike. We have inside jokes, TV shows or sports we talk about, opinions we share and common targets of ridicule. New people can fit …

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