Optimizing Software Teamwork

Software development is a team sport. The sentence glides off the tongue, obscuring the real struggles of software teams. The truth is that software is a group effort more often than it is a team endeavor. A team adds to a group of people a shared commitment to a concrete goal, roles, rules, and shared rewards. The struggle: Software development is rooted in the creativity of the individual programmer, and the legitimate interests of that individual programmer are often at odds with the interests of the team. A successful software team balances collective and individual interests, using a combination of policies and procedures (processes) and technologies (products). That balance is hard to achieve and sustain, but it is essential to a team's ability to provide quality products on time and within budget.

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