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Does Your Team Have STDs?

Filed Under Human Factors

Computer Doctor

I am reinventing the acronym STD to be – Software Team Disease. Software Team Diseases occur when your team adheres to a social or technical anti-pattern that impedes progress or defies common sense. Examples of STDs that I have written about before maybe be Developer Heroism, Project Scapegoats, or Hippie Socialism.

Often software teams and their companies do not recognize the importance of protecting themselves against infectious behaviors. In my experience, the opposite occurs and more process is often created to mask STDs.

So how can we defend ourselves against STDs? Fighting STDs is done in the same 1-2-3 punch as normal diseases:

1. Identify Your Diseases

Identifying which behaviors are as infectious as a disease is the first step to cleaning up your team. Being ultra-aware of which anti-patterns your team is running will help you mark your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Knock Them Out

Be relentless at fighting the STDs in your software team. When fighting the flu, you don’t concern yourself with being politically correct with the flu. You aren’t concerned about being understaffed if you rid the flu. If you have disease in your team, get rid of it or learn to die with it. There is no middle ground.

3. Protect Yourself

Once your team is clean and healthy, keep it healthy. Holding code reviews and other retrospectives can help you identify STDs early.

It is important that we treat infectious behavior as critical as real STDs. Which STDs does your team suffer from? How did you solve them?

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4 Responses to “Does Your Team Have STDs?”

  1. Josh G on November 27th, 2007 8:07 pm

    I was working with some nasty stuff last week and now it burns when I code…

  2. Jeremy N on November 27th, 2007 8:08 pm

    @Josh G

  3. Max Pool on November 27th, 2007 8:36 pm

    @John G – LMAO!!

  4. Eric on November 30th, 2007 4:05 pm

    @Josh G
    If we can’t cure it, we can cut it off!

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