Chapter 50. Making Your New Team Feel Like a Team

Camille Fournier

Engineering is a team sport. Gone are the days of the lone software developer churning out code alone in their room. In most effective organizations, software is written by engineers who are acting in teams. We work in shared codebases, give each other code reviews, and even sometimes write code in pairs. Good managers of software teams understand that it is their job to create this collaborative environment. It’s not enough to focus on one-on-one meetings and understanding people as individuals, you also must work with the team as a whole to make the group effective.

Learning how to do this takes time, and it is just as awkward to start as your early one-on-ones might feel. Here are some questions to answer as you begin:

  • What is your team called? Naming is one of the most difficult problems in computer science, and spending some time on the name you give your team is a good thing to do. It forces you to succinctly describe the work that your team does, so try to resist the urge to name your team by obscure analogy. It’s better to call yourself the Sales Engineering team rather than Team Glengarry. Naming is the first step in the long-running project of defining your team’s mission.

  • What are the processes that your team does together, as a group? You might follow some variant of an Agile methodology, which ...

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