Chapter 9. Switching Pattern

There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a boring team assignment, where you feel like every day is a complete drag, and you feel like you’re stagnating. It doesn’t have to be like that. Engagement at work can happen when you are intellectually stimulated and are able to continually learn in your job. Sometimes that can mean finding a new team situation where you are with completely different people, working on completely different things to refresh your focus. Just having the opportunity to switch teams can bring companies tremendous retention possibilities.

Besides that, switching can help us to build a more sustainable and resilient company. If only one person maintains a critical system and then leaves, you could experience tremendous setbacks. So why not mitigate that by building in some proactive switching? Don’t fall into the “we must have stable teams” dogma that can lead you into these traps.

The pages that follow dig into the switching pattern, where one person leaves a team and then joins a team, as depicted in Figure 9-1.

The Switching Pattern
Figure 9-1. The switching pattern

Switching is also when people switch pairs within a team when pair programming, as the next two stories illustrate.

Switching Pairs Within a Team

Pair programming is a classic method of spreading knowledge around a team. It’s when two software engineers work with one monitor on the ...

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