Here we are at the cusp of article 100, if you've endured all of them I thank you!
I've finished Peopleware and a damn good read it was too, I highly recommend it for programmers and managers, in fact anyone involved with a team.
As seems to be common practice these days I will now pick all the bits that align with my world view and ignore everything else!
One of the most important life lessons is that Software is a People-Oriented activity. There are many aspects to this and I'll skip through the ones that interest me.
Everyone is different (and that's a good thing)
This revelation has actually come from the discussions on this blog, so it's worth the admission price just for that.
The trouble with methodologies and processes is that they are designed by people who inherently like working in that fashion. This is then sold as the "best" way to work, well what's best for me is not necessarily good for you. Here's some 50/50s
Some people like comments in their code. Some hate it.
Some people like LabVIEW. Some hate it.
Some people like starting. Some like finishing.
Some like working to standards. Some find it restrictive.
Some like Unit Testing. Some don't.
Us noisy people loudly say one way of doing something is the correct way, it only really means that it works for us and people similar to us.
One absolute rule I have observed is that there are people who moan and people who do, the venn diagram of moaners and doers never seems to cross!
Google spent a lot of time and energy and came to the conclusion that team members that look out for each other work better, This simple cost-effective concept seems to elude groups of clever people in a fair proportion of businesses I deal with.
For people who watch The Apprentice the classic macho-manager stomping about bullying people into submission seems to be desirable. Nice people are weak and in business you need to be STRONG!!! Sigh! This way of working is idiotic, destructive, old-fashioned and childish!
Here's the thing I am really unproductive if I feel annoyed or irritated. One simple way to improve productivity is to treat me nice!
Here's another secret, people do business with people they trust and like, especially where intellect and experience is the commodity being traded
Behavior is Influential
One poisonous individual can destroy a team and damage related teams and these people who only see bad in others, the gossipers, the spreaders of discontent, the vampires of ego need isolating or removing. Sacking these people is horrible, but not as horrible as keeping them on!
If they bubble to the top of a company they affect the mentality of the whole organization, sadly this happens more often than it should.
Here's the kicker, the work we do should be fun. The things that stop it being fun are people related. Spend effort on this and good things happen.