The first question that interviewers ask candidates these days is about team experiences. They look at many different factors but working as a team is always an important one. If that person cannot work with a team, that is going to be a red flag. There is a saying that “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Team work gives people the ability to improve their communication skills, to be more efficient in building products and also to motivate each others.
We may have mentors and kindred spirits that we meet along the way, but people tend to think that software developers usually work independently. The problem is what if the product has reached its limit, the learning is struggling and the feeling that there are superior techniques and approaches to the craft that are eluding us.
The best solution is to find a way to sit down, have a talk with colleagues, and work together on a project. There is always something that we could learn from each other. The case that was mentioned in this “Rubbing Elbows” is Dave, who found an ally in Roman and then literally rubbed elbows over lunch as they learned together about technologies like the Ruby programming language and Eclipse plug-in development. Even though Roman could have not been that kindred spirit but Dave would still have benefited by working next to a talented programmer. There is always a certain technique that we could learn from others because we are not perfect. Therefore, it’s critical for us to be open to learning and willing to take it in. While paring programming can be an excellent technique for learning, it’s a complex activity and is not always an inherently positive experience. And sometimes it is a pain. If we feel chronic behind, week after week, and we’re beginning to despair, then it’s time for a change. The rotation may help jiggle us out of trouble. Ping-Pong programming to increase our participation is also a good way.
The final thought is to find someone we know who has already expressed an interest in starting an open-source project. Spend one day or an evening a week working together on that project. See how things would go, and seek motivation from each other. If motivation never return, it is up to us to seek new partnership where we can learn new thing. Because the best way to stay in workforce of this industry is to keep up with new technology.