What About Code

January 13, 2011

Chapter 7 – Subversion: Creating An Open Team

Jim, Karl, Brian, and Ben have all remained friends. I spoke to them separately and they had only good things to say about each other. However, none of these good things had anything to do with code. Not once did any of hem describe their teammate as, he was a strong coder or he was great to work with because of the code he wrote. All of the praise they had for each other was about how well they communicated.

None of the changes they made to remove the feeling of second class citizens had to do with code. It wasn’t a coding problem. The Subversion team almost failed because of a lack of communication and human interaction. Because they didn’t have an open team.

The team spent a lot of time and effort focusing on their community. They based that community on four basic principles: politeness, respect, trust, and humility. Members should be polite when they communicate with each other, respectful of other people and their opinions, trusting of the community as a whole, and humble enough to know they don’t know everything. Staying focused on these fundamentals allowed them to create a friendly environment where people are happy to work. Subversion still uses the same principles over 10 years later.
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