Let me introduce you to Malcolm. He’s my imaginary developer-friend currently working at Mega Enterprise Inc Ltd Corp. He’s been butting heads with the lead developer, Jack, for a while now. They don’t seem to be seeing eye to eye on a feature that Malcolm implemented. You see, Jack doesn’t like how Malcolm writes his code. Formatting is wrong and he uses way too long variable names, and he doesn’t write a single comment and…(list goes on)! Jack hates reviewing Malcolms code. Malcolm usually gets his code back from Jack, with a long list of TODOs. So Malcolm goes off to re-do most of his work just to give it back to Jack…When Jack’s finally happy with the code; It adheres to his preferred coding style and uses the correct enterprise patterns that have been decided upon. He allows it through the magic gates to master. Continue Reading
There are times in life where no matter what happens, you feel like a fraud. Where your inner critic says you aren’t worthy or capable of doing a certain task, even if you’re good at it. I asked a few friends to share some experiences of theirs where their inner imposter spoke over their own skills:
“Sometimes when I’m part of a discussion on politics I just say something and shy away”.
“How can I ask for more pay? I’m nowhere near as good as …”.
“I can’t hold a presentation at [some event]. I’m no expert on this topic”.
“I love pair-programming, but hate when I’m typing. What if they realise I need to google simple things? Would they think less of me?”.
“I can’t write blog posts. People will laugh at my lack of knowledge”.
You’ve probably experienced some thoughts along those lines. You doubt yourself with every brain-cell and are afraid someone will call you out for being a fraud. I know I have. You see, those experiences arent from friends of mine. They’re actually my own.
Yet I know I can do all of them, I get feedback from my friends, peers even strangers confirming the value of what I do. Why is it then so hard to recognize my accomplishments?
Working in a distributed team isn’t easy, especially when members are spread across 4 locations. I was recently part of a team that was doing pretty well, but wasn’t functioning as a cohesive unit. There seemed to be hesitance towards pair-programming sessions, even though doing quick Skype calls seemed to be fine. We were relatively open during retrospectives, but were missing out on the deep conversations.
I had a feeling this was a trust issue, and that spending more time together could help. Sitting in an online meeting doing team-building exercises didn’t seem like the best approach, which is when I stumbled over Mob Programming as a way to both get work done, and build up the team’s collective trust and understanding. Continue Reading