[extropy-chat] Some ideas... dumped

Samantha Atkins samantha at objectent.com
Sun Aug 22 19:05:03 UTC 2004

On Aug 16, 2004, at 7:50 AM, Brian Lee wrote:

> I reflect back on projects I've worked on: successful and unsuccessful 
> and it seems like vision is the most important piece. I've been on 6 
> month projects with 4 people and no management. We had no 
> documentation, no project plan, and we generated a full product that 
> made millions its first year. Then I saw that same project add 40 
> people, multiple levels of management, project managers, product 
> managers, qa, qt, etc etc and it took forever to get a new module out. 
> The key difference was that in the beginning the four of us had a 
> vision of what we were creating and worked toward the common goal.

Yes, the "vision" thing is a very important key.  Also, I've noticed 
that 4 person (or so) software  teams gell much more easily into 
something greater than the sum of the individual talents and energy 
where larger more complex teams almost never do.   I think this says 
something important about the type of thinking and synergy software 
requires and the overhead of inter-person communication.

> Later, no one really knew what they had to do and were just sort of 
> "going through the motions".
> My preferred method of development is a very small, talented team with 
> no management at first. There should be at least 1-2 "businessy" progs 
> who can speak with investors and other business units to convey the 
> message, but still able to generate clean code. Then the other 1-3 
> should just be hard core developers who can all understand (in theory) 
> what the other developers are working on so they know what to code 
> next.

Yes.  I usually tell managers (when they will listen) that there 
highest level functions are to keep the lights on and as much as 
possible to keep the rest of the company off the backs of the team so 
they can do the work.   Micro-management kills individual 
responsibility and innovation dead.  Failure to create a stable bubble 
insulating the team from company froth greatly harms and slows down the 

> Of course, it's virtually impossible to find a small team of mad 
> genius coders with a unified vision so I'm still waiting :/

I have had the joy of working with one.  But our insulation got rotted 
away and one by one we lost people.

- samantha

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