… we are paid to solve problems. That’s it. We are not paid to sit in silos, mumbling about who ought to fix what and abstracting away responsibility. Still, in a great deal of meetings, tickets, heated e-mail exchanges, we play responsibility ping pong. Hurling “the problem” back and forth, burning energy, time and money. Not in order to solve the problem, but to get somebody else to solve it.
Responsibility Ping Pong
This is equally tragic and ironic. Ironic, because most people got into the business due to their love for solving problems, for hacking at and fiddling with things for hours on end. Tragic, because the problem is not going to go away. While we discuss who does what, a system remains broken, a key feature unusable, a service inaccessible, a project on the brink of failure and a deadline likely not being meet.
Bunker mentality not only hurts the business side of things, it also badly affects our teams, co-workers and lastly ourselves:
“I often see people measuring their worth in code, in systems, in tools […] I see it come at the expense of attending meetings. I see it at the expense of supporting other teams. I see it at the expense of cross-training and professional development.” – Tyler Treat @ Brave New Geek
Not My Job
Despite these adverse effects, we are often going to retreat to our job title and description to fend off “unjust” calls to action and responsibility. This “Not my job” attitude and argument has been facilitated by the rapid fragmentation of roles in the software development field: “I would like to help you out, but I cannot, because I lack the knowledge of the XY guys…”.
Focus != Concern
Which is true – and missing the point. Diversification of roles/”abstraction is not about boundaries of concern, it’s about boundaries of focus.” Exactly because the knowledge involved is too vast, the systems and their interactions are too complex, we need to be extra careful before pulling out, handing off responsibility, denying others access to our information and ingenuity.
We The Team
Solving problems more than ever has become interdisciplinary teamwork. Therefore…
“[We need] understand that [we] are not defined by [our] tools but rather the problems [we] solve.” – Tyler Treat @ Brave New Geek
Great inspiration by : You Are Not Paid To Write Code.