This mini-series is focusing on my experiences in my first Lead Developer role. Last time out I talked about the tools and methods I've introduced since taking on the role, this post is going to discuss any impact I've had on the team.
Laugh and Learn culture
Something I've tried to encourage within the team is to laugh at each others expense. This sounds bad, but I'm sure it helps lift morale and in turn we all learn from each others mistakes. It's not to say that we actively encourage mistakes, but everyone usually finds out when someone's written a WTF? piece and it may even make it to the wall of shame. I don't know if this will turn round and bite me in the arse because somebody complains about being bullied, but it seems to be okay so far.
With the new methods and tools we've recently introduced, I feel like we're starting to act like a proper development team and we're doing less of the gun slinging. I hope this is making people 'feel' like they are part of a proper development team, which should improve morale. On the flip side, I've been getting everyone to take the piss out of one another, which may be frowned upon, but I don't think that should be the case in a young industry.
This is something we particularly lack in the team, the developers get little creative freedom and tend to lack any sort of passion when developing.
"We need the developers thinking about their work when they're in the shower"Basically, we're developing a system that will serve a great purpose for the company, but it's just not all that fun to develop. I've been lucky enough to take on some smaller projects, where I've had creative freedom, or I've gone ahead and created some projects of my own that have been useful as a learning tool and in the end provided the team with a useful tool. For example I wrote a simple daemon in ruby that watches log files, sending any output in bursts to a jabber chat room. I'm not saying work should be fun all the time, but a little freedom can keep the work force happy and greatly benefit the company