Software Engineering at Google Chapter #2 - How to Work Well on Teams (1 of 3)

  • Humans are mostly a collection of intermittent bugs
  • There are no geniuses, only teams. Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, and others were only a part of the larger end result.
  • You’re probably not a genius, but you might be highly intelligent
  • Working alone is harmful for several reasons:
    • It has a “bus factor” of 1. This means only one person has the knowledge, access, and ability to move the project forward. If they get run over by a bus the project cannot continue. A higher bus factor means knowledge is spread around and more people can leave the project and the project will survive.
    • By working alone and releasing a near-finished product you may have flaws that would have been revealed by working as a team early on.
    • Working alone slows the pace of progress - more eyes make problems shallow
    • Faster feedback loops and iterations when working as a team
  • Be aware of the above tradeoffs. "If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together."
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