JPR 2008: Tuesday morning, part 2

“Startup Mistakes Not to Repeat”

Although I’m not in a startup software company, I found much of the discussion to be relevant to software developers in other environments. The participants described a variety of startup experiences, with the expected aspects of stress, excitement, and occasional burnout. I was impressed by how often the discussion included:

  • the roles and contributions of all parties – developers, marketing, executives, and venture capitalists;
  • the importance of mutual respect;
  • the critical role of simple (and frequent) communication between developers and non-developersn;
  • the variety of ways that developers and non-developers were able to achieve teamwork and common cause:
    • weekly lunches,
    • video game rooms,
    • joint customer calls,
    • and crossing traditional “boundaries” to ask others what they’re doing and thinking.
  • and being able to look back and value the learning and growth achieved in the face of difficulties.

After a short break, and some Camp 4 Coffee, we were back at it. My second session of the day was, “70% Rowing Backward: Why is software development so messed up?”

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