…to be announced at the end of this series.
I am often asked what is it that I do that results in the programmers with whom I interact being so productive; what is it I do to get them motivated and to keep them motivated; and where can I find / who is the World’s Best Programmer.
My answer is many fold and I provide a framework towards greater understanding in part 1.
The path to the motivated programmer, the happy programmer, is unique to each individual. There are, however, some general, instructional guides towards better understanding for all involved parties, and especially regarding those conditions that make for that highly motivated programmer.
Today, let’s take a deeper look at Inclusion.
I have already included certain aspects of Inclusion under the discussion of the importance of Communication to the environment of the World’s Best Programmer, so the following represents my continued thoughts and emphasis on this feature.
Communication encompasses the mechanisms by which ideas and the knowledge base, in general, are transmitted throughout the organization. While some organizations believe that there are only a select few who “need to know,” studies of effective organizations have demonstrated that it is important from a morale (and subsequently, a productive) standpoint for knowledge to be shared as much as possible. In that way, everyone working on a project understands the value and interrelatedness of their individual efforts and can then take pride in its successful completion/outcome.
Inclusion is an atmosphere of valuing the members of the organization for those contributions. While channels of communication promote Inclusion, it is only when those channels become institutionalized that individuals feel included. Saying everyone’s efforts are valued is one thing. Demonstrating that the organization truly does that takes place over time through repetitive actions that serve to strengthen that value in the organization.
True Inclusion is “in the air.” It is one thing to put in channels for communication, but it is also necessary that there be respect for the communications, and acceptance of communications, and the organizational value that every programmer just believes and accepts that this will occur.
On a more basic level, Inclusion in any organization is embodied by practices that have become part of the culture (second nature) that the contributions of all are anticipated and valued. If there is not a sense of Inclusion in an organization, the cost can be high, both in terms of money and time. Different perspectives do not see the light of day and are therefore not considered. No matter the channels of communication that are put in to place, if the programmer does not believe the organization values Inclusion, they may/will be reluctant to propose what may prove to be a more viable solution.
Examples of building that culture of Inclusion are…
Junior Programmers. Teach junior programmers, and team members, how senior people throughout the organization make decisions. Even though the junior individuals may not have a measurable impact on the end result of, or introduce a small cost of educational overhead to, meetings, being included and understanding what results in one idea being accepted over another, or why one approach is considered superior to an alternate, helps everyone feel more a part of the process, learn a thing or two, and become a stronger contributor.
Early. Get the technical individuals and other programmers involved early in a project. As the more business-oriented, or technically-oriented, components of the organization begin making the plans, both sides will benefit from mutual Inclusion helping one another steer toward much easier, cost-effective solutions and approaches.
The Search Continues
In addition to…
Clarity, Organization & Focus
Communication & Inclusion
… and before this individual, World’s Best Programmer, is announced, the characteristics…
Challenge & Respect
… will be further explored and discussed in the subsequent articles of this multi-part series.
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