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Is there a pattern to collaboration?

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Is there a pattern to collaboration?

Development is a collaborative sport. But so much of it is an individual's journey through problems. While it is an open secret that more eyes on a piece of code, makes better code, what is it the stops us from implementing these collaboration practices while writing code?

I wonder if it is the up-front cost versus the apparent rewards. Much like the concept of a positive externality (from economics) where, the overall good that say pair-programming has, or code reviewing before PR's does on the general app health, is not effectively correlated to the action.

So is there a pattern you follow when it comes to collaboration?

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When I think about collaborating with my teammates, the things that come to mind are:

  • Helping someone with less experience get acquainted/work through a problem/debug something weird. Here I think a quick question can delve into a long investigation or explanation (negating the up-front cost)
  • Working with someone in a hackathon-style feature collaboration, where each of us covers some areas the other doesn't know. Since it's a big feature being worked on, we're ok with the up-front cost of setting up some collaboration.

But I actually don't think these are the most common&important ways we collaborate. The small, quick questions we ask each other multiple times per day are the moments where one bit of information leads to another and we end up investigating a bug together or discussing a new feature.

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