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Discussion on: Why is the software industry so competitive?

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Peter Harrison

Business is a competitive business, but that does not mean software development needs to be. In my view prima donna developers who focus on proving their own value, by which I mean intelligence, end up with unintended consequences.

You don't want developers who are trying to write code that proves just how brilliant they are. Everyone in the team needs to be able to understand and maintain the code. You don't want a silo of impenetrable code that can only be understood by the 'genius' who wrote it.

Rather you want to promote a culture of radical cooperation and honesty, where senior developers are invested in helping others grow, in showing them the best practices, in writing code which is easy to understand. You can have the best talent in the world, but if you don't have a open culture where people can express themselves, where instead people fear talking out for fear of ridicule you will never see their full potential.

Effective teams are a critical part of software success. Promoting individual accomplishment over team success places emphasis in the wrong place, and ultimately undermines team cohesion.

Compete against your competition, not against each other.