Would you like fries with that?

Creative Commons License Ben Garney
Recently, we got a new developer at NetDoktor. It’s strange but exciting that I finally have a colleague to work with again, a fellow developer to bounce ideas off of, a buddy for pair programming and a sparring partner for test driven development. I’m pretty psyched.

Though long overdue (we’ve been searching since April), the new guy couldn’t have started at a better time. As we inshore more of our daily work, I find myself quickly becoming overloaded. From small bugfixes on the various websites and CMS system, significant modifications to our advertising business, and implementing product management’s new features, the two of us certainly have enough to do.

Matthias’ post last week on the dangers of busyness (what a strange word – is it the actual root of business? did the GoldOwners substitute a ‘y’ with an ‘i’ hundreds of years ago to keep us sheep in line?) certainly struck home with me. Keeping a careful eye on progress (rather than busyness), I’ve seen our velocity roughly halve itself. This was entirely expected as I take important time away from user stories to bootstrap a new developer into our company. But now it’s our velocity instead of just mine and what a world of difference that simple change makes.

Last week we conducted our first scrum – a simple five minute chat which summarized what we had completed yesterday, highlighted the goals for today and clarified any known blockers in our path (meetings, bugfixing, etc.). We even rearranged our seating, moving our desks side-by-side to easier roll back and forth between our work – lending an extra pair of eyes to tricky problems. These simple changes, which have tickled the funny bones of our colleagues (they feel like they’re walking into a McDonald’s restaurant when they approach our row now), make a profound impact in our daily work and will ultimately drive our technical business forward.

How do you work together with your colleagues? Tell us in the comments below – don’t be shy!

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