Friday, January 4, 2008

Brainstorm alert

Sometimes we are confronted with difficulties that can not be solved by ourselves. Especially it concerns junior developers. But their problems could be easily solved by senior developer or architect. 
But what if we struggle for a day with the problems that couldn't be solved easily even by expert. Solutions is to:
  1. Google
  2. Post a question to some forums.
  3. Brainstorming
First two points are good if the problem is common or easily describable. But what if problem is specific?
I propose to use the third solution - brainstorm alert.
Brainstorm alert is a signal to the team that some problem is occurred and it can be solved only by common efforts. This signal could be given by e-mail, IM etc. When team receive such signal they convoked and accumulate ideas may be even without immediate criticism. After the ideas will be expressed the time for criticism comes. And then the best ideas come to production.

The pros of this approach are:
  1. One head is good, more heads are better.
  2. Team feel the pulse of work and participate in complex problems resolution (I hope guys and girls will be couraged with this)
  3. Team members learn to think
  4. Young team members see how to solve complex problems and how to analyze solutions.
The contras are:
  1. Team members spend their time to solve somebody's problems
  2. Junior (and sometimes not only junior) members don't understand what is happened on such meetings.
  3. Some devs can be bored.

Other pros and contras exist, of course.  But in general, does this idea have chances to survive?

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