Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage Interpersonal Communication Content on InfoQ

  • Managers: Help your Teams Learn Communication Skills

    The Agile “self organising team” paradigm requires that team members develop strong interpersonal skills. Now management gains an important role in helping teams learn new ways to communicate and collaborate. This article proposes some strategies for imparting new skills without crushing a team’s growing self-organization, and suggests some sources of helpful material for developing new skills.

  • InfoQ Video: Practices of an Agile Developer

    At NFJS Venkat Subramaniam, co-author with Andy Hunt of "Practices of an Agile Developer," shared his pragmatic approach to some of the important technical and non-technical factors contributing to project success, including: coding, developer attitude, debugging, mentoring and feedback.

  • Charming the Army: the Power of Delivery

    Here is a story about Agile's use in a governmental organisation: at the 2006 APLN Leadership Summit Mark Salamango and John Cunningham looked at the problems and opportunities of introducing Agile in Army environments. True Agile practices cannot be 'commanded' or 'directed’ but frequent delivery offers Agile leaders a "soft" kind of power that is, in fact, very effective.

  • I'm Not Sure What You Heard is What I Thought I Said

    Are family celebrations a challenge? You get together to catch up and swap stories, and invariably something gets "taken the wrong way." It's not restricted to families is it? So it's not surprising that the Satir Communication Model jumped the fence from family therapy to team building! J.B. Rainsberger uses an amusing Christmas-at-Walmart anecdote to illustrate its use.

  • Can architecture create a gap between developers and software they build?

    Many software project management and architecture approaches tend to parcel out work on a project in a way to create hierarchical layers. This helps simplify both developers’ work and management. However, the underlying information shielding among layers can potentially create a gap between developers and the software they are building, if their tasks are totally taken out of functional context.

  • InfoQ Presentation: Jean Tabaka on Surviving Meeting Burnout

    Teams moving to an Agile approach may feel irritated as they move from command-and-control to a collaborative culture - which can start to look like non-stop meetings, starting first thing every Monday morning. In this InfoQ exclusive presentation, recorded at Agile2007, Agile coach Jean Tabaka shared her experiences working with teams, offering guidance on how to alleviate meeting burnout.

  • Conferences - Does Size Matter?

    Agile2006 welcomed over 1100 participants from 29 countries, and offered over 200 different presentations. The exhilaration of a large crowd is undisputable, but now that it's over, it's important to look at the feedback in preparation for next year. Ron Jeffries has made an open invitation for feedback on his blog. Others are planning complementary, smaller events. What's the consensus?

  • Selling Your Good Ideas

    In this month's edition of StickyMinds, communications consultant Naomi Karten has written a short article "Developing Sales Savvy" which may help your new ideas reach the ear of a resistant colleague. She notes that, while sometimes you just get lucky, there are other times when *how* you sell can be as critical to your success as what you sell.

  • Book Excerpt: Agile Retrospectives

    InfoQ brings you an exclusive chapter excerpt from the recent book "Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great", by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. These expert facilitators show how teams can run focused, helpful retrospectives themselves, without an outside facilitator. We asked the authors a few questions about the making of their book.

  • Throwing the Keyboard is Not the Answer

    Conflict is inevitable at work. Sooner or later, you will disagree about what to test, when to test, or how long to test software. How you approach the conflict affects the outcome and, more lastingly, how you feel about the exchange. On StickMinds last week, Esther Derby looked at some of the ways we approach conflict and how they affect solutions - and relationships.

  • Increase Your Personal Resilience to Change

    "Highly resilient people are best suited for a world of constant change. They don't fight against disruptive change... they adjust to new situations quickly." Sounds useful for members of Agile teams which want to "embrace change", even more so for those experiencing the drastic change from traditional to Agile methods. Bob Weinstein's article lists some ways to increase your own resiliency.

  • InfoQ Book Review: Collaboration Explained

    David Spann introduces Jean Tabaka's book: "Collaboration Explained" in which she shares stories and facilitation techniques to make groups more effective, and provides templates to get them started.

  • An Experiment in Clear Communication

    Rather than keeping customers and developers apart (to avoid "misunderstandings"), Agilists intentionally bring them together. Communication tends to improve faster than one might expect, and soon everyone is interacting constructively. But in a team or between teams, there is always room for improvement: Cory Foy blogged what happened when he tried a new idea in "The Dreyfus Model Experiment".