Team[less] Work

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

There is no i in team, but there is an i in exterminate… exterminate, Exterminate, EX-TER-MIN-ATE!

Sorry, a spot of randomness there; I don’t think the James simulation unit is quite up to scratch. One of the hardest things about being exiled to the UK is suddenly being very isolated. The last big move was to Sydney, but that was into Uni which is an entirely different situation. Over here it just Kathlene and myself – and almost everyone else has comes under the loving wing of the term “business relationship”. We have one friend here outside of work links, and that is a blessing; fact is that meeting people who don’t annoy me is very hard.

All in all it’s not too bad, I am a fairly reclusive person by nature although I do enjoy occasional “events” and I really miss having friends over for a good feeding.

You should never underestimate the important of working with friends; which is what I have done ever since first year Uni up until this whole UK lark. I get along well with many of the people I work with at the moment; but it is different. One can work with excellent people, people with whom you get along very well and maybe even have an occasional drink – but it is a whole different world to working with people you’d call “friends” before calling “colleagues”.

Above all, the hardest thing is not working with a team. Working on projects as a sole developer is difficult because there is nobody else following the thread and thus nobody to discuss developments with and no peer driven motivation and interest. It really is terribly difficult! I report to a VP in another country and most of my internal company interaction is with a “sales guy”! I’m just thankful that both have an engineering background; the guy I report to still writes code for internal projects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that management/sales is bad – just that as a developer I find having non-developers as primary contacts strange and not having other developers to work with is rather isolated. Piled on top of that is the general sense of externality when dealing with core development teams, the feeling that you’re now an outsider in the eyes of (what was formerly) your own group.

In many ways some level of logical separation is necessary, for example from a legal standpoint there sometimes have to be boundaries – such as “Chinese Wall” situations. I really believe that this must be kept to a minimum, after all (in this instance) some of us who’ve been exported have been involved since the early days before the first customer, before we went up in the world (literally;), before sliced bread back when the world was still flat and beaver was the other white meat. They really didn’t perform secret lobotomies on us, I swear.

Hmmm. It might sound like it but I am not saying that things are bad, there is room for improvement and no doubt this comes with time and practise, in fact things are generally good. With a peppering of the occasional hiccups that make life interesting. Working solo is something I’ve done a lot of and can do well; it may not be my favourite situation and it has its uninspiring moments but it is hardly hell-on-Earth.

There is no i in electroencephalographs, but there is an i in counterrevolutionaries!