"sam is typing..."

(A Blog by Sam Marshall)

Dev Teams & Membership

2018 12 30

Membership: belonging to a group where each person adds to the structure of the group. Ideas can be shared without fear of disagreement. That’s not to say that disagreement won’t happen, but that everyone is comfortable with disagreeing. Each person in the group respects the others.

This definition is a rewording of one given by Alan Jacobs, in his book How to Think (which I highly recommend). It is presented in counterpoint to the definition of a collective:

collective: a group of people who, for fear or belief, conform to a single way of acting and thinking.

I believe that a good dev team absolutely has to be a membership.

One of the core advantages of this is the ability for ideas to evolve between members of the team. Ideas aren’t static things, they change and grow when passed from mind to mind. Bouncing ideas off team members is a real, useful activity. For this to happen, every single person needs to be comfortable with speaking out. Sharing your ideas in this way doesn’t lose you an idea, you still have it. Now other people have it too. Sharing ideas makes them grow and improve.

This plays will with the idea of scenius. Scenius says that no person is an island, there is no such thing as a lone genius and we all get smarter when we acknowledge this. Memberships are the perfect way of acting on this.