Creating the dream team


Consider this your mid-week motivation—here we’ll be sharing a new smarter secret from our authors, the people who you learn from and who inspire you to push the limits of your potential. So, we asked: What’s the best team you’ve ever been a part of?

The best team I ever worked on had a lot of smart people challenging the other smart people. Everyone would be playing with things at home and sharing their new found knowledge the next day over lunch. Whether it was ReST, NoSQL or even when Twitter released Bootstrap, all of those things were discussed. This raised everyone’s level and fostered some friendly competition over who could learn something useful. —Nate Taylor

The best team I ever worked on had a "jack of all trades, master of one" composition.  Each of us had a broad technical base, but individual verticals of expertise.  We could follow any technical conversation as a group, but there were always one or two who could chime in as an "authority" on any one topic. —Chad Smith

I love the folks I work with at VDA Labs.  We're not just decent ethical hackers, but strive to be the absolute best.  That's exciting to be a part of. —Jared Demott

The best team I've been a part of had very knowledgeable, experience people who were approachable and had a teaching attitude. No question was a stupid question and you got a fully explained answer that helped everyone to learn. This wasn't just one or two individuals - it was the ethos of the entire team.  —Sonia Cuff

The best team I’ve worked was with a manager who completely trusted the team to execute. He set a clear vision, got people excited, and spent his time helping us remove impediments. We were completely empowered to solve the problem within some basic constraints that he set up front. We self-organized and regularly pair-programmed to assure everyone had a shared vision, and we consistently performed code reviews using a clear definition of done to assure quality was consistent. This level of autonomy and trust combined with clear baseline expectations made everyone feel empowered and accountable for the outcome. —Cory House

The best team I worked with had a manager who empowered the team to learn, experiment, and change. Although he had to manage over 40 engineers, he often delivered his feedback and advice in pair-programming sessions rather than formal meetings. A manager who understands and appreciates every line of code in the project is the best manager an engineer can ask for. The team had mixed-level engineers forming sub-teams rotating over projects and everyone enjoyed both teaching and learning from each other. —Samer Buna

My first team was my best team. The first opportunity I had to interview, hand-pick and lead a group of developers was an amazing experience. But things didn't always go so well. We did a great job of unit testing, but never integration-tested the application. By the time it got to QA, nothing worked with anything else. My team showed dedication by working 12 hour days—including weekends—for several weeks to get the project back on track. This was completely my fault, and I learned a great deal from this experience. Because we came together to resolve this issue, we formed professional relationships that have endured to this day. —Michael Perry

So, what's your secret to being smarter?

Share it with us: #SmarterThanYesterday



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