Written by Norbert Dębosz Jan. 6, 2022
As Software Developers, we often focus most of our attention on the technical aspect of our work, especially since we are engineers! What if I told you that there is a second parallel world out there?
The world of people, business, communication and cooperation!
One of the biggest mistakes in my career was that I saw this so late. This second world has a significant influence on our day-to-day work and, what’s more, future promotions and even how other people consider us.
That way, based on the experience that I have earned across years working in the IT industry, I would like to share with you, my dear reader, a couple of hints on how to become a great Team Member.
The list contains my observations as a Team Leader and my mistakes as a Team Member.
As a Team Lead, I love working with people who are into the job they are doing. I value very much all ideas/feedback/comments on my work.
If you are passionate about what you do and know how the project/workflow/whatever could be improved, never hesitate to start a conversation about that topic! Rember, though, that it should never be in the form of sad complaining — it kills many great ideas.
How to start if you have never done that before?
Remember — it is tough to regain trust. I had an opportunity to meet in my career persons who were very unprofessional in their work.
Remember — your teammates can see that you are fixing an easy bug for two weeks — for the fourth consecutive week.
What to do if you have a problem:
A can-do attitude means that even if a problem looks tough, we believe that we are able to overcome it and find a solution.
Keeping a positive attitude in a team is an essential part of being a good Team Leader, but not only! It is just as important for being a good Team Member too.
How to start:
This one is connected to “Can Do Attitude” — try to understand that business is business — and software without clients will not pay for your home/car/holidays. As a Developer, I often faced situations when I had to throw away code from a week of coding.
One of the hardest parts of dealing with software is to find a balance between technical quality and business value. One of the most significant positive changes that I made throughout my career is that I try to understand why some decisions were made instead of starting shouting loud that something is unfair.
How to start:
If you are stuck on some task, never hesitate to ask someone from your team for help. Great teams are built on solid communication and mutual understanding. What more — even now — when I work as a Team Leader, I never hesitate to ask for help — no one knows everything!
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. — Chinese Proverb.
Sadly to say, but I hate to work with people who try to sabotage a project. How would I describe a sabotager? It is a person who tries to find a problem in almost any decision made by the team. Try not to be that kind of person and as I wrote above — if something bothers you — start a conversation instead of staring fight between you and your team.
Why to stop:
So if you see that you are that person right now — try to change this — no one like a guy who always sees problems.
The best part about being in a team is that standard mathematic theory doesn’t work here!
Synergy means that sometimes 2+2 isn’t 4.
When two people with complementary skills and attitudes meet, it can generate extra energy that will boost performance, create new ideas to handle obstacles and speed up the development process!
A great Team Member will always look to find synergy.
How to do that?
Remember — Great teams are made by Great Team Members — unique persons with their skillset and characters. Being a great Team Member isn’t an easy task — especially if you never thought that such small things like on list above have a significant influence on a whole team.
Try to implement any of my points in your day to day work as a Team Member and let me know how it changed the attitude in your team. I’m sure that it will have a positive result!
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