Friday, March 2, 2018

Grow your Wizard before you need them

Making teams awesome is something I care deeply for, so it is  no wonder that discussions I have with people are often on problems around that. Yesterday again I suggested pairing/mobbing at work to receive cold stares and unspoken words I heard in the last place I worked: "You are here to ruin the life of an introvert developer". I won't force this on people,  but they can't force me not to think about it or care about it.

As I talked about the reactions with Llewellyn Falco, he pointed out a story he has been talking about many times before. And with "just the right slot" in my calendar, I go and write about it. He will probably make an awesome video when he gets to it.

Some of us have some sort of history with computer games. Mine is that I was an absolute MUD (multi-user dungeon) addict back in the days, and I still irregularly start up Nethack just for nostalgic reasons. In many of these fantasy game types, we fight in teams. And we have characters of different types. If you play something that is strong in the beginning, you survive early on more easily. The wizards on low levels are particularly weak, and in team settings we often come to places where we need to actively, as a team, grow our wizard. Because when wizard grows to its high level potential leveling up with others support, that's an awesome character to have in your team.

A lot of times we forget the same rule goes around growing people in our teams. The tester who does not program and does not learn to program because you don't pair and mob could be your wizard. At least the results of being invited to "inner circle" fixing problems by identifying them as they are being made feels magical.

Just like in the role plays, you need to bring the wizard fully into the battle, and let them gain the XP, you need to bring all your team members into the work, and find better ways for them to gain experience and learn.

Pairing and mobbing isn't for you. It is for your team.

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