Working effectively in teams

The ability to work in a team can mean the difference between success and failure. Building any complex system, software or hardware, requires more work be done in less time than any single person can accomplish. But adding more people doesn’t necessarily mean that the job will get done sooner.

To make teamwork effective, individuals need interpersonal and communication skills as well as knowledge of different team methodologies and processes. As teams grow in size, the role of culture and management becomes increasingly important. Teamwork, like any other skill, takes practice.

Various strategies for dividing up work have different strengths and weaknesses. Figuring out the best way to work together isn’t always easy, but it’s important for computational thinking.

As multi-core processors and distributed computing become more common, we see computers themselves working in teams. Most web sites that you visit are served from data centers, where hundreds or thousands of individual computers work together to accomplish amazing tasks. We humans can do the same!

See also: Brooks’s law, pair programming, revision control system.

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