Like a good many young IT Professionals, I started out my career being results focused first, with forging relationships taking a back seat. Over the years it has become increasingly evident that the two are intrinsically tied together- and in the current DevOps climate, they are arguably basic personal and organizational survival skills. These are skills and lessons that are best learned and reinforced with experience, and patience.
I am definitely not an expert on either human psychology or game theory. I have however observed the strategy of ‘Tit for Tat’ being used in multiple contexts on technical teams and being able to soften or de-escalate this type of game, does seem to promote cooperation. More specifically, to avoid triggering retaliation, or before retaliating yourself in such a game, it can be helpful to diffuse a situation by injecting values such as:
This can stop a tribal war before it can ever start- and pre-empt any sort of thermal nuclear exchange between wounded parties. Helpful stuff.
In the face of nasty bugs and upset users, perfectly nice people can start morphing into BOFHs. Building processes around how people communicate can perhaps be as important as how they work gets accomplished in a team environment. I’d like to share some stories and observations about maintaining sanity in the face of the daily challenges Information Technology throws at the men and women who work in its service.