One of the principles of Agile technology is colocation – that all team members should sit close to each other. The strangest thing is, that I actually understand this requirement and find it important.
Those of my friends and co-workers who know me long enough, can understand why I find it quite unexpected for me to like this idea. For at least last 22 years I was always fighting for my right to work remotely, and I proved, that I can – New York Department of Education project alone is a living proof. I never went to New York until the time we actually had to hand the project to the new team. I always took pride in being able to work from home and being efficient, in being able to work in a different time zone, and still stay connected, and I was always a firm believer that when there is a will, there is a way – to collaborate remotely in this case.
However, working on an Agile team proved, how important is to be able to look around, make sure your co-worked is at his desk and walk over. There are some many things which are like “let me show you…” In many cases you can do the same thing on Skype, but with Agile development you really lose precious minutes or even hours when you need to get on Skype to discuss things.
I absolutely love the idea of open space, which again is news – I was always suffering without a private space. But now for some reason I do not suffer, and I didn’t like when at some point out management decided to try to put “dividers” on the 9th floor. I love the fact, that I can see where are everybody, who is on which meeting, and that I can stop by literally anybody at any time and ask my question. I can’t remember how many times I had absolutely critical conversations in the break room aka kitchen, how many times somebody would appear behind me with a new and revolutionary idea…
Long story short – I do not know why, but it does make a difference!