This is embarrassing — I meant to post this more than half a year ago, and apparently forgot to click “publish” on the draft. Now it’s old news, but I’ll post it anyway. Maybe some people will go out and buy the book, which is a lot of fun to read.
O’Reilly released a new [well, it was new when I originally wrote this post!] book called Beautiful Teams, edited by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman. The title says it all: what makes a software development team work well?
Considering that programming is traditionally (though not necessarily) a solitary activity, that programmers are not noted for being social animals anyway, and that software architecture does not always lend itself to the divisions of labor that would be ideal from a human perspective, the question is actually rather complicated.
My chapter, Teams and Tools is available online under a free licence. It’s about the tremendous impact that seemingly trivial tweaks to collaboration tool behavior can have on a team. But get the whole book if you can: it’s well-edited, and because each chapter is by a different author, you get the benefit of many minds and many styles. Congratulations to Jennifer and Andrew for taming us all and getting a good book out of it!