Home > Uncategorized > What Makes a Great Team? Hustle.

What Makes a Great Team? Hustle.

From The Mythical Man-Month (emphasis mine):

A baseball manager recognizes a nonphysical talent, hustle, as an essential gift of great players and great teams.  It is the characteristic of running faster than necessary, moving sooner than necessary, trying harder than necessary.  It is essential for great programming teams, too.

Why is this so important?  To paraphrase Brooks, it’s what makes a project meet its deadlines.  When developers work harder than necessary, they create some padding in the schedule for the setbacks that will inevitably occur.

I always just assumed that the great programming teams had very intelligent developers with lots of knowledge and experience.  I had never considered hustle to be an essential characteristic of a great team.  But now that it’s been brought to my attention, I couldn’t agree more, and can’t see what could be more valuable.  I’d pick a team with average experience who knows how to hustle over a team with lots of experience that doesn’t.

This has inspired me to hustle while I’m working.  I want to be a great programmer.  I’m going to work faster than necessary, move sooner than necessary, and try harder than necessary.  And that’s not enough – I want to inspire the others on my team to do the same.

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  1. August 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm

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