Programming team

A programming team is a team of people who develop or maintain computer software.[1] They may be organised in numerous ways, but the egoless programming team and chief programmer team are two common structures typically used.[2]

Comparison of Programming Team Structures

The egoless programming team will contain groups of ten or fewer programmers. Code is exchanged and goals are set amongst the group members. Leadership is rotated within the group according to the needs and abilities required during a specific time. The lack of structure in the egoless team can result in a weakness of efficiency, effectiveness and error detection for large-scale projects. Egoless programming teams work best for tasks that are very complex. Individuals that are a part of a decentralized programming team report higher job satisfaction.[3]

The chief programmer team will usually contain three-person teams. Consisting of a chief programmer, senior level programmer and a program librarian while additional programmers and analysts are added to the team when necessary. The weaknesses of this structure include a lack of communication across team members, task cooperation and complex task completion. The chief programmer team works best for tasks that are more simple and straightforward since the flow of information in the team is limited. Individuals that work in this team structure typically report lower work morale.[4]

The main determinants when choosing the programming team structure typically include: difficulty, size, duration, modularity, reliability, time, and sociability.[5]


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