I personally don’t enjoy working in war rooms. To me they indicate a failure of process. If you needed to get everyone together in a room to solve a problem, why isn’t your office laid out in that fashion in the first place? This assessment is colored by my past experiences with war rooms in which it was a mad dash to the finish line featuring late nights and little sleep. It sounds like your war room process is just a change of scenery, which is much better.
why isn’t your office laid out in that fashion in the first place?
I would imagine that these groups are amorphous, and change all the time.
Exactly the reason all of Valve’s desks have wheels. http://boingboing.net/2012/04/22/valve-employee-manual-describe.html
Author of the article here.
I can sympathize with your negative experience – I’ve been there too. I think that a key difference between whether the experience sucks or not, is whether a self-organizing team chooses to head to the war room or if a manager sends you there.
Also, at Braintree (and the last two places I worked) we did always have everyone needed to solve the problem in one room. The issue is that there are lots of other people and teams around in an open floor plan environment with a larger team. So the war room is a way of taking a subset of the team off to concentrate on a problem with fewer distractions.
[Comment removed by moderator jcs: off-topic]
I disagree that these posts are of limited value. Discussing process and practices offer insight on how to run a smaller company.
I do agree that we lack a tag for this type of content.
Lobsters isn’t fast company though. I don’t think that it’s appropriate for us, the same way that the business tag isn’t appropriate.
The fact that this post received six points (making it the fifth most popular story on the front page) contradicts your assertion that this post “isn’t appropriate for us”.
This is somewhat offtopic, but I know that there is a contingent of BrainTree employees who use Lobsters with some regularity—there is a small possibility that they are upvoting the content because it is sort of a recruiting tool / their friend posted it.
I don’t think that a high number of notes is necessarily a good sign that it is good content for the community. For example, it could be that a lot of people live in the New York area and upvote content about the Jets, but it still wouldn’t be appropriate for the community.
Even though Lobsters is invite only, there is still a chance that we will fall to eternal September. I think clearly defining what should and should not be on Lobsters is the best solution to prevent this. I think that seating layout is pushing the envelope of what Lobsters should be, which is a news aggregator for builders in the tech space.
I know that I have upvoted content that may not be Lobsters appropriate, but that I am personally interested in. The danger of this is that we will increasingly attract the techcrunch crowd. I think that removing some interesting content in order to stay focused is worthwhile. If we want, we can start a separate Lobsters for “startup best practices”.
We discussed this a few months ago, in a More Tags thread.
At the time, I supported articles like this, but have become more hardline since then.
There are bunch of us on the Braintree dev team that use Lobsters regularly, because we enjoy the stories. Given the number of total Lobsters users, it’s possible that we distort the voting, but if that’s the case I can assure you it’s the “hey, my friend wrote that!” effect and not something systematic.
FWIW – the fact that all of the comments here are meta, rather than about the article, will probably deter people from posting these types of stories in the future. I was looking forward to hearing some feedback from other dev teams. I don’t have a ton of interest in debating what’s appropriate for the community.
I don’t have a ton of interest in debating what’s appropriate for the community.
Same here. I believe these actions should be handled by moderation, not meta commentary.
Who is then responsible for deciding what content is appropriate? I’m fine with moderation as long as it’s transparent. I personally think jcs should make these kinds of decisions. Just have an entry in the moderation log that states “This story was removed for being off topic”. Giving jcs (or another moderator) this power means you and I don’t have to argue over acceptable content.
I personally don’t think transparency of moderation and reduction of arguments really overlap in the venn diagram of reason.
Although something like Fast Company might cover office configuration in general, I think most discussions of software development practices (say, pair programming or release planning) wouldn’t fit in a general business publication/site. However, it does seem like those topics would be of personal and professional interest to the Lobsters crowd, who seem to be overwhelmingly software people.
Author of the article here (but not the OP)
The idea of behind this post was to document how we are changing our working methods for creating software as our team grows. I guess I view that as germane to this community because it’s scoped to the software development process.
I know I’m interested in learning what processes and techniques other teams use in the dev process, especially as they grow. It seems like plenty of other people on lobsters are interested too, so I hope those topics would be welcome here. I agree that something like a “practices” tag would help.