Minnebar: How to build a kickass web development team

Now in the discussion session on “How to build a kickass web development team”.. facilitators are from Bloomington, Minnesota web development firm Sierra Bravo.

“some of our success has come about by growing the talent within…”

Star Tribune’s project manager for the internet – “my development team is moving onto another floor – how do we handle this when we’re used to just yelling over the cubicle wall?”

interesting discussions here about roles within a team – do you have dedicated project managers or not? Where should this go?

Be careful of pigeonholing people into specific roles – better to develop generalists rather than focus too much into one single area…

typical team for Sierra Bravo is 2-3 developers looking at a 400 – 1000 hour project

SB guys: “our philosophy is that collaboration is king. within the interview process we’re asking ‘if you have a really hard problem, what are the steps to solving that problem'”.

“we encourage people to get up talk each other – move about, etc”

“we encourage you to work closely together and have alot of collaboration… we want to give you power to innovate…”

innovation clearly becomes more challenging as a company grows…

in-house development teams have different priorities and roles..

U of MN Medical Education group – no web development team (formal, anyways) – team of 3 that have taken on web development but lack a project manager – just now putting some processes into place to deal with this..

discussion about how to expand teams with getting better & stronger people on the team… how do you build a cohesive & effective group.. getting bodies is a challenge…

getting out and into your local user groups is a good method for building our your teams.. if your team is happy and content then you’ll have an easier time recruiting folks…

How do you ensure a cultural fit within your corporation or team? — is it about the interview process? Formal and informal?

Do you require code samples from programmers or design samples from designers? Mix of about 50/50 in the room on this question…

Code samples do allow you to look at how the individual tries to solve the problem…

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