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JAX London 2014

The habits of highly effective technical teams

Anna Job
Martijn Verberg at the JAX London 2014

Just before lunch at the first main day of the JAX London conference, Martijn Verberg spoke about the habits of highly effective teams.

Martijn Verberg‘s talk on team management proved to be a popular one, with the number of attendees exeeding the amount of seats in the room. Conference goers were so keen to hear Martijn’s words of wisdom that they sat on the floor and crowded the hallway for the duration of the talk.

He informed the audience that his talk would be focused on nine points, but mentioned that attendees usually only remember three points from any conference presentation.

In keeping with this, our top three tips for managing tech teams that we learned from Martijn Verberg are as follows:

1. Debate

Debate is the key to success and innovation for many companies and learning how to debate without arguing is a skill that needs to be honed. Martijn admitted that this can be difficult in certain cultures that choose to avoid conflict, but recommends debate as one of the best methods of problem solving for tech companies.

2. Diversity

Martijn stressed that tech companies should avoid the “Computer Science, 2:1 or above” criteria and look at the bigger picture. He says that by doing this companies are often shooting themselves in the foot and missing other excellent candidates. He also stressed that diversity in working hours is something that can improves teamwork.

Developers often like to work late and night, so he suggests picking key core office hours (e.g 10am-4pm) and if employees want to work earlier or later they are welcome to do so.

3. Automation

Employers should free developers from tracking their expenses. There are apps that can do this for you and employees are wasting valuable time on these forms. Manual tasks are incredibly wasteful (deploying to QA, pre_PRD etc). Companies should switch to apps and have everything automated.

Martijn recommends approaching your line boss with figures of how much money and time is being lost as a result of manual tracking and to outline how much can be saved so the head boss can be approached.

Were you at Martijn’s talk? Tweet us which three points you took home from Martijn’s presentation: @jaxentercom #jaxlondon 

Author
Anna Job
Anna is a recent graduate of History of Art and German. For the last two years she has worked as a music journalist for GoldenPlec online music magazine. She recently moved from Dublin to Berlin to write about technology and the booming startup scene. Anna writes for WebMagazin and JAXenter.com