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I work in a small (7 developer) development team and we all work on our own projects. Some of the barriers to team work are the languages and platforms we work on (.NET vs mainframe RPG programming) but other barriers are just that we're all so busy we haven't taken the time to take a step back and organize teams. Me and two other .NET developers are taking initiative to starting a small team but we're all a little stuck on what to do. We're starting with sharing knowledge on the products we work on so we can back each other up but we eventually want to tackle projects as a team instead of individually. What advice would you give a group of guys like us trying to start up team work?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I can think of a few things to start with. This might not be an ideal list since this is something I see established teams wrestle with sometimes.

Firstly, if you don't have it, I'd get some necessary infrastructure in place. Things like source control, maybe a build server, and documentation couldn't hurt.

Secondly I'd try either code reviews to get people up to speed or some pair programming. Also, asking someone to come over and take a look at a problem could be a good start. They might not know your project or even the language, but it helps to have a sounding board and pretty soon they'll start picking things up.

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Thanks for the help! We have source control but we've all been using it like a back up. We're going to hold a class on branching and merging code so we can start using it as a team. Code reviews and pair programming is a good idea. – Feb 6 '12 at 15:20
Branching can be quite useful sometimes, but most of the time where I work most developers use the same branch. – David Hogue Feb 6 '12 at 15:45

Any time you face challenges, you can start a discussions with your colleagues to come up with a solution. You can share your ideas and they will come up with theirs for the problem at hand. This will help foster collaborative learning environment that fostered teamwork and team learning.

Good luck!

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