By Derek Neighbors, Published on September 13, 2021
What makes Navy Seal BUDS Hell Week or a professional sports team, or even an amateur sports team, radically different than a software development team?
Having a son-in-law that’s deployed and having him come back today. It dawned on me that people don’t realize that people still fight and serve and die for their freedoms in this country. That when you’ve got a loved one willingly signing up to serve and to go over and shit happens. You see something on the news, a bunch of people die where they’re at, and your heart kind of sinks. You don’t know if it’s them, but on the inside you have this dialogue.
On one hand you don’t know if you should be pissed off that they signed up willingly to put themselves right in the middle of harm’s way, or if you’re immensely proud that they care so deeply and have such deep integrity about something that they’re willing to actually legitimately, put their life on the line and die for it. It’s like a conscious effort, around a mission and about a value system. It’s pretty deep. So you think, how the fuck is somebody endure BUDS or Ranger School? How much of that is the mission of what they want so badly to achieve?
In sports, it’s about that championship ring, that trophy and that drive, that quest. Every minute of practice, every ounce of pain, it can be seen as a stepping towards that. So, what are we providing for software teams, that looks like that? It’s funny, in the early nineties, late eighties, right at the cusp of the internet and partaking a lot of bulletin board systems (BBS) and specifically a lot of hacker communities, hacker, and the true sense of up to no good hackers. There was this sense of mission in terms of pulling off the ultimate hack. There wasn’t necessarily a trophy, but there was this desire to have your name (your handle) to be recognized. How many hours were pushed in with that drive?
So what does it look like for companies to create that persona? That ideal to say, I’m a star, this is all worth it. All the sacrifice meant something. Taking a company public (IPO) and getting rich has lost its allure for most.
And what’s the lift? The trophy moment? What’s the plant the flag in the ground moment for the software developer. For a software development team? Figure that out. It goes a long way.