Social Media as a Software Development Tool?
One thing about software development I have always struggled with is inter-team communication. As I develop, I am often thinking things like “I need to make sure I tell Elvis I moved this method” or “The team is really going to like the reduced friction of this new implementation”. I have used various methodologies to try and address this, most of which you have probably tried too:
- Detailed check-in notes (no one reads unless they are tracking down who broke something)
- Code-reviews (*yawn*)
- Stand-ups (wrong medium, too high level)
- Pair programming (exclusive to 2 or 3 developers, and is too expensive to do at a high frequency)
- IM (Too exclusive, temporary, can be distracting)
- Shouting “Hey dude check this out”
- All of these can be valuable, however none of them offer the signal to noise balance I am looking for. I want a mechanism which promotes and enables a different form of communication. So what about a form of social media? Wikipedia tells us:
“Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction… Social media uses…technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues. It supports the democratization of knowledge and information and transforms people from content consumers to content producers.”
Personally I have gotten really adept at tracking and participating in twitter conversations, IM, email etc while I work. I am ready for a social client that lives in my development environment. A tool which enables me to informally talk to my team as I am writing code.
I have a bunch of ideas around what this could look like, and I think implemented properly it would make developing software better.
So is anyone out there doing anything like this? What sort of features would make it useful?