Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Broom Development

I was listening to January's Defining Moments on my way to work this morning and was introduced to the concept of broom theology by Dr. Michael Simone. The concept comes from a job at a small trucking company that Dr. Simone once worked for.
On days when work was slow, the old guy in the warehouse would say, "If you have nothing to do, pick up a broom and start sweeping the warehouse."
In churches, similar situations arise, and broom theology says, "Look around for someone who needs help or somewhere you can help." In many ways the web development world is quite different than the church world, but I think we can borrow this concept of broom theology and refactor it to become broom development.

Broom development states:
When you hit those lull times that occur even in the busiest of development shops, use the time productively.
  • See if anyone on your team could use some help.
  • Pay down some of your team's technical debt.
  • If all else fails, there's always documentation or learning new skills.
So, the next time you find yourself in that lull and are tempted to find out how "The Woz" did on this weeks Dancing with the Stars, I encourage you to consider practicing some broom development. You might just learn something about yourself, a co-worker, or your craft.

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