For information security firm 5thColumn, traditions are focused on ensuring improvement through discussion. Every week, the company has a “Defend Your Decision” session to make sure only the best ideas are implemented.

“The basis for the session is that it allows for all developers, regardless of experience or specialization, to introduce new ideas, technologies, processes etc. to the development process,” said Dan Morgan, director of development. “It gives each developer a voice in determining direction and adding good practice or removing bad practice. Good ideas float to the top where poorly defended or incomplete ideas sink.”

The tradition wasn’t implemented because the team was afraid of bad code coming from devs, but because of past experiences where those making development decisions were too removed from the process to react effectively.

“I fully recognize that I am not the end all be all of developers. The landscape changes too quickly and too frequently for me to be aware of everything,” Morgan said. “I wanted to grow a team that had a vested interest in building and contributing to the team as well as a process that is fluid enough to address those changing needs. An added benefit is that it also gives exposure to other parts of the development process to all team members. The collective experiences of everyone is an asset I like to use to our advantage.”

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