Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

You have to be able to talk to people

One of the more important developer skills is the ability to work on the same code-base that other developers are also working on, potentially even at the same time.

What does it take?

  • Communication. Talk to the other people on your team. Document your stuff. Make plans about who's going to do what. The worst thing you can do is go dark.
  • Awareness. What sort of ripple affects are changes going to have?
  • Organization. You need to know what changes need to be made and who's going to make them.


I was loosely involved with a major site redesign at work and ended up working simultaneously with the primary developer on a couple of different occasions.

Here's how we handled it.

  • A Google spreadsheet with the change list (or sometimes printouts with change-sets) so we could divide things up easily. I'd eventually like to get some sort of issue tracking software up and running but what we're doing works for now.
  • Version control. Essential to see what's changed and who changed it.
  • Instant Messaging so we could quickly communicate which area of the code we were working in to avoid overlap. I found IM to be just as fast as communicating verbally and less disruptive.