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Comment Re:Teamwork (Score 5, Informative) 455

It probably varies by job and by person. I find it helpful to talk with my coworkers, but a distraction to overhear them.

A lot of people (thought granted not everybody) find that after spending some time in a collaborative environment the background conversations move from being a distraction to an undercurrent of information. It becomes possible to tune it out but still hear keywords that might be relevant and allow for better teamwork.

A mailing list, irc channel, xmpp muc etc. allows me to collaborate on my terms. I can rethink and edit my response, and if I'm in the middle of something I can read it later and respond then. Conversations typically don't work like that.

That's true but your way has high latency. Conversations happen much faster.

Comment Teamwork (Score 5, Insightful) 455

I would agree with you if not for the growing trend of collaborative spaces in the IT industry. Sitting isolated in a cubicle and only talking to other people in meetings or the water cooler is no better than working from home and Skyping or talking on the phone. But a collaborative space and pair programming do foster innovation and rapid, high-quality software development. The social aspect yields interesting ideas that the individual would not think of on his (or her) own. Pairing (or at least having extra eyes around) tends to yield higher quality both from being able to have someone check for mistakes and the social pressure of not cutting corners when someone else is looking.

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill