Custom Application Development

Feb 25 2009   5:00AM GMT

Communications and the Multi-Generational Development Team

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

Something I’d never thought about before reading Talking About My Generation  in the latest Entrepreneur magazine is how differently those of us in different generations prefer to communicate.  I have of course experienced this “communication gap” between myself and my grand-children.  (My grand-daughter told my wife and I that she doesn’t check her email any more, “texting is just so much better!”)  We don’t text, so she doesn’t hear from us during her time away at school (…unless of course she calls us on the phone – landline of course – since our cell phones aren’t on 24/7!).

Experience with my grand-daughter aside, the Entrepreneur article did get me thinking once again about communication, and how truly critical such communication is for any team of developers trying to work together – actually for any group working together toward a common goal.  A couple of posts ago I wrote about the changes to the Data Access VDF and Dataflex newsgroups which have been an invaluable source of support for us who use Data Access development tools.  It occurred to me with my reading of this Entrepreneur article that the change being made addresses this generational communications gap – and that’s a good thing.

Multi-generational work forces are not new, but somehow I suspect that the multitude of technology available today has changed the environment for the multi-generational work force.  As a member of the “pre boomers”, my generation wasn’t even referred to in the Entrepreneur article – I guess I’m supposed to be retired by now :-).  Perhaps my resistance to the newsgroup changes reflect more my generational preferences than my “forward looking”.  With each “new” technology that I’m exposed to I find myself asking the question “Why do I NEED this?”, and if I don’t come up with a sound answer I pass on it.

There is, I believe, a balance that must be considered as we are so constantly bombarded by the latest and greatest – a balance between “proven” effective methods, and the rhetoric of the new and unproven methods.  Being at the “cutting” edge can be advantageous — but I’ve been around long enough to see the “bleeding” of the cutting edge, and know its not where I want to be.

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