Breaking Down the Silo


As I've explained yesterday, forcing agile on an introvert programmer is never a good idea. If pushed too hard the silo that the introvert programmer has built around him over the years will explode violently with devastating effects for both, the introvert and the agile transformation. So instead of adapting the introvert to agile, I'd recommend adapting the agile to the introvert (isn't being agile about being adaptable in the first place?). What I've learned in my career from discussions with several introvert programmers is that they are not happy in their silo and they want to get out of it also themselves. But without some guidance and a bit of push from managers they will get out of the existing silo only to start another one. Therefore, introvert's intrinsic motivation for change should be used to change introvert's way of work and not his object of work.

In my experience the two most effective ways to change introvert's way of work are code reviews and sit together. The code reviews are almost as effective in socializing the programmers and building strong engineering culture as pair programming, but without it's many issues with physical proximity, personality differences, and synchronization requirements. The second effective way how to gently change the introvert is to sit him together with the rest of the team and by all means prevent him from being physically separated from the others. Even if the introvert doesn't actively participate in group activities, by sitting together with the group he will soak in the group culture and it will be easier for the group to spontaneously involve him in the group activities.