Choosing great people to work with
22 February, 2015 - 3 min read
The Bronco Appathon is coming up in a couple of weeks. This is my fourth year in a row participating in this extra curricular event. In short the Appathon is a weekend coding competition to deliver a functioning mobile app at the end of the weekend.
Every year I am lucky enough to be able to work with some extraordinary individuals to build something. Each Appathon without doubt, I get to work with someone new or improve relationships with existing colleagues. I find myself looking for some qualities in a person when working with them in a exciting, stressful, and intense environment as the Appathon.
con·fi·dence \ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s, -ˌden(t)s\
a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
The first thing I look for is confidence. When a person can say something confidently, explain their side and really stick up for their opinion, I seem to be able to work better with them. If they are wishy washy with what they say I have a hard time thinking they believe in an idea. I admire when someone is confident and wrong. If they stick to their guns and really, truly believe in an idea you can really see their true colors.
a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something
Passion for an idea, a technology, or just passion in doing things right is something I also look for. If the team is filled with people who are passionate they will be current with new technologies in that space. They will provide an in depth knowledge of their passion on the spot. The passion will enable them to deliver a product that is so much closer to the customer's solution than someone with no drive for the idea.
gen·er·al·ist \ˈjen-rə-list, ˈje-nə-\
a person who knows something about a lot of subjects
Lastly, I look for is one of the most important qualities of a team member on a small team with a time crunch. Being a generalist does not mean you know a little about a lot. It means you know a lot, but more importantly, know how to learn on the fly quickly. Being a generalist does not mean you know the entire iOS Operating System, but knowing how to read the documentation and come up with a solution to a problem. Someone who can wear two different hats and enjoys it.
Last year with a great team of Chris, Darrel, Hank, and I were able to build a great app called Localize.
The most important part of our team was how great we were able to work together. The Bronco Appathon 4 brings a new team, new ideas and another great product.