Programming team

Last updated

A programming team is a team of people who develop or maintain computer software. [1] They may be organised in numerous ways, but the egoless programming team and chief programmer team have been common structures. [2]



A programming team comprises people who develop or maintain computer software. [3]

Programming team structures

Programming teams may be organised in numerous ways, but the egoless programming team and chief programmer team are two common structures typically used. [2] The main determinants when choosing the programming team structure typically include: difficulty, size, duration, modularity, reliability, time, and sociability. [2]

Egoless programming

According to Marilyn Mantei, individuals that are a part of a decentralized programming team report higher job satisfaction. [2] But an egoless programming team contains groups of ten or fewer programmers. Code is exchanged and goals are set amongst the group members. Leadership is rotated within the group according to the needs and abilities required during a specific time. The lack of structure in the egoless team can result in a weakness of efficiency, effectiveness, and error detection for large-scale projects. Egoless programming teams work best for tasks that are very complex.

Chief programmer team

A chief programmer team will usually contain three-person teams consisting of a chief programmer, senior level programmer, and a program librarian. Additional programmers and analysts are added to the team when necessary. The weaknesses of this structure include a lack of communication across team members, task cooperation, and complex task completion. The chief programmer team works best for tasks that are simpler and straightforward since the flow of information in the team is limited. Individuals that work in this team structure typically report lower work morale. [2]

Shared workstation teams

Pair programming

A development technique where two programmers work together at one workstation.

Mob programming

A software development approach where the whole team works on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.

Programming Models

Programming models allow software development teams to develop, deploy, and test projects using these different methodologies.

Waterfall Model

The waterfall model, noted as the more traditional [4] approach, is a linear model of production. The sequence of events of this methodology follows as:

  1. Gather and document requirements
  2. Design
  3. Code and unit test
  4. Perform system testing
  5. Perform user acceptance testing (UAT)
  6. Fix any issues
  7. Deliver the finished product

Each stage is distinct during the software development process, and each stage generally finishes before the next one can begin.

Programming teams using this model are able to design the project early on in the development process allowing teams to focus on coding and testing during the bulk of the work instead of constantly reiterating design. This also allows teams to design completely and more carefully so that teams can have a complete understanding of all software deliverables.

Agile Model

The Agile development model is a more team-based approach to development [4] than the previous waterfall model. Teams work in rapid delivery/deployment which splits work into phases called "sprints". Sprints are usually defined as two weeks of planned software deliverables given to each team/team member.

After each sprint, work is reprioritized and the information learned from the previous sprint is used for future sprint planning. As the sprint work is complete, it can be reviewed and evaluated by the programming team and sent back for another iteration (i.e. next sprint) or closed if completed.

The general principles [5] of the Agile Manifesto [6] are as follows:

See also

Related Research Articles

Waterfall model breakdown of project activities into linear sequential phases, where each phase depends on the deliverables of the previous one and corresponds to a specialisation of tasks.

The waterfall model is a breakdown of project activities into linear sequential phases, where each phase depends on the deliverables of the previous one and corresponds to a specialisation of tasks. The approach is typical for certain areas of engineering design. In software development, it tends to be among the less iterative and flexible approaches, as progress flows in largely one direction through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, deployment and maintenance.

A software company is a company whose primary products are various forms of software, software technology, distribution, and software product development. They make up the software industry.

Rapid-application development (RAD), also called rapid-application building (RAB), is both a general term, used to refer to adaptive software development approaches, as well as the name for Terry Barraclough's approach to rapid development. In general, RAD approaches to software development put less emphasis on planning and more emphasis on an adaptive process. Prototypes are often used in addition to or sometimes even in place of design specifications.

Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications, frameworks, or other software components. Software development is a process of writing and maintaining the source code, but in a broader sense, it includes all that is involved between the conception of the desired software through to the final manifestation of the software, sometimes in a planned and structured process. Therefore, software development may include research, new development, prototyping, modification, reuse, re-engineering, maintenance, or any other activities that result in software products.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to software engineering:

Systems development life cycle Systems engineering term

In systems engineering, information systems and software engineering, the systems development life cycle (SDLC), also referred to as the application development life-cycle, is a process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system. The systems development life cycle concept applies to a range of hardware and software configurations, as a system can be composed of hardware only, software only, or a combination of both. There are usually six stages in this cycle: requirement analysis, design, development and testing, implementation, documentation, and evaluation.

Agile software development comprises various approaches to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end user(s). It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change.

Iterative design is a design methodology based on a cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product or process. Based on the results of testing the most recent iteration of a design, changes and refinements are made. This process is intended to ultimately improve the quality and functionality of a design. In iterative design, interaction with the designed system is used as a form of research for informing and evolving a project, as successive versions, or iterations of a design are implemented.

Feature-driven development (FDD) is an iterative and incremental software development process. It is a lightweight or Agile method for developing software. FDD blends a number of industry-recognized best practices into a cohesive whole. These practices are driven from a client-valued functionality (feature) perspective. Its main purpose is to deliver tangible, working software repeatedly in a timely manner in accordance with the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto.

Cowboy coding is software development where programmers have autonomy over the development process. This includes control of the project's schedule, languages, algorithms, tools, frameworks and coding style.

Agile modeling (AM) is a methodology for modeling and documenting software systems based on best practices. It is a collection of values and principles, that can be applied on an (agile) software development project. This methodology is more flexible than traditional modeling methods, making it a better fit in a fast changing environment. It is part of the agile software development tool kit.

The incremental build model is a method of software development where the product is designed, implemented and tested incrementally until the product is finished. It involves both development and maintenance. The product is defined as finished when it satisfies all of its requirements. This model combines the elements of the waterfall model with the iterative philosophy of prototyping.

Extreme programming (XP) is an agile software development methodology used to implement software projects. This article details the practices used in this methodology. Extreme programming has 12 practices, grouped into four areas, derived from the best practices of software engineering.

Cap Gemini SDM

Cap Gemini SDM, or SDM2 is a software development method developed by the software company Pandata in the Netherlands in 1970. The method is a waterfall model divided in seven phases that have a clear start and end. Each phase delivers subproducts, called milestones. It was used extensively in the Netherlands for ICT projects in the 1980s and 1990s. Pandata was purchased by the Capgemini group in the 1980s, and the last version of SDM to be published in English was SDM2 in 1991 by Cap Gemini Publishing BV. The method was regularly taught and distributed among Capgemini consultants and customers, until the waterfall method slowly went out of fashion in the wake of more iterative extreme programming methods such as Rapid application development, Rational Unified Process and Agile software development.

V-Model (software development)

In software development, the V-model represents a development process that may be considered an extension of the waterfall model, and is an example of the more general V-model. Instead of moving down in a linear way, the process steps are bent upwards after the coding phase, to form the typical V shape. The V-Model demonstrates the relationships between each phase of the development life cycle and its associated phase of testing. The horizontal and vertical axes represents time or project completeness (left-to-right) and level of abstraction, respectively.

In software engineering, team programming is a project management strategy for coordinating task distribution in computer software development projects, which involves the assignment of two or more computer programmers to work collaboratively on an individual sub-task within a larger programming project. In general, the manner in which this term is used today refers to methods currently in vogue within the software development industry where multiple individuals work simultaneously on the same activity; in these systems, programmers are often grouped in pairs at the same computer workstation, one observing the other working on the software and alternating roles at time intervals.

Egoless programming is a style of computer programming in which personal factors are minimized so that quality may be improved. The cooperative methods suggested are similar to those used by other collective ventures such as Wikipedia.

In software engineering, a software development process is the process of dividing software development work into distinct phases to improve design, product management, and project management. It is also known as a software development life cycle (SDLC). The methodology may include the pre-definition of specific deliverables and artifacts that are created and completed by a project team to develop or maintain an application.

Agile Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the use of Agile software development for BI projects to reduce the time it takes for traditional BI to show value to the organization, and to help in quickly adapting to changing business needs. Agile BI enables the BI team and managers to make better business decisions, and to start doing this more quickly.

Extreme programming Software development methodology

Extreme programming (XP) is a software development methodology which is intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. As a type of agile software development, it advocates frequent "releases" in short development cycles, which is intended to improve productivity and introduce checkpoints at which new customer requirements can be adopted.


  1. Jack Belzer, Albert George Holzman, Allen Kent (October 1, 1979), Encyclopedia of computer science and technology, 13CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Marilyn Mantei (March 1981). "The Effect of Programming Team Structures on Programming Tasks" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. Vol. 24 no. 3. p. 106–113. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  3. Jack Belzer, Albert George Holzman, Allen Kent, Encyclopedia of computer science and technology, 13CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. 1 2 Mary Lotz (July 5, 2018), Waterfall vs. Agile: Which is the Right Development Methodology for Your Project?
  5. Linchpin SEO Team (March 26, 2019), A Beginners Guide To The Agile Method & Scrums
  6. "Principles behind the Agile Manifesto". 2019-06-11.