Bozo Bit

In his 1995 book Dynamics of Software Development (ISBN:1-55615-823-8), which presented a series of rules about the political and interpersonal forces that drive software development, Jim McCarthy applied the bozo bit notion to the realm of human interaction.[5][6] The technical issues facing programmers were sufficiently daunting that just getting code written was commonly considered good enough; McCarthy and other authors (Lister & DeMarco, Constantine, McConnell) were just breaking the news that social issues trump technical ones on almost every project. McCarthy's Rule #4 is "Don't Flip The Bozo Bit". McCarthy's advice was that everyone has something to contribute – it's easy and tempting, when someone ticks you off or is mistaken (or both), to simply disregard all their input in the future by setting the "bozo flag" to TRUE for that person. But by taking that lazy way out, you poison team interactions and cannot avail yourself of help from the "bozo" ever again.


Johanna Rothman:

I am bad about this, at least up until now...


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