Can software engineering teams adapt biological principles?

Ken Thompson, speaking at the 2006 SPICE Conference in Luxembourg (May 5) has facilitated an interactive session with leading practitioners and researchers in the field of Software Process Improvement (SPI) on this challenging question.

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Ken is an ex-software engineer and now works to improve the effectiveness of all kinds of teams including software engineering teams.

"Nature's best teams demonstrate neither thinking nor beliefs, they are it is simply stimulus-response engines, yet they can achieve things totally out of proportion to their size and brainpower".
But can our software engineering teams, which perhaps represent the pinnacle of intensive knowledge-based teamwork, learn anything from these ‘bioteams’?

Ken first introduced the results of research carried out over the last two years in the area of bioteaming.

This has resulted in a ‘bioteaming manifesto’ with 12 practical rules for making a team more effective through biological principles.

At the conference we then used the manifesto in a unique real-time interactive session using mobile phones and wireless internet to stimulate ideas on how these principles might be adapted for software engineering teams?

As part of the conference we also initiated a research survey to establish the impact of team member beliefs on software team performance.

To download a PDF of Ken's presentation click here

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I have been using a biological approach for software development, maintenance, and support for many years.

Please see my blog at:

http://softwarephysics.blogspot.com/index.html

Softwarephysics is a fun, but useful, combination of physics, biology, and computer science that I have been using for more than 25 years.

Regards,
Steve Johnston

 


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The term cyborg is used to designate an organism which is a mixture of organic and synthetic parts so designed to enhance its abilities via technology. William Mitchell a professor at MIT Media Lab believes that through our mobile devices we are all becoming mobile cyborgs and its for the better. In his book Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City which he discusses in an interview with James Harkin Mitchell describes how the new communications technologies have overlaid our city spaces with central nervous systems connecting us into the wireless ether via our mobile devices which act as umbilical cords to anchor us into the information society's digital infrastructure.


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