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Collaboration and review

To build a product that's truly easy and enjoyable to use, there's no way around collaboration and reviewing each other's work.

PS. We're hiring this fall.

Complexity requires collaboration

At the point the web is today, it's difficult to build a truly great product without collaborating across disciplines. The best things that we've made, we've made together. Technology, design, and user experience have to play together.

Using review for collaboration

Collaboration can be hard. To avoid a waterfall process, we involve all other disciplines early on. To balance that out, and so we don't end up in a design by committee-situation, we model our collaboration off of the review process. At any point in the process, there is one person who is the author, while the others take the roles of reviewers. This way you can involve several people early on, without the process derailing.

That means we're doing review not only for code, but for every aspect of our product. We also consider user testing to be a form of review.

Review principles

When doing review, we try to adhere to the following principles:

  • Critique the work, not the author.
  • Be critical, but remain affable and curious.
  • Differentiate between a) suggestions, b) requirements, c) and points that need discussion or clarification.
  • Move discussions from text to face-to-face.
  • Don’t forget to praise the good parts!

If you want an intro to the advantages of (code) review, check out this blogpost about the advantages of code review and this blogpost on best practice for code review.