Rhythms in Software

John Mitchell discusses how rhythm applies to software development. Reminds me of perhaps the most famous experiment on human biorhythms: McClintock’s “Menstrual Synchrony and Suppression” (1975).

I’ll spare you the (gory) details, but it essentially lends credibility to the old belief to that biorhythms converge when people are in close contact, have similar lifestyles, etc. While this paper points to biological effects, it is interesting to consider how a harmonious development team working according to a standard XP or RUP iteration cycle might actually converge toward synchronous rhythms. Perhaps this would be a good thing to explicitly aim for, and maybe it was what’s going on when we talk about “being on the same page” and “working as a unit”.

Or alternatively, if we could control rhythms, maybe it would be better to keep them out of sync for the sake of diversity. Important to have some wide-eyed vigilantes watching out when everyone else is in siesta mode.