More psychology of shipping

Last week I talked a little about things I saw the leadership team do during the Xbox One launch. But there are two more stories I wanted to tell.

The first story is from 1999. I was working on a project that replaced a system that was not safe for year 2000. For various reasons we had a very small window for enabling the new system and naturally there was a bug. A bug we had a few hours to find and fix or we would need to change the system with a lot of changes in order to handle year 2000 correctly. In order to find the bug we had about ten people more or less randomly looking at different pieces of the code in hopes of finding the bug.

This is when the project manager who had not written a single line of code in years took off his suit jacked, rolled up his shirt sleeves and said the epic words "give me some code to look at". As far as I remember we handed him some printouts we had already looked at, but there was still a feeling of all of us working together.

I think the moral of this story is that it is not necessarily important that the leader can contribute a lot to the team effort in terms of writing code, but that the leader contributes in whatever way is needed at any time. And that the leader does so together with the team.

You'll have to wait until next week for the other story...

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