If there's a team out there who just knows "software development," it's the team from Pivotal Labs. Edward Hieatt and his colleagues at Pivotal come from the agile school of development, and in their client work, have noticed many startups begin to experience an erosion of their development culture as they grow in size. In particular, for early-stage VC-backed founders, the growing pains affect the culture of software development to the point where shipping schedules and innovation is materially impacted -- almost bringing companies to a halt.
The solution, which Hieatt puts forward at First Round Capital CTO Summit, is bold: A culture built around pair programming. This can be controversial. According to Hieatt, the concept of pair programming evokes a range of emotions and challenges conventional wisdom about how teams form and work today. For instance, today's culture in early-stage teams often allows developers to work in silos, or to work on sprints, to make their own hours, and a host of other norms which, Hieatt believes, stifles software development culture.