Never Complains

Occasionally I hear someone compliment a software developer by observing that the individual never complains, even when things get ugly. Now, I realize that sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. I also realize that complaining about things we can’t change, while sometimes cathartic, is almost never materially helpful. I also realize that too much negativity can reduce the effectiveness of a team and its members.

All that being said…

Another way to spell “complaint” is “feedback”, and we know that feedback can be helpful. We deliberately solicit feedback from users (and quite often what we get are actually complaints). So why wouldn’t we encourage feedback (even if it sometimes rises to the level of complaints) from our teammates?

When we encourage one another to keep silent about problems in order not to be seen as “complaining” we can miss opportunities to improve our development processes and team dynamics. We may also miss out on potential process innovations that could improve life for ourselves and our users.

So, rather than encourage silent acceptance of whatever might occur, try to promote constructive complaints (feedback) among your teammates.