As a manager in charge of technical professionals, I have learned that managing projects with multiple team members requires certain people skills, as well as technical skills. In the world of management, there are many skills required when it comes to the management of people. These skills, and how you apply them, vary depending on the type of business you are in, as well as the type of people whom you manage.
There are a lot of technical professionals out there who like to work alone. Well, unless you own a one-person company this is not going to be possible. It is important that you learn to work with effectively other people.
Iím not merely talking about other people in the same development team, I am speaking of the larger team you are on; your whole company. In a medium to large sized company, there are many departments and groups of people that you will eventually find cause to communicate with. These may include business analysts, quality assurance people, documentation writers, customer service representatives, and product deployment specialists.
All of these people work in different departments of the company, but they are all a part of the big team. Working effectively with them cannot only increase the well-being of the company, but make your job much easier as well.
Hereís an example for you. You, the developer, finish a complex program and turn it over to product deployment to be shipped to a customer. They put it on a CD, and mail it out to the customer who is waiting for it. The customer, upon receiving a code install that is missing something calls the customer service representatives for help. Going through their documentation, they can see no reference to the problem listed so they call the documentation department, who in turn calls you to assist. Since the problem has been through so many hands, they miss an important piece of information that would have helped you identify it quickly, and you spend a whole day trying to diagnose the problem before you realize what the issue is.
Instead of just giving your code to the product deployment specialists to ship out the door, if you take the time to explain to them the dependencies the code has and any intricacies of itís configuration that need to be addressed you can save a lot of people a lot of time. The install instructions, written by the documentation department, would mention all steps and nuances of configuring and running your applications. If the customer still has a problem, a quick call to customer service should help him, since the customer service representatives have a copy of the same documentation and can assist the customer in achieving his goals, without having to involve the doc people, or yourself.
This goes for all aspects in your company. Not to mention, management always favors team members that work well in the team environment. In this day and age, if you are unable to operate as a functional member of a team, there is a good chance that you wont last long as a member.