More Peers Less Pressure
Many teams, especially startups, are characterised by a few people handling the full spectrum of business activities. Everyone needs a broad understanding, but core skills seldom overlap. As a result you quickly become “the CSS guy” or “the designer”, and work of that nature is yours by default.
Coming from that background, I’ve found FireWorks an incredibly abundant environment. For anything we do, there are at least two people who are really good at it. While everyone is a specialist in something, they’re no longer the only specialist.
This has three major advantages that I’ve noticed.
Firstly, every task you do is a choice. Because at least one other person can also do it, you sometimes get to opt out. This immediately makes things feel less like work.
Secondly, there’s always someone to talk to. When you can’t solve a problem or your design stalls, there’s someone that can give you feedback, suggest a new approach or take over for a while. Working together like this is more fun and more productive.
Lastly, this conversation about specific things spills over to the rest of the team. This keeps everybody more involved in the whole process, rather than design or coding taking place only in one person’s head. In a learning-focused organisation, this conversation is an invaluable chance to broaden our skills.