Under an extremely tight deadline one team member decided that it would be best if the developers took over a conference room. On a long conference room table there are 6 computers, and 6 extremely talented developers chat, joke, brainstorm and work away. The manager of the team is there too, explaining requirements and helping to clarify definitions and functionality.
There is pizza, too.
Its like that scene in Apollo 13 where the engineers have to figure out how to get the Apollo back to Earth. Ideas bounce freely and communication is immediate. I don’t have to wait for a response to an email or a response in a chat window (which may or may not come). And there’s something about sharing a space with a common goal: The team seems to gel. There is little or no arguing or passive-aggressive commentary as I have seen in meetings throughout my career. We’re all in this together, after all.
I’ve never seen software written with such efficiency.