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Part IX: Culture and Quality

Part IX: Culture and Quality

Introduction

Organizational culture is so pervasive in our working lives that it seems appropriate to round out this series of essays with an exploration of the cultural landscape of software development, not only in terms of the organizational culture of individual development groups and companies but also regarding some of the broader cultural issues in our industry and profession as a whole. Section III mapped out the principal variations in the cultural themes played out in work organizations. This closing section returns to the matter of culture but as it relates to the effectiveness of the whole and its individual parts and to the quality of the end products.

“Cultured” can be a term of approbation or an indication of suspect origin, depending on whether we are speaking of people or of pearls. The culture of an organization or of an industry can work for or against it. What are some of the features of successful organizational cultures? How can working culture be changed to enhance the chances of success? A development culture that values and reinforces quality work will contribute to success. An industry or profession built on such principles as responsibility and continuous learning will enhance the value and the potential of its members.



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