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Yes, exactly. Unfortunately, every so often you get these companies that take on a process as "part of their core culture", when culture should be about principle, not process.

By taking a practice as a core value, they are implicitly stating that it is the One True Way to do things, which means that anyone NOT doing it the One True Way is doing it wrong (to the point that they refuse to hire anyone unwilling to toe the line). I wonder how these people would feel entering a company whose One True Way is waterfall development? Because up until a decade and a half ago, that WAS the One True Way.

OP here.

I think this is a good point. There's definitely a risk of dogmatism when we start defining ourselves through a certain process.

I wanted to use the post to explore how a process like pairing influences company culture. I don't mean to imply that the process IS the culture.

I think it's fine, and probably very helpful, for development teams to be opinionated about process. But opinionated is not the same thing as dogmatic.

I mentioned this in a reply to comment on our site, but we also worry a little bit about creating a monoculture and groupthink. We try to fight this by leaving room every week for people to spike things out on their own in open dev time: https://www.braintreepayments.com/braintrust/walking-the-tal...

One thing you should definitely be careful of (not sure if you do this or not) is requiring adherence to a process that demonstrably doesn't work for a sufficiently large percentage of the population. As another poster pointed out, they select against people who don't like to pair program, which cuts out a large percentage of the (good) developer population, thus fostering monoculture.

Agreed. The "open dev time" idea is attractive, and I can imagine developers getting excited about it, (or at least developers who enjoy doing side projects). But it doesn't seem to address kstenerud's point.

In our interview process, we want developers who like writing software, and want to improve. Asking about side projects, software topics they're researching on their own, languages they're playing with, seems to be a useful thing to focus on. Or at least, I tend to like candidates with good answers to those questions. That's a monoculture I think I'd actually like.

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