A collaborative style of solution design

Early in my (pre-OSS) career I noticed that I had a different approach to designing solutions than most of my colleagues. My colleagues, when given an assignment, would tend to disappear into their office cubicles and prepare a solution in isolation, before asking for a review (for quality assurance purposes) once their solution was all but complete.

I, on the other hand, would summarise my thoughts (and high-level designs) and then drag as many of my colleagues into a short brainstorming session as possible to bounce ideas around. My colleagues would always come up with some brilliant concepts that made “my” solutions much stronger (not to mention adding to the depth of future design thinking as well). Then I’d get down to the detailed designing work.

In the world of OSS, we’re surrounded by so many clever people with so many great ideas. When combined with the fact that there are so many breadcrumbs that make up an OSS, it seems completely obvious to me that we should (almost) always conduct high-level idea generation sessions when faced with a design. It’s interesting though that many OSS architects and solution designers still develop their solutions in relative isolation.

Which end of the continuum do you fall on when creating new solutions? Do you tend to operate towards the isolated or the collaborative end?

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