I find the overall tone of this article a little hard to take. This isn’t the first blog article to take issue with the idea of one developer putting together a massive house of cards that eventually falls and takes that developer’s career down with it. As far as I know, it’s the first one to be so gleeful about this developer’s self-destruction. As others have pointed out, it takes a management team willing to give someone enough responsibility and to be lax enough about oversight to let someone craft enough bespoke rope to hang themselves this badly.
This article could do with a little less of a complimentary tone towards management; in my opinion they hold just as much responsibility for this sad outcome as “Rick”. We should give credit where it’s due and, for sure, this guy deserves a lot of credit for the project’s failure. By the same token, no one is helped by ignoring management’s role in this situation. Clearly it would’ve been helpful to bring “Rick” in for a big meeting much earlier in the process, perhaps he wouldn’t have needed to be fired.
Lastly, there this quote: “Your team’s strength is not a function of the talent of individual members. It’s a function of their collaboration, tenacity, and mutual respect.”
There’s truth here: collaboration, tenacity and mutual respect are important components of a working team. But to discount the talent and skill levels of the members of your team is to blind yourself to an important part of what makes a team successful. It almost makes it sound like each person on the team is simply a replaceable cog in a machine. I understand that is the utopian scenario for management, but it’s not the case today. In my opinion, it’s just as easy for a group of inept developers to be collaborative, respectful and tenacious and still get nothing done as it is for talented and experienced developers to do the same while being snipey an unpleasant.