INTRODUCTION: Today I got a call from a recruiter looking to fix a big problem that a client is having with bad decisions being made with about code, deployment, testing… you name it. I expressed to the executive that called me for an interview that nothing was going to get fixed without culture change, to which he said not to worry about that because he was ordering culture change and it would happen. Well, a pack of developers can be like a pack of teenagers… They will see any change to the way they do things as an attack on their self-worth, which then leads into a ton of passive-aggressive behavior on the part of the group that will either lead to mass firings or an organizational change near the top.
If you want culture change in a development group, it takes time, patience and a leader with a vision that the pack will buy into. It takes someone with the background in the new techniques that the pack can hang their hat on. It takes concrete examples of how to accomplish the new techniques. Finally, it takes someone willing to teach the new techniques in a way that the developers take ownership in the learning and not just being lectured to.
CONCLUSION: I politely turned down the position. I don’t want to waste their time because the pack would just see me as part of the problem of the forced changes and I don’t care to spend my time fighting a battle like that.