Øredev Blog

Culture Hacking

In the developer community we are used to tinkering with technology to adopt it to our needs. All those hours we spend configuring our environments and forking software from github to make it do that very specific thing that only we need it to do. What if we were to apply the same thinking, and spend the same effort on tinkering with how we interact with one another? There is a way to do this, and it is called Culture Hacking. 

In Culture Hacking, culture takes on the form of software. There are surprisingly number of similarities: 

  • Changeable architecture 
  • Scalability
  • Portability
  • Usability
  • ...and many more.

Culture hackers will try new things to create a new and improved environment for themselves and their team. Agile, and all its subdomains, is a form of culture hacking, but the art of hacking goes beyond methodologies. It is not about “Should we use Kanban or Scrum?”. It is about using all the tools available to improve the environment we work and live in. Being true to the hacker ethos is about experimenting, playing and trying new things outside our comfort zone. As with software hacking, you can not always be sure about what consequences a change will bring. Try something new and see what happens. One can always roll back if the change does not improve the environment. Failing is safe and the goal is to explore.

Anybody can learn Culture Hacking and many are already doing it without putting a label on what they do. Many of the world’s great leaders can be called culture hackers, as they try to change how we see the world, and how we interact with each other.

The important thing with Culture Hacking is that the culture must be designed and implemented. There should be a set of protocols that implements the culture. Without implementation and design, there is nothing to hack.

At Øredev 2012, Jim McCarthy will tell us how Culture Hacking is the path to magnificence. Join us to learn more about this important discipline of engineering, the art of Culture Hacking. 


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