A little something about dumbing code down to the lowest common denominator
When the productive have to ask permission from the unproductive in order to produce, then you may know your culture is doomed.
update: Chalain nails it
, especially when he writes “… she's right about those two little words: ask permission. And not about dumbing down code.” Although the examples he gives are nothing like the examples that crossed my mind.
I have been happiest when I have worked with people much, much smarter than I am, people who forced me to raise my game. I recall that when I worked on JProbe Threadalyzer, the three key people on my team were Steve Rosenberg, Christian Jaekl, and John MacMillan. Steve was my manager, and he forced me to raise my game as a team lead. Christian was our domain expert, he had written his Masters Thesis on analyzing the behaviour of concurrent software, and he forced me to immerse myself deeply in concurrency just to understand what he was designing. And John was a C++ Wizard. I recall him being extremely patient with me a I got up to speed writing production C++ code.
All three were patient with my shortcomings, but our culture was to help me be more productive, to help me understand their ideas. Not to hold them back so that I could stay in my comfort zone.