I like work a lot, but recently I've been more annoyed than usual at the number of silos that we have on the development team. Actually, "silos" might not be the right term, because that implies different groups with different areas of focus: what's really going on is more individual ownership of projects and areas of the code. (So: very skinny silos!) This has been the case everywhere I've worked (not so surprising, among other reasons because engineers don't like to talk to people), but this is the first job I've had where my manager considers that to be a feature rather than a bug. (To be fair, I think his feelings are a little more complex than that, but that's how I interpret his actual behavior.)

I'm not sure what the most productive way is to approach this. But after being bothered last night about recent planning meetings that were organized in an (in my view) excessively exclusionary way, I realized that that actually was a pretty good place to start, since it involved behavior that individual contributors could control. So I sent out an e-mail noting that my behavior was different than other people's behavior in this regard, and asking if the obvious interpretation (that other people liked to exclude people from meetings, and that I should therefore get with the program) was correct. And, fortunately, I got exactly the response I hoped for: a good number of people said that no, they liked being invited to meetings in areas where they didn't work on the code every day.

It'll be interesting to see if people's actual behavior changes as a result of that. And it will also be interesting to see how my manager responds, if at all; he didn't chime in on the e-mail thread. (Which is good management behavior on his part, I think: his responding too early could squelch discussion.)