DEV Community


Software team as a jazz band

Kamal Mustafa
Python/Django Developer at GetOTP (, fast and simple to integrate OTP API with ready made UI
・2 min read

I first came to this concept through Marcus Blankenship interview with best-selling author Ron Lichty about the manager's role in agile. Ron is the co-author of the classic book Managing the Unmanageable, a must-read book on leading software teams.

First of all, I don't know jazz so it's prompted me to do some reading about jazz, and a search for 'jazz vs orchestra' lead me to this:-

When a jazz leader sits down to count in his band: 1, 2…. 1, 2, 3, 4 he or she doesn’t really know what is going to happen. Once he counts in and then sits back among his band members, he has faith that he has talented musicians and that they will produce a quality show. Unlike a classical orchestra or a pop musical group, each performance of a jazz standard is a unique and emergent creation. The Orchestra Conductor, standing at a pedestal with a baton, is unquestionably the in-the-moment leader. He stands at the front, everyone watches him, the hierarchies are clear, the lines of decision-making are coherent, and the goal is replicable and precise.

It seem interesting and can be related to software development process. So I searched further and found some more discussion on this topic:-

p/s - Turn out there's project named jazzband that aim to co-operatively maintain third party Django projects.

Discussion (2)

mrfarmer777 profile image
Matt Farmer

I was a jazz teacher for years and I'm now getting into web development. Glad to know there's cross over between these seemingly-unrelated fields!

k4ml profile image
Kamal Mustafa Author

Great ! Do share your experience how it really relate to jazz when you get deeper ;)