As agile developers, we sometimes like to point our fingers and snicker at some of the more problematic personalities that can sometimes haunt waterfall development shops. To some extent, we take comfort from the sense that many of these personalities are able to hide out in the nooks and crannies of the waterfall methodology, but certainly Those Types Of People would never survive in an agile shop.
Take the classic example: the Hidden Deadbeat. While many agile environments force a lot of developer interaction by putting the team in a shared project room, the waterfall world still embraces the cubicle farm. And we’ve certainly met a large number of Hidden Deadbeats: people who don’t really do or accomplish anything, but who succeed in not doing anything for long periods of time because they don’t have to interact with people very often. If nobody really knows what they do, then nobody really knows that they’re doing nothing.
But agile projects have their fair share of… interesting personalities. There are some behaviours that are downright dysfunctional. Sometimes a difficult behaviour can provide a good counterbalance to another problematic behaviour. Pairing someone who just wants to get things done with someone who likes spending a lot of time thinking about concepts and theories creates a powerful team.