Culture of Integrity Within Successful Software Teams


The macOS dictionary defines “integrity” as:

integrity | inˈteɡrədē |


1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness: he is known to be a man of integrity.

2. the state of being whole and undivided: upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

What we can conclude from this definition is that Integrity can be perceived and expressed differently depending on the environment we operate in. For example, the second definition of “being a whole and undivided” may not apply when working alone, thus, if we want to act with integrity, we can rely on the first definition: setting and consistently upholding strong moral principles by ourselves.

When working in a team though, if we want to operate with integrity, the first definition holds true for the individual; however, it is maximized through the state of being whole and undivided as a team. Meaning that we can’t act with integrity as a team unless we act with integrity as individuals first. The effects of the sum of our individual actions will reflect as the behavior traits of the team.

Functional teams operate with shared values and principles that they will never compromise for quick conveniences. Thus, forming team Integrity.

At Essential Developer, we have adopted Integrity as one of our three pillars that form the foundation of our principles, along with Empathy and Economics. We believe that, in the context of a business, to achieve a level of high performance and being unified as a whole with a team full of people holding the same values we must first be able to grasp the possible effects of our actions. Every action we take will influence both our team members and the business. We opt to study and practice Empathy over morality, to understand how we can maximize the probability of our actions to impact our fellow team members positively. And Economics to influence the collective outcome positively.

At the same time, the Team Integrity will affect us as individuals, so we must carefully choose who we work with.