The Commando Returns, lots of good observations but the ending is the best.
It is also crucial that you give programmers ownership of the pieces on which they are working. Only with ownership will they invest more of themselves and their passion into the project. With this investment, they will do a better job and put in more time to make what they own a success.
After the quality of the programmers themselves, the work environment remains the second most critical factor in productivity. Open work areas and cubicles have been proven time and again to be penny-wise and pound-foolish, lowering rent but also lowering productivity. Closing off windows, requiring set hours, enforcing a dress code, and supporting other stupid human resource edicts can also contribute to lower productivity.
Larry concluded our original debate with a very good comment. He said that having a group of smart programmers who were passionate about their work was the most important part of the process. The other parts�the technical and management structures�just helped a good group be more successful. I agree!