'Engineering Serendipity'

Greg Lindsay, writing for The New York Times:

Silicon Valley is obsessed with serendipity, the reigning buzzword at last month’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival. The term, coined by the British aristocrat Horace Walpole in a 1754 letter, long referred to a fortunate accidental discovery. Today serendipity is regarded as close kin to creativity — the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world. But are hallway collisions really the best way to stoke innovation?

It's tough to create an environment where creative professionals (such as developers) are highly productive. You have to hire the right team, you have to work on interesting things, and you have to figure out your workplace situation. The article covers a topic that has become de rigueur these days. It isn't enough to simply do the aforementioned steps; a company must cultivate an environment where developers meet each other in informal settings and 'talk shop', thereby generating fresh new ideas.