A colleague at IBM passed on to me an article about the software development team, a piece I'd written seven years ago (and had totally forgotten about). Its message still applies: software develoment is a team sport. It seems to be a dirty little secret among some of the platform vendors that developing software is fundamentally hard: too often applications and middleware are positioned as being the breakthrough that will change your life, make your teenages like you, and whiten your teeth. Reality is that developing software has been, is, and will remain hard.
Contining on the team riff, I must point you to an incredibly wise book by Jim Coplien and Neil Harrison, Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development. Run, do not walk, to your nearst bookstore to buy a copy of this book. These days when I walk into a Borders, Barnes and Noble, or (my favorite) Tattered Cover, I get depressed walking the aisles of computer books: most manuscripts are little more than extended documentation for desktop products and while I respect many of these authors and their hard work, there are very few books that offer something really wise and wonderful. I'm jazzed about Cope's book because it is one of the few really good books I've seen of late.