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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Paperback – 1 Feb 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Co Inc.,U.S.; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932633439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932633439
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Peopleware asserts that most software development projects fail because of failures within the team running them. This strikingly clear, direct book is written for software development team leaders and managers, but it's filled with enough common-sense wisdom to appeal to anyone working in technology. Authors Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister include plenty of illustrative, often amusing anecdotes; their writing is light, conversational, and filled with equal portions of humour and wisdom, and there is a refreshing absence of "new age" terms and multi-step programmes. The advice is presented straightforwardly and ranges from simple issues of prioritisation to complex ways of engendering harmony and productivity in your team. Peopleware is a short read that delivers more than many books on the subject twice its size. --Jake Bond

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Kirke on 9 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm glad that I read this book when I was promoted to a Project Manager. It is full of "anti-intuitive" ideas about managing technical people and projects some of which I have even managed to use occasionally over the last year and a half. I have certainly fallen into some of the traps that this book warns against (putting short timescales before quality, not trusting people to utilise their time properly, too many interruptions, etc, etc). But if I hadn't read this book back when I was promoted, I probably would have made far more mistakes!
The ideas for successful technical project and line management in this book are backed up by statistical data. The basic ideas underlying the whole book is that "people matter" and "people can be trusted". If you put the project before people too much then productivity will go down, people will leave or stress out, and basically office morale is not helped. If you leave people to do the work themselves as much as possible, they will do a good job. And if you micro-manage them too much you will under-utilise them and lower morale.
Overall the ideas in this book have helped me in my job, and I hope to learn how to implement more and more of them as time goes on.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Neal VINE VOICE on 9 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
It's occasionally interesting to read this sort of manual from the viewpoint of a managee; as opposed to a manager; what's frightening is to see confirmed all those home truths that you as a team member are aware of, but which your manager appears to be totally oblivious of. There are several important lessons in this book; and pretty much every one appears to have been overlooked by my manager; indeed, I'm beginning to suspect that he has read this book and has decided to do test its theories by doing every single thing that shouldn't be done.
This book is a little on the old side now, but that really shouldn't put you off since its basic tenets are as relevant today as shiny shoes and clean teeth; you'll feel better for having it on your side; my only criticism is that despite its serious intent, it does occasionally come across as a bit serious, when that might not be absolutely necessary. There are also a lot of facts and figures, which whilst somewhat inevitable, since they are designed to support the various conclusions that the book makes, do make for occasional swimming through treacle moments. All the same, this is an important book for tech managers, although I doubt there are too many that will take it on board, since it involves a deal less managing than they might like.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ahiggins@iona.com on 4 May 2000
Format: Paperback
You'll find out who the catalyst is (and value that role), reappraise your office environment (but the game is lost here, cubicle fever is cronic and the tide won't be turned), understand why gelled teams disband (and why this is a good thing), gain some insight to nudging teams to "gell", understand when the manager should be part of and apart from the team (its a lonely job in the middle). A bit dated and the upgrade to 2nd Edition shows through the cracks, but its an excellent foundation primer for people managers where the output is the product of creative processes. Some considerable attempt is made to make the subject generic to people based "creation" businesses e.g. Legal, industrial design; but the real focus is software development, and I feel that the scope should have been limited to software.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Nov 2003
Format: Paperback
Read and weep. I got the reference from McConnells' Rapid Development and thought that it was worth a look. I was stunned. Everything rang true. There are many good books on being a good manager and on good project management pratice. They cover the mechanics. This book gives the spirit. Enjoy :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ethann Castell on 3 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
Fantastic book about the people side of software development. The ideas in this book, and the typical corporate environment, are worlds apart.
My experience has been that managers either don't know this stuff, or if they do know it, then they feel that they would just have to go out on too much of a limb to implement these ideas. This is a shame because most for the concepts in this book are the very things that enable software developers to thrive.
One of the main ideas that resonated with me was the idea of giving developers enough private space. I have never been a fan of open plan office space. I think that it works well for some professions, but not all, and certainly not for software developers. Legend has it that Microsoft lets each developer have their own office which they can furnish as they please. One programmer is supposed to have brought in bucket-loads of sand to make his office into a beach !
If you are a Manager then read this book and implement as much as you can. Otherwise buy a copy and leave it on your Managers desk.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Al on 27 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
A great book - highly readable. Definitely worth buying if you're in any sort of management or if you want to know what to look out for from a great (or terrible!) company.

Be careful though. You may want a new job by the time you've finished it. At one point it lists the things a company should be doing - my place does non of them!

When I discussed with my boss he thought it was rather idealistic...but then again he would :-)
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