Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Paperback – 1 Feb 1999
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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 :-)
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While dated in many ways, it still has much relevance today. I found it interesting but not that radical considering how much material is now available on working practices.Published 23 months ago by Gupster
I bought this on a whim and I'm glad I did. The book advocates giving knowledge workers space and quiet to allow the to focus. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2013 by Chris Reynolds
was recommended this book by a colleague and although the original is now quite old they have updated sections and to be honest the content matter generally has not changed in a... Read morePublished on 11 May 2013 by daniel roberts
It's now over twenty years since the publication of the first edition of Peopleware, deservedly one of the most popular books to consider the human side of software development. Read morePublished on 30 Mar. 2012 by Amazon Customer
I have been working for more than 10 years as a software engineer and I agree with most of the information and suggestions provided in the book. Read morePublished on 18 Dec. 2011 by M.I.
What can you say - this is a classic. I had to get a new copy as my previous copy was done...Published on 5 Sept. 2011 by imm
The authors explain why are the people the most important ingredients of healthy organizations. All (software) managers and wannabe managers should read this. Read morePublished on 19 Jun. 2011 by Imre Lendak
Although written some 22 years ago, this book is as relevant today as it was then. This book dispels so many management myths and highlights the bad practices so widely excepted... Read morePublished on 3 May 2011 by Mr S Sheridan
...but so true. So readable and very practical. I do not agree that it's dated. You can even use the book to beat your manager about the head.Published on 7 April 2011 by Josh
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