on 9 February 2014
I'm giving this five stars since it exceeded the expectations I had when I bought it.
After 12 years spent as a developer and team leader I'm now on my first gig as a manager, I realized pretty soon that writing software and shipping it has as much to do with making technologies work well together then with getting humans to interact reasonably smoothly.
The human side of things being definitely the biggest challenge and the main responsible of success or failure (I consider a given that the team has all the needed tech skills).
This book is a very lucid take at what makes the difference between a functional software engineering organization and a dysfunctional one. And is very clear about the fact that there's dysfunction in a functional organization but keeping this limited and under control is the manager duty.
There's also useful material regarding how to nurture your team and help the individuals part of it dealing with their day to day job while keeping on track their long term career.
The author goes through a number a personal profiles, behaviours and situations that are recurring in the software engineering business, for each these elements there's a straight to the point analysis and advice on how to deal with it.
The book also helped me identify a few of my mistakes and misinterpretations and made me think in a smarter way about my approach to solve conflicts or friction or just how to simply drive meetings.
Overall not a life changing book but good value when the next seemingly exceptional and peculiar event comes up and you have a good plan to start straight away dealing with it.
on 19 May 2013
There aren't many texts about software management, and this is a good one. For this European, I have to filter for a certain amount of American cultural references, but that doesn't obscure the message.
Mostly a collection of essays published as Rands In Repose on a blog, I enjoyed reading them as a group.