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Driving Technical Change Paperback – November 30, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1934356609 ISBN-10: 1934356603 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356609
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,115,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"At its core, Driving Technical Change is a fantastic book about design patterns. In it, Terrence Ryan clearly outlines common, problematic personalities—“skeptics”—and provides proven solutions for bringing about progressive change. It is certainly an unfortunate fact of human behavior that people are oftentimes resistant to implementing best practices; however, using Terry’s book as a guide, you will now be able to identify why people push back against change and what you can do to remain successful in the face of adversity."

—Ben Nadel, Chief Software Engineer, Epicenter Consulting

"Politics is one of the most challenging and underestimated subjects in the field of technology. Terrence Ryan has tackled this problem courageously and with a methodical approach. His book can help you understand many types of resistance (both rational and irrational) and make a strategy for getting people on board with your technology vision."

—Bill Karwin, Author of "SQL Antipatterns: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Database Programming"

About the Author

Terrence Ryan currently works as an Evangelist for Adobe Systems. He focuses on the promotion of ColdFusion, Flash, Flex and AIR. As an evangelist his job is to encourage people to try new tools and techniques. Before that, he spent ten years in higher education overseeing the work of a team of developers, running code reviews, pushing standards, and trying to convince co-workers to come around to new tools and techniques.


More About the Author

Terrence Ryan currently works as a Flash Platform Evangelist for Adobe Systems. As an evangelist his job is to encourage people to try new tools and techniques. Before that, he spent ten years in higher education overseeing the work of a team of developers, running code reviews, pushing standards, and trying to convince co-workers to come around to new tools and techniques.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Going forward I'm sure it's something that will help me in my career.
Mr. Jeremy Flowers
There is really about 10 pages of content stretched out to 130 pages into simplistic overlapping examples dealing with hypothetical ways to deal with them.
jt
Terry's last section of the book covers some strategies on putting these techniques to use and getting to your end game plan.
K. McCABE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Driving Technical Change is about exactly that. If you have an idea, a new tool or technique then how to you convince others that it is actually a good idea. What are the techniques you could use to convince the 'skeptics'.

This book consist of three parts (ignoring the introduction section in the beginning). The first part defines types of stereotypical resisters. The second part defines techniques to convince them and the third provides a strategy on how to use these techniques.

The first part defines seven types of stereotypical resisters: the uninformed, the herd, the burned, the cynic, the time crunched, the boss and the irrational. The author uses these stereotypes as extremes which he then can explain the techniques with. I personally was very uncomfortable with these seven stereotypes and didn't think of them as useful thinking tools. Grouping people in boxes like this is incredibly counter productive.

The second part defines techniques to use to convince 'skeptics'. Most the the techniques were fairly obvious, such as deliver the message or find synergy. I liked the fact that the author focused a lot on solving the right problem rather than selling what you believe in and that the author focused on gaining expertise first. It makes the techniques less like silver bullet tools that will solve all your problems.

The last part was about strategy. It describes how to first convince people who are ready and not to waste your effort on people who are not ready. I think this is sound advise. However, in the end the author suggested that it was a good idea to convince management to enforce a policy. I regret that there is still such a command & control traditional management aspect in the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily Christiansen on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book employs a conversational tone and very positive attitude to help developers sell their teammates on new technology. Terry defines the common patterns of skeptics and gives a brief description. He is also quick to emphasize that you must treat your skeptic with respect. They're not automatically bad people because they disagree with you. Then Terry launches into the different types of strategies you can use, and which skeptics they work on. Don't be fooled by the book's small size. There is a lot of great advice and it is a fun book to read. You could get through it in a weekend and go into work on Monday ready to counter skeptics with the facts in a polite and positive manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Hilton on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is about a problem techies encounter regularly: I want us to use a specific tool or technique at work, and I need to figure out how to get my team to buy-in. As a book on that topic, it succeeds quite well.

First, a disclaimer: I have a lot of experience in this area, as I worked somewhat recently with a team that was resistant to a lot of changes. I, along with a small handful of other members, repeatedly tried to get buy-in on tools and techniques. Occasionally, we were met with success, but more often we were met with failure.

This book made a LOT of sense of what happened at that company. After reading it, I have a much better understanding of why we failed and succeeded when we did, and what we could have done differently.

Driving Technical Change is a patterns book. Rather than design or architecture patterns, it contains people patterns. The author, Terrence Ryan, argues that most people who are resistant to change fall into one of seven patterns of skepticism. Each pattern is different, and must be dealt with in different ways. As with design patterns, a lot of the patterns are just common sense, but because Ryan gives a very specific name to each pattern, it is useful as a shared vocabulary among forward-thinking techies. It's not immediately obvious from the titles of the patterns exactly what they all mean, so it's helpful to read the book; when I looked at just the titles of the chapters I couldn't decide what one particular co-worker was, but after reading the book I completely knew.

The rest of the book is devoted to different strategies, and which ones are effective against which skeptic patterns. This portion of the book is also useful, though occasionally it feels a bit padded due to structure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jeremy Flowers on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reading through this book, Terrance classifies people into different groups.
For me this was a vivid portrayal, that I could instantly relate to having working with the full spectrum of such people.
He gives advice on how to handle these groups of people, and basically create allies, converting the masses to your cause, but in such a way as to not come across as blowing your own trumpet.
In essence this boils down to converting the low hanging fruit (colleagues) to your cause and gradually tackling the more challenging ones. Garnering such support you don't appear to be a lone crusader when presenting your case to management and if you heed the advice given on handling situations correctly, you can avoid appearing confrontational.
It also clarifies how to allocate and your time productively building relationships with colleagues and not expending effort on the irrational.
Some of the IT terminology would be alien to people outside this arena, but the psychology lessons could equally be applied to other industries.
A good book, I could have done with reading years ago. As a result I'd probably have a few less battle scars right now! Going forward I'm sure it's something that will help me in my career.
Oh. On a final note, I learnt about Google Alerts. Had never used them before. Cool tip.
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