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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager 2007th Edition
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Part 1 - Management Quiver: Don't Be A Prick; Managers Are Not Evil; The Monday Freakout; Agenda Detection; Mandate Dissection; Information Starvation; Subtlety, Subterfuge, And Silence; Managementese; Technicality; Avoiding The Fez; Your Resignation Checklist; Saying No
Part 2 - The Process Is The Product: 1.0, Taking Time To Think; The Soak; Malcolm Events; Capturing Context; Status Reports 2.0; Trickle Theory
Part 3 - Versions Of You: A Glimpse And A Hook; Nailing The Phone Screen; Ninety Days; Bellwethers; NADD; A Nerd In A Cave; Meeting Creatures; Incrementalists And Completionists; Organics And Mechanics; Inwards, Outwards, And Holistics; Free Electrons; Rules For The Reorg; Offshore Risk Factor; Joe; Secret Titles
Although the title would lead you to believe that the book is targeted for managers, that's not really the case. Yes, software managers will get a *lot* from these pages, but so will any other software professional being managed (that should cover everyone). Lopp, aka "Rands", has spent many years on the front lines of management, from larger companies to startups. In a "cut to the chase" fashion (with words you likely won't see in any other management book), he shares his insights and knowledge when it comes to dealing with the strange and often bizarre world of software development. You'll learn the underlying cause of the Monday morning "freakout", and what's really being said behind the emotional outburst.Read more ›
But the book is really choppy. Topics shift abruptly in the middle of chapters without transitions, headings have nothing to do with the content that follows then, and the chapters don't flow together. The style is downright strange at times. There are whole paragraphs full of incomprehensible colloquial gobbledygook. The author occasionally refers to himself in the third person as "Rands", but only at random, which just serves to make the book harder to read.
I usually inhale books like this in a day or so, but I've been working on this one for weeks and am barely a hundred pages in.
If you need practical software management advice, do buy this book, but be prepared to do a lot of work to get value out of it. And let's hope Mr. Lopp can find a skilled editor for a second edition that really helps this great information shine.
While it has an amazing amount of insight into relevant issues delivered with surprising certainty, there isn't research, a philosophical premise, or numbers to back it up, only anecdotes that, while believable, are admittedly created for purpose. Lopp doesn't equivocate, and he doesn't present his views within the context of a greater argument or philosophy. As such, the book reads like a monologue about software companies from a drunk friend who you don't always see eye-to-eye with.
In this regard, the book is simultaneously annoying and stimulating. If you can stomach a point of view not frequently written in, and a blatantly unapologetic tone, it's worth the read. There are nuggets of wisdom to be found, but they are buried so deeply within the anecdotes, I found myself forgetting them after a few chapters.
I really wanted to like this book more, but it lacked a coherence that I may have mistakenly been expecting. Too bad there aren't half star ratings - 3 is a little short, but will have to do.
I like the writing. I wish the publisher had used better quality paper for the book. The paper feels as if it has been (poorly) recycled. The paper is too yellow for me. It would not matter if it had the whitest paper in existence, my personal copy would end up yellowing eventually. I exzpect that I will keep it until I retire, and long after that.
I don't work in the valley, nor the US, but the Rands' writing and ideas are universal. Never mind the valley talk; just soak in the ideas. The book is a bargain for its idea density.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're a manager that got promoted from engineering, this is an awesome guide.Published 2 months ago by Ainagul Nurlybayeva
A very interesting, humorous and useful book.
The title doesn't lie, it is about soft skills and working with people.
Definitely on my "re-read" list.
Awesome book ! Contains lot of stories and insights about life in Silicon Valley !Published 7 months ago by Sayantan
Great book. Tons of teak world experiences built into book to give better perspective.Published 12 months ago by J M. Barron
Concrete practical advice, in short easy-to-digest chunks. I think this is as close to perfect as I've seen so far. What else could a harried manager ask for? Read morePublished 12 months ago by John O'Duinn
This book reads like a collection of mostly unrelated power point slides. Some of his points start to seem interesting, but he rarely goes into any detail about anything. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Pete
Rands kills it here. Almost every single chapter I this book I found myself nodding my head and overjoyed that someone has put coherence to an otherwise complex career choice. Read morePublished 15 months ago by HS