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Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams [Paperback]

Tom Demarco , Timothy Lister
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition) Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition) 4.8 out of 5 stars (30)
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Book Description

November 1987 0396088082 978-0932633057 1st
Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams

Editorial Reviews 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 commonsense 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 humor and wisdom, and there is a refreshing absence of "new age" terms and multistep programs. The advice is presented straightforwardly and ranges from simple issues of prioritization 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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: NY: Dorset House Publishing; 1st edition (November 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0396088082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932633057
  • ASIN: 0932633056
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom DeMarco is the author of thirteen books, including novels, business books and a collection of short stories. He began his career as a software engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, working on what was then the world's largest computer. His focus began early to turn toward writing, with stops along the way in organizational design, litigation consulting, foreign affairs, and even a stint teaching undergraduate Ethics at the University of Maine. He lives with his wife, Sally Smyth, in the village of Camden on the coast of Maine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breezy and simplistic, but often hits the mark September 4, 1997
This book is written by consultants for managers,
rather than by programmers for programmers, but
is a good read nonetheless. De Marco and Lister
are definitely suits, but have clearly seen a lot
of software projects succeed and fail. The best
bit of the book is their statement that, while
they can't make up a list of things that guarantee
success, it's easy to make a list of things that
will guarantee failure (and it's a rare project
that doesn't score at least 50% against that
list). It's small enough to be read in a single
cross-country flight, and they write well enough
to make that reading enjoyable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 16, 1996
By A Customer
I recommend this book to anyone involved in software development, office design, or management of knowledge workers.
A very easy read for both techies and non-techies alike. Programmers and
engineers will be nodding their heads in agreement.

One of the few books that deals with work-space and the impact it has on productivity (statistics are included).
It also deals with the management of skills within the software development group, with approaches to handling the varied skills found in the team.

Give it to your boss, your CEO, your CIO, and your technical staff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for all project managers. March 17, 1998
Peopleware, by DeMarco and Lister is an extremely eye opening book. It captures the quirky problems of every development team in every organization. It is a book written for team leaders and project managers by long-time consultants that have seen it all. It was amazing to hear them speak to many things that I can relate to within my own organization. I found myself nodding and laughing along at many of the problems that I have faced in the past, and it made me feel not so alone in my struggles and endeavors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for project managers August 3, 2008
It's hard to find at Amazon a book rated with deserved 5-stars. Even harder if it's got a good review by Joel Spolsky. Peopleware is one of them.Simple language, short chapters with plain ideas inside and a touch of psychology, altogether produces a confusing feeling. It seems as if the book tells you nothing you didn't already know but there is where its power lies: you end up thinking that you could have written this book.

I've got the second edition which is splitted in six parts. The first one, it's a general and enjoyable review of what the hell managing people is and why it's so hard. After that, we're explained how our noisy office environment sometimes makes our productivity plummet. Don't worry! Low-cost solutions are also included. Next two chapters are both about people: how to hire the best and how to bring them up within productive jelled teams. Watch out, you must keep teamicide away from teams. It also talks us about CMM and what it calls "The Big M's", explaining its influence over creativity.Last but not least, this second edition adds several chapters dedicated to topics like chaos control, organization learning, process improvement...all of them from the corporation-level perspective.

All that stuff just to conclude that people is the most valuable resource in any organization. This book doesn't taste like one of those stale books about business emotional intelligence just shows plain concepts and applicable daily ideas. What turns this outstanding book into a classic is that its principles can be applied to almost any project or business (related to IT or not). My piece of advice would be "if you manage people, read this as soon as possible".

So...bosses, Peopleware is waiting for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior book on software productivity March 23, 1998
This is an entertaining as well as insightful book on software productivity. The use of the "programming wars" to provide actual data on the effect of the environment was particularly interesting. It's too bad more software managers don't heed the advice in this book.
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There are not many books that can say so much in so few pages. I have to admin it - I have fallen in love with this book. And it was too easy to do so. Anyone with only a few years of experience can definitely find themselves somewhere in this book. I did so too and in quite a few places actually. It is a must read for any software development manager and also a very interesting book for anyone involved in software development. But don't take it from me - look at must read books at websites like StackOverflow or countless IT oriented blogs like Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror or Joel Spolsky's Joel on Software. This book is arguably the only classic book in our field. So if it is not clear by now - if you ended up here this book is definitely for you. Please refer to my blog [...] for a deeper review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great even for non-techies November 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a software engineer, I fell in love with this book when I first read it. There are a lot of aspects that affect our productivity -- technical knowledge and know-how are the most obvious and are heavily covered in computer science books, but also important are the atmosphere in which we work, how we collaborate with each other, and provides amusing anecdotes making it a fun and quick read. I highly recommend this book to any programmers/engineers, and if you're a manager, in charge of arranging office space, or driving/influencing your team's culture then this book is a must-read.

In addition to the software field, this book has a lot of great insight about office design and layout. I grabbed it off my bookshelf to give to a leery architect (of the building construction type, not software.) She has greatly enjoyed reading it and has been able to draw many parallels to her current projects.
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