From the Back Cover
What if--instead of a programmer pool--there were a manager pool, from which self-selected software developers chose the leader of their project? Would you be chosen? Can you lead developers to produce more creatively and proficiently?
As savvy high-tech managers know, the traditional, industrial models of management do not apply to the fluid and dynamic software development environment. Instead, technical management must formulate a more flexible model of management that can grow and change with the technology. The patterns paradigm that has transformed much of object-oriented software development can be applied to the management side of development. The patterns approach enables managers to identify, understand, and handle recurring management challenges that are common to many software development projects.
The sixty-one management patterns featured in The Manager Pool offer insight into the relationships between developers and their leaders, showing how teams can better work together to develop software. Based on years of experience in the software development trenches, these patterns address many different aspects of technical management, from the dynamic nature of software development, to communicating with the unique programmer personality, to organizing the workspace.
The patterns are organized into several overarching themes: psychological and retentive patterns, behavioral and expulsive patterns, strategic patterns, tactical patterns, and environmental patterns. Each pattern lays out the problem; discusses the context, related issues, and examples from industry; and finally offers a solution. You will read about such patterns as:
- Leviathan--Software development projects are mysterious beasts, too deep and swift for a manager to fully understand or document. How do you know what to control directly, and what to leave to your developers?
- Geek Channeling--You are responsible for keeping your team in the corporate loop and from spinning in random directions.
- Tribal Language--Understand the cryptic and sometimes evasive language of developers so that you can have some insight into the substance of what is being said.
- Overtime Detox--Oppose the temptation of overtime. Resist pressure to compress schedules without corresponding feature reduction, staff increase, or both.
- The Gauntlet--Apply a legal-like standard of probable cause to investigate slackers and other problematic team members.
- Train Hard Fight Easy--Despite the expense and time, train the team as a unit in relevant technologies to give everyone the same tools and language and so that the team is not using the project itself as the primary learning experience.
- Fall on the Grenade--No matter who is at fault, take the responsibility for solving a serious problem in the project. Stand up and take the heat when the problem is unrecoverable. Then, move on.
- Unique Place--Make your work environment unique, inspirational, and fun, so that you can retain your most talented employees. Think about perks, physical space, and entertainment.
Entertaining to read, insightful, and practical, The Manager Pool will provide you with the understanding and knowledge to communicate more effectively with your development team, lead them through to a successful project, and hence propel your own career.
About the Author
Don Sherwood Olson has been a software engineer for over twenty years in such diverse domains as rocket propulsion, air transport systems, satellite operations, and telecommunications. As a consultant, developer, author, and trainer, he has pioneered the practical application of both technical and organizational patterns. A long-time member of the patterns community he has contributed as an author and shepherd to authors for the PLoP and ChiliPLoP conferences.
Carol Stimmel is currently serving as a vice president in a global technology services company, providing analysis and consulting services to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Previously, she worked in a variety of software development arenas, including aviation and weather, Internet infrastructure, and telecommunications research. She enjoys attending and contributing to the PLoP and ChiliPLoP conferences whenever possible.