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Leading a Software Development Team: A developer's guide to successfully leading people & projects 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201675269
ISBN-10: 0201675269
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Fear not. This book will help you become an effective and respected team leader... the view from the trenches will help guide you in making your own decisions in the context of your own organization and its values... With Whitehead as your mentor, you can anticipate and diffuse problems. Soon you will be as effective as a team leader as you were as a developer".
-- Shari Lawrence Pfleeger

"This is a book for the real world. Suppose you are the team leader of a software project. You thought you did all the right things at every stage. Yet the project came in three months late and the application crashed continuously when it went live. What could you have done to prevent this? This book gives the answers. Structured round common questions which should occur to every new team leader -- 'How do I earn the respect of my team?', 'How do I draw up a project plan?', it discusses the activities which you need to master".
--Donald Matthews, Project Team Leader, AIT

Gain the confidence to take a leadership role, learn from your experiences and become a better leader of successful software projects!

The position of team leader is becoming increasingly recognized as crucial to the success of any software development project -- but how do you actually do it? This book is written by a practitioner who has faced the most common and difficult issues on a day-to-day basis. It takes the form of questions that you will inevitably find yourself asking, followed by practical answers that you can immediately apply in your own situation. This book gives sound, tried and tested advice on how to overcome problems and offers practical tips and techniques on how to lead other people, make good decisions and get your project out on time.

Skills you will learn:

  • motivation and teambuilding
  • leading technical people and dealing with problematic team members
  • planning and project management
  • winning management support
  • leading an object-oriented project
  • requirements capture and handling changes in requirements
  • interviewing and presenting
  • effective decision making



0201675269B06182001

About the Author

 Richard Whitehead has lead a number of software development teams over recent years, and has a wide and varied experience in industries as diverse as diamond prospecting, medicine, communications, transport and digital mapping. He has worked for companies of many sizes and cultures from a high-tech start-up to a multi-billion dollar multinational.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201675269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201675269
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Leading a Software Development Team" is a great introduction to project management, especially for a software developer who is suddenly thrown into the driver's seat. I really liked how this book was organized into problem areas, each cross-referencing related problem sections. Think "design patterns for software managers." Software developers are quirky people and thus quirky employees. This book understands how they work and their motivations.
I felt the brief chapters on UML and object-oriented design patterns were unnecessary and a little out of place. There are plenty of other books on UML and design patterns. Not all of the information in this book is brand new, but it is well organized and lucidly written. This book is a great companion to Steve McConnell's far-less-approachable "Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules."
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Format: Paperback
I bought this because I am starting to lead a software team, without any training, I just find myself in charge of 3 people. This book helped me see where I'm getting it right and where there are things I can do better. It's quite short and I read about 3 chapters each day on the train in about 15 minutes. I would have liked a little more about recruitement and also about making presentations because these are things I need immediate help with, what's in the book is OK but I would have liked more e.g. list of questions for interviewees. Overall well worth the money.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book in the middle of a project where we face lots of problems. We come accross about 90% of the problems that are describe in this book. How I wish I could have read this before involving in leading a project. The recommendation and advice are very practical. It took me a few trials to get to the solution by myself before this. Now I can just refer to this book whenever I have problem in handling project issues and save me lots of unnecessary trials. I highly recommend this for new project leaders.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really great book that focuses on both project design as well as team management. There is nothing revolutionary in here, but all the concepts are very real-world applicable and easy to understand. We had bought one to pass around between all our leads but I liked it so much i had to buy my own. Great book!
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Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I would say for sure that Richard Whitehead understands the role of the project lead. I would buy this book for a new, or existing lead, if I wanted him to understand the challenges he might face. I really applaud this and would add that many books feel like they were written from the outside looking in (sure, everyone on the outside wants twice the functionality in half the time!). I would love to see an update that included more strategies for success however. A lot of the solutions seemed to be based on a specific set of circumstances and personalities. Perhaps adding some examples from others who faced similar challenges, and overcame them with different methods, would increase the impact of this book.
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Format: Paperback
Whitehead covers alot of the basics of team management. It shouldn't be difficult, and that what Whitehead explains through "questioned" title chapters. It works quite well because you can zero in on the question about leadership in your situation that may be plaguing your mind. The book is short and easy to read, so it can be read in about 3 days on a bus.
The author subscribes to making you aware of the qualities of good managers and how to handle common types of problems, like what to do when you don't have the technical knowledge about a problem, or how to handle difficult/disruptive team members. In summary, Whitehead helps you get into thinking like a ternary leader, that is you are part of a group, all working towards a common goal and you, (the teamleader/manager), should not dictate your "will and whim" to others.
The only criticism is that it is probably too light on the aspect of project management. There are issues about project management of people in terms of requirements, risk, scheduling that are not discussed. This book is about working with your colleagues not clients.... but overall a good read at a good price.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have ever read on software development period. Too many books on software development dealing with a specific technology become useless after several months. There are surprizingly few books dealing with less ephemeral topics on software development. Books such as Peopleware, Death March, etc. are different than most software development books in that they take up topics that are more or less unchanging. There are certain tools and techniques that apply to how you lead a software team that are true regardless of whether you are using C# or C, developing a web app or embedded software, etc. This book does an outstanding job of capturing these kinds of truths and it does so in a highly pragmatic way offering a treasure of truly excellent actionable advice.

I rank this book up there with Peopleware, Death March and Code Complete. A really great classic on software development!
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent "how to" book. It describes in detail all the steps required to properly lead a software development team. It pays particular attention to conflict resolution including examples on how to handle difficult situatuions and people. I get the impression that in Richard Whitehead's limited project experience he has had significant exposure to conflict.
It would have been useful if he had fully explored some of the other paths during conflict resolution. He explains what to do in certain circumstances, but does not go the additional step; what if it doesn't get results, what then?
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