The Manager Pool: Patterns for Radical Leadership (Software Patterns Series) Paperback – October 1, 2001
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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:
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. 0201725835AB10082001
- Publisher : Addison-Wesley (October 1, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 281 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0201725835
- ISBN-13 : 978-0201725834
- Item Weight : 1.44 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.5 x 1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,317,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is everything its cracked up to be and if you do not believe that business need subjugate itself to the happiness of the people practitioning it. Consider yourself warned, for depression and failure await you.
They are not all useful, and they are written by developers about management, but many of them are very good to keep in mind and its an easy entertaining read.
This book will help you and your team be more effective and happier through simple practical suggestions based on real effective experience.
While I do not agree with everything that the authors have to say, everything in the book is good food for thought. Many of the patterns are common sense, such as "21. Get A Guru". Nothing makes a manager's life easier than having an expert. "23. Overtime Detox" should be common sense, but it speaks of the state of software development when most software management books have to speak out against manditory overtime. One pattern that I really question is "24. Defense de Pisser". This pattern suggests that drug tests in the work place should be completely done away with. Even if I didn't agree with this in principle, it is not practal. Many companies are in the defense or transportation industry where employees are required by the government to pass drug tests.
I could go on for quite a while on what the authors have written, but I'll stop at giving you a peek at the book. While I don't agree with everything that the authors wrote, it was still worthwhile to read it from cover to cover. For each issue they present, I suggest first deciding whether or not you agree with them. Then answer the deeper question of why or why not. You will be better off for your efforts if you do.
I'm certain that this book will rankle many feathers, and probably be dismissed out-of-hand as a couple of developers trying to stir the pot. So be it. I suspect that it'll end up being one of those books that states the obvious to those who read it, and those who need it won't read it.
I'd like to see perhaps more patterns, and a bit more detail on how the patterns actually produced the highly touted results as claimed by the authors.
The book's presentation was excellent. Well-edited and well-written. It was a very quick read (each of the "patterns" are three or four pages), and looks to act as a good reference as well.
It's a good compilment to the patterns of "failed project" etc. at the pattern language web page.
BTW what is often called "Radical" is only applying what should have been known at the time, and is now considered common practice. (Which is also an oxymoron as common practice often isn't.)
The format is very appealing - easy to skim through, but also quite readable in a linear way. Each chapter, or pattern, is short and most are very entertaining. The authors draw on a really wide collection of sources and that helps keep it from being just another dry how-to book. How many management books quote Hamlet? There is something really uplifting about it, too, in the way it sort of speaks to the reader of the possibility of
really making a difference through courage and conviction.
Some of it could be called fluff, I suppose, and some is going to anger some people. Most of it, I think though, is going to entertain and even enlighten a lot of folks. It's like a license to act on what you secretly believe. It's also damned funny in many places, and I think that managers and their employees alike will find a lot to laugh about in here. It's worth reading just for the entertainment value. It's also the only management book you'll read that discusses the importance of good coffee in the workplace.
Overall, The Manager Pool is a good book - worth reading yourself and even, if you dare, worth giving to your boss to read. And if you have any friends contemplating the management track, get them to read it too. In some way it could make a lot of difference.
Top reviews from other countries
For everyone else there's some high quality content, in tune with the currently popular people-centric methodologies. The pattern format is ideal as it reduces the ideas to individual concepts, easily explained in 2-3 page chapters. However, the folksy American writing style and mnemonics make extracting the content much harder than it should be. In particular the pattern names could do with being translated into names that are meaningful outside of California for the benefit of the English-speaking world.
Another small but irritating point is that the patterns are not summarised on the inside cover in the incredibly useful GoF style. The 8 pattern summaries on the back cover show how close they came to getting this right.
To summarise - if you're a manager who believes in soft skills, and people-centric working practices, and you can cope with the excessive American cultural references, then there are some good ideas in short, digestible chapters.