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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager 3rd ed. Edition
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“I can very warmly recommend this book to anyone who already works in a software engineering management position--whatever level--or who thinks about a career in this direction. It will be entertaining for software engineers as well, at least for understanding how these management beings think and why they might do what they are doing. … Finally, it will be a fun read for anyone who has just some vague understanding of this management thing.” (Frank Pospiech, Computing Reviews, February, 2017)
About the Author
Michael Lopp is a veteran engineering manager who has never managed to escape the Silicon Valley. In over 20 years of software development, Michael has worked at a variety of innovative companies, including Apple, Pinterest, Palantir, Netscape, Symantec, Borland International, Slack, and a startup that slowly faded into nothingness. In addition to his day job, Michael writes a popular technology and management weblog under the nom de plume "Rands," where he discusses his management ideas, worries about staying relevant, and wishes he had time to see more of the world. His weblog can be found at RandsinRepose.com. Michael lives in northern California, never far from the ocean.
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Top customer reviews
No matter where you are in your career, read this book. As an employee, you'll understand your boss and other teams. As a leader, you'll understand your role a little better and probably pick a few nuggets up.
Not only that, but there are sections where Mr. Lopp lays out the expectations that the "other side" will have of you, the employee. There's a handy section on resumes (yes, I know, there are supposed to be accents over those Es, but I do not know the keyboard codes for them) and what a manager ACTUALLY looks at on them. There's a section on how to gracefully leave your job, because that WILL happen.
Basically, I recommend this book for ANYONE who's making the transition from student to professional.
Background: I found this book by accident, flipping through pages in a book store. A half-hour-later, I realized I was still there, standing there reading page by page with great intent. So I bought it. And sat up late reading it all in a couple of late nights. Great. Instead of the big heavyweight "management tombs" full of theory that I never had time to read, this short and easy-to-read book is immediately relevant in a very concrete way, and nicely broken up into easy-to-digest chapters. Just perfect.
I've since bought literally dozens of copies of this book, and have a very dogeared 1st edition, signed by Michael Lopp. I've given a copy to everyone who worked for me in one company - "good way to learn how to manage - and also how to manage up"! I always have a copy at work, and at least 3 copies at home, and if someone finds the book interesting, I happily give them an unopened copy of the book, with the following condition: "Read it to completion. If you dont like it, or dont finish it, give it back to me - all good. However, if you do like it, keep it, for free and go buy a copy to spread the word to others." When I'm down to my last copy, I buy a few more. In all the years of doing this, I've bought literally dozens of copies, and have had only one copy of the book handed back to me.
What else can I say?
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.
If you are someone who has a manager you need to read how to size up your manager, and why this is important. Your manager is the person that communicates your value to the rest of the workplace foodchain and upper management - or not!
Very entertainingly written, but more often than not rings very true.
This is not... timidly written, and it's not your average "How to Win Friends and Influence People" or "Power of Positive Thinking" clap-trap either, though there is certainly discussion of human psychology.
Highly recommended. I couldn't put it down.
Most recent customer reviews
The title doesn't lie, it is about soft skills and working with people.
Definitely on my "re-read" list.