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Notes to a Software Team Leader: Growing Self Organizing Teams Paperback – August 30, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Team Agile Publishing; 1 edition (August 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 829993320X
  • ISBN-13: 978-8299933209
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
In the last 2 years, I have made the transition from programmer to technical team leader. I found myself unprepared in some ways for my new responsibilities. I knew how to improve my technical skills, but I wasn't sure how to get better at my newly required soft skills. Needless to say, I was very excited when I heard about Roy Osherove's book Notes to a Software Team Leader.

The book is spot on when it says "Most of us weren't taught how to do this type of work." We want to be good at it. Our teams and our software are depending on us being able to lead. This book provides advice for ever team leader on how to become a better leader. It gives practical and useful ideas about how to manage your time and efforts as well as how to interact with others.

One of the key themes in the book is learning. As a team leader you need to learn to be better in your role. A key facet of that is facilitating ways for your team to grow. The book examines how you can improve in these areas.

The book concludes with a series of essays from thought leaders in the software industry. Each other tells what they would like to say to someone who is brand new in a software team leadership position.

I was very pleased with the book. The information was useful and applicable. I am better equipped to do my job for having read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm pretty sure the issues about software development that the author brings up will be very familiar to you if you have any experience as a team leader. But the main value of the book is not in bringing them to you attention; it's in its call to action: inviting you to do something about them instead of passively accepting the state you're not satisfied with. It leads you through the author's vision of steps required to reach the ultimate goal of a growing and learning team striving to always do their best job possible.

The second part of the book consists of contributions by other authors. Instead of being directly related to the first part, their short notes take different, often thought provoking, aspects to the job of a team leader: usually presenting a potential issue and giving a suggestion how to solve it. They are a nice extension to the core book and give a lot of value on their own as well.

I can definitely recommend reading the book to any team leader, no matter how much experience he already has in his job. Even if you don't agree with everything, I'm pretty sure the book will act as an eye opener and make you more aware of stuff you already take for granted, although there might still be opportunities for improvement. You never know, it might even make you a better leader.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Roy Osherove's style is easy and honest.

His style helped "Notes to a Software Team Leader" deliver its message very well. He wrote about his own experiences, and what worked for him. He wrote about real things that happened to real people.

"Notes to a Software Team Leader" provided a way of looking at how a team works by dividing the states of a team into phases. It then offered practical advice on how to identify those phases. Then it expanded by offering ideas on how a team leader can help a team transition from one phase to the next. This included advice on how a team leader would need to transition as well.

The section on commitment language was especially useful for me. It put into words some practices I was having a hard time conveying to other people. That alone made the book well worth the time to read.

There are few books I recommend to people. This book is joining that list.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As it appears to be all too common, I'm yet another developer who ended up leading a team. That was a while back actually, but Roy's book has comforted me in knowing that some my instincts haven't been that bad and has given me useful guidance on how to continue to advance my team towards self-organization.

The only reason I give it 4 and not 5 stars is that the second part of the book can get a little repetitive, since, as I said, apparently pretty much everyone has pretty much the same problems. It is interesting to see how different people approach them, though, so it's worth the read.

Enjoy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The initial advice sounded to me like a management style that is contingently applicable. If you happen to have a particular set of employees and a particular management at a particular company, then this advice would be useful.

The one star is for filling the 2nd half of the book with dreck. The collected writings are blog post quality, thematically jump all over the place and some had a advertisement feel to them.
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Format: Paperback
I was pretty much excited to read this book, so much that I've played some tricks and got it on top of the Want to Read queue. Now that I have finished it, I must admit that I have felt distant from the author and its stories. It's not that I disagree with his ideas or thoughts. It simply did not give me the emotions Becoming a Better Programming, a book that I have recently finished, was able to give me. I'm talking about emotions, not content.

Notes to a Software Team Leader is about stepping up and leading your own team. Leading, not bossing. It's about understanding its strengths and weaknesses and getting its members to grow. It's about realizing what phase the team is in and taking the proper decisions in the short term, aiming, in the mid-long term, to grant it time to learn and get better.

The book is divided into two parts: in the first, the author shares with the readers his experiences and thoughts; the second is a collection of short advices written by other people, each providing a guideline, an insight.

Again, it's not that I do not agree with the author. I didn't get entertained. I didn't write down a single note (well, this is a lie. I've taken down one. See below). I didn't add it to my favorite books. I don't feel that reading this book resulted in adding value.

So, it was not completely true to say I did not write down anything from this title. This is the only sentence that got to my soul:
People who come across my path, even for a short time, will get the same amount of respect, expectations, and challenge from me as if they had been there forever. I try to always leave people whom I've led better off than they were... It's my personal integrity to do so.
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