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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Paperback – February 1, 1999
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Really needs a serious update.
Plus, for me, as a 30+ year software veteran, it is depressing. We knew all this information 30 years ago, but so little has changed. When I read this book I was in a 10'x12' office with walls and a door. Now, I'm in a 6'x6' cubicle. All it reinforced to me is that corporations don't care about people or engineer productivity. All they care about is this quarter's bottom line. They argue that the furniture police say cubes are just as productive as offices. I've never heard that argument. All I ever hear is that cubes are cheaper than offices. The furniture police don't care about productivity, because they are not measured on that. They are measured on cost savings on facility space. As long as that's a larger consideration than engineer productivity, we will never win this battle.
The world of software development is becoming increasingly more important as computer technology improves and we desperately need better software engineers. Don't let yourself become a 'hack,' sitting in meetings all day and never writing a single line of code; free yourself from distractions, achieve your programming 'flow' and make the software engineering world a better place by reading this book!
On the one hand, it is extremely thought-provoking, and if nothing else I'm convinced that it has rightly identified several important aspects of the modern technology corporation that managers might be able to influence and should certainly be mindful of. I also appreciate the moral argument that it makes, that a good (and successful) manager needs to protect the psychological and sociological well-being against his or her own ego (and the egos of those above).
At times I thought the authors were a bit simplistic in their caricatures of the corporate villains, and I don't believe for a second that they gave a fair treatment to both sides of any particular corporate policy they consider, but then again that's not really important so much as the overarching moral framework the authors depict.
This is the first book I read on this subject as a newly minutes manager and I'm glad it was.
This book should be read by all those working in the software industry or intends to. Regardless of the job (software engineer , QA engineer , lead , manager, etc.), this book is full of wisdom and experience that applies to any work environment that everyone must know.
Undoubtedly, it can be classified as a classic. This is in the top-10 books that everyone who has a job related to software development should read.
The only downside is that I hoped that this edition include more analysis and ideas after the big agile movement in the last decade. There are some comments but not a rich analysis. This edition is only a very small upgrade to the great classic.
A new book that is emerging as a great complement candidate to this classic is "Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams". I have not finished reading it, but so far looks promising.