- Paperback: 245 pages
- Publisher: Dorset House; 2nd edition (February 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0932633439
- ISBN-13: 978-0932633439
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 198 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Paperback – February 1, 1999
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The authors have written “Peopleware” basing on their vast consulting experience for software firms, as well as their experiments and survey-based research. The book’s title signifies the importance of employees; the prevalent message is that most of problems in software projects are not related to technology, but relations between people. Bad atmosphere, working overtime, context switching - these are much more likely to make a project miss its deadline than tools and technologies used by the team. A considerable portion of text is focusing on bad practices, found in many corporations and oftentimes excused as “necessary evil” or “politics”. Chapters are short, with examples from many companies (negative stories are anonymous). In its form, the book is a series of meaningful essays, written in informal, humorous way.
It is absolutely worth mentioning, that this title is *not* about methodologies of project management, nor project performance or software tools. They are downplayed on purpose; in industries which demand creativity, people are most important. As the authors are focused on human aspects (thinking, emotions, psychology, interactions), “Peopleware” will always be relevant. The first edition was published in 1987, I am confident that it did not require much revision since then.
My favourite chapter is on team creation - there is no golden rule which guarantees that a team fill perform better than sum of its parts, however there are numerous surefire ways to make it perform worse. The positive examples are revolving around motivated people, aligned with general goals of their companies, then let loose on finding solutions on their own. Managers are supposed to be obstacle removers, not dictators.
If companies were adhering to postulated recommendations, many, many people would be able to say that their work is pleasure. Please read it, then put it on your manager’s desk :)
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!
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.
If I was a manager at a typical and mediocre corporation, I would not recommend this book too much-- it is hell fighting against corporate culture. However if you work for the best or you are starting a business and want to be the best, this book is extremely important. (If you are a manager working at a mediocre corporation, start your own business or get hired by a better company after you read this book!)
The main premise of the book is that people matter more than management or technology. Any business leader worth his salt knows these two points, yet most managers or leaders ignore them. This book helps give form to the ideals and specific guidance to get there. It is well recommended to everyone who manages software projects.