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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager Paperback – June 29, 2012
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The humor and insights in the 2nd Edition of Managing Humans are drawn from Michael Lopp's management experiences at Apple, Netscape, Symantec, and Borland, among others. This book is full of stories based on companies in the Silicon Valley where people have been known to yell at each other and occasionally throw chairs. It is a place full of dysfunctional bright people who are in an incredible hurry to find the next big thing so they can strike it rich and then do it all over again. Among these people are managers, a strange breed of people who, through a mystical organizational ritual, have been given power over the future and bank accounts of many others. Whether you're an aspiring manager, a current manager, or just wondering what the heck a manager does all day, there is a story in this book that will speak to youand help you survive and prosper amongst the general craziness.
Lopp's straight-from-the-hip style is unlike any other writer on management. He pulls no punches and tells stories he probably shouldn't. But they are massively instructive and cut to the heart of the matter whether it's dealing with your boss, handling a slacker, hiring top guns, or seeing a knotty project through to completion.
This second editions expands on the management essentials. It will explain why we hate meetings, but must have them, it carefully documents the right way to have a 1-on-1, and it documents the perils of not listening to your team.
Writing code is easy. Managing humans is not. You need a book to help you do it, and this is it.
What youll learn
- How to lead geeks
- How to handle conflict
- How to hire well
- How to motivate employees
- How to manage your boss
- How to say no
- How to handle stressed people freaking out
- How to improve your social IQ
- How to run a meeting well
- And much more
Who this book is for
This book is designed for managers and would-be managers staring at the role of a manager wondering why they would ever leave the safe world of bits and bytes for the messy world of managing humans. The book covers handling conflict, managing wildly differing personality types, infusing innovation into insane product schedules, and figuring out how to build a lasting and useful engineering culture.
Table of ContentsSection 1: The Management Quiver
1. Don't Be a Prick
2. Managers Are Not Evil
3. The Rands Test
4. How to Run a Meeting
5. The Twinge
6. The Update, The Vent, and the Disaster
7. The Monday Freakout
8. Lost in Translation
9. Agenda Detection
10. Mandate Dissection
11. Information Starvation
12. Subtlety, Subterfuge, and Silence
14. Fred Hates It
16. An Engineering Mindset
17. Three Superpowers
18. Saying No
Part 2: The Process is the Product
20. How to Start
21. Taking Time to Think
22. The Soak
23. Managing Malcolm Events
24. Capturing Context
25. Trickle Theory
26. When the Sky Falls
27. Hacking is Important
Part 3: Versions of You
28. Bored People Quit
30. The Ninety Day Interview
31. Managing Nerds
33. A Nerd in a Cave
34. Meeting Creatures
35. Incrementalists and Completionists
36. Organics and Mechanics
37. Inwards, Outwards, and Holistics
38. Free Electrons
39. Rules for the Reorg
40. An Unexpected Connection
41. Avoiding the Fez
42. A Glimpse and a Hook
43. Nailing the Phone Screen
44. Your Resignation Checklist
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About the Author
- Publisher : Apress; 2nd edition (June 29, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 292 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1430243147
- ISBN-13 : 978-1430243144
- Item Weight : 1.12 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.61 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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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?
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.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
After 12 years spent as a developer and team leader I'm now on my first gig as a manager, I realized pretty soon that writing software and shipping it has as much to do with making technologies work well together then with getting humans to interact reasonably smoothly.
The human side of things being definitely the biggest challenge and the main responsible of success or failure (I consider a given that the team has all the needed tech skills).
This book is a very lucid take at what makes the difference between a functional software engineering organization and a dysfunctional one. And is very clear about the fact that there's dysfunction in a functional organization but keeping this limited and under control is the manager duty.
There's also useful material regarding how to nurture your team and help the individuals part of it dealing with their day to day job while keeping on track their long term career.
The author goes through a number a personal profiles, behaviours and situations that are recurring in the software engineering business, for each these elements there's a straight to the point analysis and advice on how to deal with it.
The book also helped me identify a few of my mistakes and misinterpretations and made me think in a smarter way about my approach to solve conflicts or friction or just how to simply drive meetings.
Overall not a life changing book but good value when the next seemingly exceptional and peculiar event comes up and you have a good plan to start straight away dealing with it.
Mostly a collection of essays published as Rands In Repose on a blog, I enjoyed reading them as a group.