Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Book Report: Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

Hmmm, I always seem to do a lot of reading while traveling. The latest trip (to the Agile 2007 conference) gave me time to read a few other books. This post is about Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager. This book is definitely in my recommended list for anyone interested in or currently employed as a development manager in a software development company.

First, the author has been publishing his blog for several years under the nom de plume "Rands". His blog is called Rands in Repose, and I have been following it for a while. It's not for the faint of heart. He is direct and uses a lot of colorful language. His management philosophy is very interesting, as well. He has managed through several companies (big ones, like Borland) and knows the engineering personality very well.

The book is a collection of his blog articles along with filler. The order in which the articles is arranged is discontinuous, at times, but all of the articles are interesting and have value for people in software engineering organizations. There are even sections written towards engineers on topics that include understanding your manager and how to get noticed through your resume.

Lopp doesn't get into too much development process. He is an organic manager, who seems a lot less focused on process and more on people and how they work together. I enjoyed this aspect of the book, as I feel that not too many people write about it. I found the book to be very practical and full of useful information on a variety of topics.

One last comment: I enjoyed the stories in the book. They seemed real and effective at communicating the topics.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do. If you want a sample of his writing, take a look at Taking Time to Think. I think you will see why I enjoyed it.

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