Steve Yegge blogged an interesting article, yesterday, on (Not) Managing Software Developers. I feel that it is a very interesting article, and definitely worth a read. I agree with most of it, though I do warn you that it should be read with an open mind to prevent feeling “slighted” if you are the managing type.
As the title proclaims, he covers how to (not) manage your developers, advising managing types to be open to new processes and practices, be reflective in a quest for constant self-improvement, and above all to be empathetic–developers are people, too. As his posts often are, his pessimism starts at “We are all bad managers!” to aid in his self-improvement quest, forcing an ego-driven drive to improvement. Again, this is not for everyone, as he already has a few flames in his comments, though perhaps if you are on the flaming side, you may most benefit from his words; everyone should pursue self-improvement if for only to improve their craft.
One modification that I would make is that this is not just for managers. It applies to everyone on the quality assurance team, too. (I am sure it applies to everyone, everywhere, but I only speak of what I know.) We all-to-often attack our developers–even if unintentionally, and if only from their point of view–over bug-ridden code and underperforming applications. Steve’s advice will help everyone have a better understanding of everyone else. Empathy is all too uncommon in our world.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in any way.