12 Take-Aways: Managing the Unmanageable
About 95 percent of programming managers had no management training before being tapped to manage. Ron Lichty and his co-author Mickey W. Mantle, both former programmers, didn't either. About half of managers still haven't. Ron and Mickey were lucky enough to work for companies like Apple and Pixar that provided some training. But even then, little of it was specific to managing programmers, or to managing programming teams. It motivated years of weekend breakfasts during which they traded insights on the challenges they faced - and solutions they had used and seen - which led them to grasp they had independently both been collecting rules of thumb and nuggets of wisdom both from their peers around the world as well as from the thought leaders of programming management. They had been sharing insights and best practices for a decade when they realized they wanted to share the best of what they had collected and learned - and wished they'd had when they started managing. That desire led them to write Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams, http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net (Addison Wesley) - that reviewers have repeatedly compared to The Mythical Man-Month, the classic on software development challenges. In this interactive session, we'll look at twelve best practices that make programming managers great - you'll take away twelve best practices that take most managers years to discover.
Ron Lichty has been managing and, more recently, consulting in managing software development and product organizations for over 25 years. Before that, as a programmer, he coded compiler code generators, was awarded patents for compression and security algorithms he designed and coded for embedded microcontroller devices, wrote two widely used programming texts, and developed the computer animation demo that Apple used to launch and sell a next-generation line of PCs. The primary focus of his consulting practice has mirrored what he did as a manager: untangling the knots in software development. As Ron Lichty Consulting, he takes on fractional Interim VP Engineering and Acting CTO roles, trains teams in scrum, transitions teams to agile, trains managers in managing software people and teams, and advises organizations and coaches teams to make their software development “hum.” His 450-page book, Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams, was recently released as video training - LiveLessons: Managing Software People and Teams - both from Pearson and on O’Reilly’s Safari Network. He also co-authors the biannual Study of Product Team Performance.
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