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 for embedded microcontroller devices, wrote 2 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 roles, trains teams and executives in scrum, transitions teams to agile, trains and coaches 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 periodic Study of Product Team Performance.
Managing programmers is hard! Becoming a successful manager requires a drastic change of focus.
The transition from programmer to manager is made particularly challenging by the dramatic difference between what made us successful as programmers and what it takes to successfully manage others. In addition, programmers are an interesting management challenge.
We tend to be free spirits, playful, curious, and (very) independent.
For those programmers contemplating a leap to the “dark side,” here are a few questions to consider:
How can you ease the transition into management? Is management something you can “try out”? What’s management really about? What will you give up?
For programmers as well as managers already managing, here are a few more:
What differentiates success as a manager? What's it mean to manage in the era of agile? How do you prioritize?
Presenter is Ron Lichty, who co-authored the Addison-Wesley tutorial and reference, Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams - http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net. Compared by reviewers to software development classics, The Mythical Man-Month and Peopleware, the content is now also available as video training, LiveLessons: Managing Software People and Teams, http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net/video.html. Ron aspires to make software development better worldwide by advancing the practice of software development management.
Five techniques that can make our teamwork and our teams dramatically more effective. The nuances I almost never see teams doing (and that have made my teams much more effective) that I coach all my teams in.
I'm an engineering-team and engineering-org fire-jumper. This is stuff that works for me.
I've not only seen these techniques work with my teams, but... I'm also the co-author of the Study of Product Team Performance, in which correlations from the thousands of respondents on product teams all over the world have validated the universality of the nuances of two of the techniques I'll be sharing.
The first four techniques are pretty easy and pretty simple. I've been teaching and coaching managers and teams in all five for 15 years. It's time they get wider visibility, and a wider swath of teams and managers get a shot at leveraging them.