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

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

by Michael Lopp

Paperback(2nd ed. 2012)

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Overview

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 you—and 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 you’ll 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 Contents

Section 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

13. Managementese

14. Fred Hates It

15. DNA

16. An Engineering Mindset

17. Three Superpowers

18. Saying No

Part 2: The Process is the Product

19. 1.0

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

29. Bellwethers

30. The Ninety Day Interview

31. Managing Nerds

32. NADD

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

Glossary

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781430243144
Publisher: Apress
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Edition description: 2nd ed. 2012
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Michael Lopp is a veteran engineering manager who has never managed to escape the Silicon Valley. In over�20 years of software development, Michael has worked at a variety of innovative companies, including Apple, Netscape, Symantec, Borland International, and a startup that slowly faded into nothingness. In addition to his day job, Michael writes a popular technology and management weblog under the nom de plume "Rands," where he discusses his management ideas, worries about staying relevant, and wishes he had time to see more of the world. His weblog can be found at RandsinRepose.com. Michael lives in northern California, never far from the ocean.

Table of Contents


About the Author     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Preface     xiii
The Management Quiver
Don't Be a Prick     3
Managers are Not Evil     7
The Monday Freakout     17
Agenda Detection     21
Mandate Dissection     27
Information Starvation     33
Subtlety Subterfuge, and Silence     37
Managementese     43
Technicality     47
Avoiding the FEZ     53
Your Resignation Checklist     61
Saying No     67
The Process is the Product
1.0     73
Taking Time to Think     83
The Soak     89
Malcolm Events     93
Capturing Context     99
Status Reports 2.0     103
Trickle Theory     107
Versions of You
A Glimpse and a Hook     117
Nailing the Phone Screen     123
Ninety Days     127
Bellwethers     131
Nadd     137
A Nerd in a Cave     141
Meeting Creatures     147
Incrementalists and Completionists     153
Organics and Mechanics     157
Inwards, Outwards, and Holistics     163
Free Electrons     167
Rules for the Reorg     171
Offshore Risk Factor     177
Joe     181
Secret Titles     187
Glossary     191
Index     201

Customer Reviews

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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
arturotena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in a conversational, spicy and sometimes profane language, this enjoyable book exposes the insightful lifetime conclusions of his author about Software Engineering Management. If you are searching for a formal study on that subject, search elsewhere. While you read this book, you will identify to yourself with the fictional reality-based cases presented here, and you will find practical advices on how deal with them.For new managers, this book will serve as a scenic-view of what to expect in the hardly recognized job of management in a software develop team. For old managers, this book could well save their careers, as expose some elemental but common mistakes done while they are trying to guess what is his position on his organization chart.After the first two boring chapters, the chapter 3 advice how to deal effectively with a freaked-out member of your team. The information on the next five chapters, about meetings, mandates, information flow and hard-to-understand language, are somewhat generic to management, but it is good they are exemplified using Software Engineering cases.I liked the practical chapter 9, where the author reveals his opinion on his own "Stop coding" previous advice for managers. Then, progressively explain why "Do not stop coding" is a better advice.More reviewed chapters to come...
chsbellboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Michael Lopp. With the bits of wit and humor typically expected in his work, "Managing Humans," provides an entertaining look at aspects of managing others in the software industry.
tofletch More than 1 year ago
Great advice! Both funny and insightful, this is definitely a great read and a great reference for managing humans.
sweetperceptions More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. Some were outright funny and I could relate to them. I realized a lot of the experiences we have are now enveloped under a terminology I can use. I also found some helpful insights on how to manage people. However, I would like to emphasize that the key steps here and major wins in learning won't work if your subordinates are immature.
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