Friday, July 20, 2012

Books: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

When I worked at Xmarks, I had a boss named Penny. Before coming to Xmarks, she worked as a manager in operations at Amazon. Apparently, she went several years with no employee turnover. Obviously, she was a very good manager. I asked her what her secret was. She told me that I should read a book called Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams:

Demarco and Lister demonstrate that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. Their answers aren't easy--just incredibly successful...

Fast forward 5 years, I finally took her advice. What a fantastic book! It was first released in 1987, and an updated version was released in 1999. However, it's just as relevant today. I really think this book ranks up there with The Mythical Man-Month. I've spent so much time over the course of my career reading technical books and learning new programming languages in order to perfect my craft and increase my productivity. However, I was oblivious to the fact that so many impediments to productivity and project success weren't technical at all--they were "peopleware" problems. I would have been way better off reading this book earlier in my career. I highly recommend it!


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