Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers

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Apress, Mar 4, 2002 - Computers - 252 pages

Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers is a comprehensive guide—think of it as a field manual—to the management challenges of supervising and leading programmers. J. Hank Rainwater introduces new and not-so-new managers to concepts that will encourage them and help them become a strong leaders for their teams. You'll learn about the varieties of programmer personality traits and be able match personnel to projects for maximum productivity. You'll also learn how to manage your strengths and weaknesses as you improve your leadership skills, which will result in dramatic improvements to your teams success.

In this “how-to” manual that's both practical and thought-provoking, you'll find several chapters devoted to administrative aspects of your job, such as managing meetings, hiring and firing, and principles of organizing your job for success. Rainwater also describes task management software he built that you can use to organize project assignments. (The source code for this software is available for download once you own the book). The chapter on technical leadership, which highlights the importance of architecture, design, and code reviews, also illustrates practical applications of leadership and concrete methods useful to any workplace.

Rainwater shows why things can go wrong for a leader and how to correct career-derailing problems as they arise. One chapter is devoted to the working relationship that you as a manager have with your boss, and it guides you into the best way to respond to the pressures of software project deadlines. Numerous other topics are discussed that are a necessity for anyone seeking to manage the “peopleware” aspects of software development. Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers is the definitive guide to the challenges and obstacles facing anyone who manages programmers.

Table of Contents Adapting to Your Leadership Role Managing the Leader Leading the Herd Organizing for Success Managing Meetings Philosophy and Practice of Technical Leadership Leadership in Eclipse Leadership Redux Working with Your Boss Words without a Song
 

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Contents

Chapter 1Adapting to Your Leadership Role
1
Chapter 2Managing the Leader
21
Chapter 3Leading the Herd
41
Chapter 4Organizing for Success
61
Chapter 5Managing Meetings
87
Chapter 6Philosophy and Practice of Technical Leadership
103
Chapter 7Leadership in Eclipse
129
Chapter 8Leadership Redux
151
Chapter 9Working with Your Boss
179
Chapter 10Words without a Song
193
AfterwordInto the Fray
217
The Administrative Director Software
221
Code Review of the Administrative Director
227
BibliographyResources for Cat Herders
235
Index
243
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About the author (2002)

Hank Rainwater leads programmers who build software for the insurance industry at Risk Sciences Group in Atlanta, Georgia. His career in science and engineering has spanned over three decades and has included writing Fortran programs on punch cards; teaching college mathematics; conducting research in radio astronomy, missile guidance systems, and remote sensing technologies; and managing the building of embedded digital control systems. As a software professional, Hank has served as a consultant, mentor, and teacher of programming languages and has led development teams in several industries.

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