Monday, January 07, 2008

Book Review - Managing Humans (BoIB)

Originally posted on December 3, 2007 on the internal blog:

About three weeks ago, I got an email from the Columbus Metropolitan Library that "Managing Humans" was available. It's taken me a while due to other commitments to finish it and this review, but here goes.

Managing Humans is the first book by Michael Lopp, otherwise known as Rands from Rands in Repose. It is an updated and edited collection of essays from the Rands in Repose blog that focuses on management, specifically managing software engineers in software companies. Lopp's resume is quite extensive, taking him around Silicon Valley and back through Borland, Netscape, Apple, Symantec and the failed startup. Through the diversity of these stops, he's come up with a set of tales about management and various personalities you encounter in the workforce.

If you've read Rands in Repose, you know that it's very snarky and pointed in its commentary. Managing Humans tones these two items down, which allows the book to be a bit more accessable to the masses. It's very funny and "too true" in many of its passages. Lopp gives many of his characters names which are catchy. You will probably find yourself saying things like "I know a Fez and his name is....", or "my manager is sooooo Organic".

The catchiness of the book allows it to disseminate quality information in a consise 200 pages and appeals to managers and their employees at the same time. For managers, the importance he places on the one-on-one is and communication is very compelling. While for the staff, the importance of understanding who your manager is and how he thinks is a great start on figuring out how to "manage" your manager to help hims succeed and make sure he knows that you are doing it.

When you do get the book, be sure to read through the glossary which contains many terms which you should probably know if you're in software engineering. My personal favorites:

  • Synergy - A word used in close proximity to Leverage
  • Leverage - A word used in close proximity to Synergy

If you don't find that funny, then, maybe this book isn't for you. If you do, go pick it up.

I highly recommend this book for ease of reading, entertainment and insight. It's worth a purchase and a place on your bookshelf for quick reference of how to manage people to help them and you succeed.

No comments: