Weekly Journal 76 - Management Stuff

Management Stuff

It’s been a difficult week and I’m running a bit late with this post. This week I want to share a few links related to software engineering management.

Cargo Culting Software Engineering Practices

First up is an interesting blog post on cargo cult programming. It’s an analysis of an interview with Kent Beck, one of the founders of Extreme Programming and modern agile practices, and his time at Facebook. Kent literally wrote the book on agile software engineering practices, but struggled to apply them to the way Facebook wrote and managed code. They weren’t following “Agile” processes and engineering practices, and yet they were still shipping working code on a regular basis.

In many ways, I have always hated dogmatic adherence to agile methodologies. For example, I know plenty of people who harp on the need to do test-driven development (TDD), yet there is no credible quantitative evidence to support that claim. It’s a good reminder that there are multiple paths to success.

– via Same Stuff Different Day

Using Systems Thinking to craft high-leverage strategies

Systems Thinking is an important skill for a manager to learn. It is important to view your team and your processes as a whole when trying to introduce change or optimize flow. Failing to do so leads to sub-optimal optimization at best, and in many cases it will result in a net-negative.

– via Tech Lead Digest 94

Advice for Engineering Managers Who Want to Climb the Ladder

Last, but definitely not least, is a very interesting post on what you should be thinking about and focusing on if you want to move up the corporate ladder. An engineering manager and an engineering director are two very different things and require very different skill sets. While having good manager skills will help you be a good director, there is a lot more to the role than just managing a group of managers.

– via Tech Lead Digest 94