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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition)
 
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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition) [Format Kindle]

Tom DeMarco , Tim Lister

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Présentation de l'éditeur


 

Few books in computing have had as profound an influence on software management as Peopleware . The unique insight of this longtime best seller is that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. They’re not easy issues; but solve them, and you’ll maximize your chances of success.

 

Peopleware has long been one of my two favorite books on software engineering. Its underlying strength is its base of immense real experience, much of it quantified. Many, many varied projects have been reflected on and distilled; but what we are given is not just lifeless distillate, but vivid examples from which we share the authors’ inductions. Their premise is right: most software project problems are sociological, not technological. The insights on team jelling and work environment have changed my thinking and teaching. The third edition adds strength to strength.”

— Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Kenan Professor of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Author of The Mythical Man-Month and The Design of Design


Peopleware is the one book that everyone who runs a software team needs to read and reread once a year. In the quarter century since the first edition appeared, it has become more important, not less, to think about the social and human issues in software develop¿ment. This is the only way we’re going to make more humane, productive workplaces. Buy it, read it, and keep a stock on hand in the office supply closet.”

—Joel Spolsky, Co-founder, Stack Overflow


“When a book about a field as volatile as software design and use extends to a third edition, you can be sure that the authors write of deep principle, of the fundamental causes for what we readers experience, and not of the surface that everyone recognizes. And to bring people, actual human beings, into the mix! How excellent. How rare. The authors have made this third edition, with its additions, entirely terrific.”

—Lee Devin and Rob Austin, Co-authors of The Soul of Design and Artful Making

 

For this third edition, the authors have added six new chapters and updated the text throughout, bringing it in line with today’s development environments and challenges. For example, the book now discusses pathologies of leadership that hadn’t previously been judged to be pathological; an evolving culture of meetings; hybrid teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. Anyone who needs to manage a software project or software organization will find invaluable advice throughout the book.

 

Biographie de l'auteur

Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister are principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild (www.systemsguild.com), a consulting firm specializing in the complex processes of system building, with particular emphasis on the human dimension. Together, they have lectured, written, and consulted internationally since 1979 on management, estimating, productivity, and corporate culture.


Tom DeMarco is the author or coauthor of nine books on subjects ranging from development methods to organizational function and dysfunction, as well as two novels and a book of short stories. His consulting practice focuses primarily on expert witness work, balanced against the occasional project and team consulting assignment. Currently enjoying his third year teaching ethics at the University of Maine, he lives in nearby Camden.


Timothy Lister divides his time among consulting, teaching, and writing. Based in Manhattan, Tim is coauthor, with Tom, of Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects (Dorset House Publishing Co., Inc., 2003), and of Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior (Dorset House Publishing Co., Inc., 2008), written with four other principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild. He is a member of the IEEE, the ACM, and the Cutter IT Trends Council, and is a Cutter Fellow.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  35 commentaires
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most honest and accurate view of software management today. 28 juillet 2013
Par T. Anderson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The main goal of this review is to highlight parts of the book and provide a personal experience that relates to them. This entire book is made of real world scenarios, but I will only be able to hit a few in a review. I have had the opportunity to be on many different types of projects during my career. I have been on a project where it was just me and a steering committee, projects that involved several teams around the world, and on teams ranging from 1 other developer to over 30. The one common thread through all these projects is that the highest risk was the people on the project.

With the rapid speed at which technology is changing I have found only one way to ensure it works as advertised, Proof of Concepts. The same holds true of my development teams when I have no history with them. With the rapidly changing skill sets out there today, there is only one way to ensure your team has what it takes, Proof of Concept (POC) them.

Proof of Concepts (POC) plays an important role in not only testing your choice of technology and architecture, but of your development team as well. There is no doubt that people are nowhere close to being as predictable as software components. Software components are lucky; they don't have emotions or free will. It is however fairly easy to read a person's skill levels when what they are making has a predictable outcome.

One of my projects were I POC'd my team we were using the Composite UI Application Block (CAB) from Microsoft's pattern & practices group. I had 3 developers on the team. Each was given an equal workload which included building a complete smart client module from the UI to the DB. The technology proof of concept had already been done at this point, so I knew the technology worked as advertise. The first iteration of development was a POC of the development team and of the framework's architecture. We learned within a week that the team members had very different levels of ability.

One of them was able to code all the layers of the application including the DB level, but didn't like UI work. One was only able to develop the UI forms, and was able to lay them out well. The other was dangerous in a team environment and was locked out of source safe. The dangerous developer worked on the Help documentation, configuring servers, and did a lot of testing.

The initial plan was completely scrapped, which was to have them build complete smart client modules from the UI to the DB, and the new assignments were made. We hit every estimate. If we had not POC'd the development team, we would have delivered buggy late code with each iteration.

The point is that no matter how well you architect a solution, or think you have a bullet proof software development process in place, people can unravel your project every time if you don't know how to manage them and their environment. To be able to effectively manage them you must understand the skill set they are bringing to the project. This book can help you do that and much more.

I have listed the parts below, but have not included the chapters because many of the titles don't make sense until you read the chapter.

Part I: Managing the Human Resource
Part II: The Office Environment
Part III: The Right People
Part IV: Growing Productive Teams
Part V: Fertile Soil
Part VI: It's Supposed to Be Fun to Work Here

This book not only helps you manage and work with others, it also offers a lot of advice that helps balance work and home life. It shines light on the workaholic and how everyone has a bout of it now and then.

One of my favorite topics is undertime. Management thinks they are getting away with overtime, but the balanced (not a workaholic) always puts in as much undertime as they do overtime.

One of my mantras for successfully delivering what your business users need, versus what they think they want, is that you are going to have to lie to them at some point in the process. The lie may just be withholding information, but if you want to deliver a quality product, you're going to have to keep that bit of information from them. They are all too willing to sacrifice quality for quantity or perceived time to market.

This book explains why the builders should control quality levels. I agree, and when I can get away with it, I don't ask them if I can control it, I just do. Most of my clients I have worked for have no idea that I do 80% architecture, research, coding proof of concepts, requirements documentation, architectural synthesis, and design, and only spend 20% of my time doing the construction coding. Construction coding builds the modules on the framework I put in place during the 80% activities.

If they found out, they would want me to just start coding. If I did that, I would be like most places I have seen that do 20% analysis, 80% coding, and another 30% rework. They are always over budget and never meet their fictional timelines. I hate documentation, but it makes me present the project in a form that elicits the problems I would run into coding before I am into deep to make architectural changes.

I did have one client find out. He literally sent me an email that had the subject line of "I am paying you to code not think". A year or so after we successfully delivered on time and within budget and rolled off the project, I found out he was called into the board of his organization and was fired for incompetency and hiding the ramifications of his poor decisions from the board.

Like I said above, this book does an excellent job of explaining why the quality level of a product should be left up to the builder. I also like the idea the book mentions about the builder's veto power. I would love to have veto power over marketing and the business owners with respect to releasing a product. All too often I have seen premature releases that are accompanied by a nice long known issues list.

The book really covers working environments in great detail. Since I left the electronic engineering field I have not had an office with a door except at my home office. I have sat at tables where all the printers were for the office. The printing noise wasn't bad, but the people standing around talking, waiting for the slow printers, was a problem.

At work I am in a cube that is noisy 25% to 75% of a given day. I share it with one of the main application support guys on our team, and he often has a line waiting to see him. While they wait I am an open target for them to kill the wait time talking to me. To help a little bit I turn off my phone's ringer. Company policy is to always answer your phone, but 90% of the calls I get are salesmen calling about a product I needed to research.

Another thing about the office is they keep it hot in the winter and hot in the summer. They keep it around 76-78F, but I have seen the temperature at a screaming 82F. I have to keep a fan blowing on me and by the end of every week my eyes are wind burnt and bloodshot. My chair I have at work has me going to the chiropractor. They were going to buy us new chairs, but discovered they were too expensive, and we aren't allowed to bring our own chair in.

I work from home on Mondays. My home desk provides me twice the area I have at work. I have the room at a cool 68F. I have a great ergonomic chair. If I get a call I can put it on speaker phone, instead of having to hold it to my ear with my shoulder.

Context switching is always a big problem. The book refers to it as no-flow time. The book calls the state of being in deep thought and cranking through code or documentation 'Flow'. On average I would estimate I get 20 - 80% more work done on Mondays than any other day of the week because I have the isolated environment I need to think. To get hold of me people IM, email, or call if needed, but I can queue them until I am done with what I am working on. At the office if you don't answer right away they come to your cube and interrupt your thoughts.

I was once on a team that hired a tech writer that could not write technical documents. He could not even proof ours which was his main assignment. He would replace technical terms with terms he thought should be there and it would completely destroy the document. He soon had no work to do. This was a government team so they were not going to replace him anytime soon.

He started filling his day by popping into our team's cubes and just started talking. By the end of the first week of that I took him into a room and used the white board to draw the architecture I was working on. I numbered the locations of changes that needed to be changed for a user interface change and data that accompanied that change. There were about 6 or 7 places. I described what was happening in each place, and that all those places were being thought of at the same time. I told him every time he comes into our cubes to just talk, he erases everything we had queued up in our brains to make the changes. I explained that we had to take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the complexity of the change to get back to work. He understood and stopped making rounds to our cubes.

The very next team meeting our manager said he wants to see more collaboration and he wants us to be visiting each other in our cubes more often to make that happen. The tech writer and I just busted out laughing. I then had to explain the same thing to the manager. Luckily he got it too.

Like I said at the beginning of this review, my main goal of was to highlight parts of the book and provide a personal experience that relates to them. I could continue that, and probably have my own book by the time I was done, but I will stop here. Everything in this book touches on the real world experiences we have as software architects, project managers, developers, CTOs, and CIOs.

If you are an IT manager, this is mandatory reading. If I ever find myself in a position of hiring IT managers, my first and maybe last question will be "Have you read Peopleware?"

If you are considering going into the software world, you must read this book first. It will help you have the right expectations of what you will find there. If you are already in the software world, this book will help you understand why things are the way they are and help you to potentially change them.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Great premise, but an outdated and misguided book 20 mai 2014
Par Alexei Kondratov - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
"The major problems of systems work are not so much technological as sociological" is a great premise for a book. However I didn't find the book itself that great. For the most part the book can be seen as a criticism of oppressive heartless control-freak management. Fortunately I've been spared of working with such managers and that management style doesn't look that widespread after a decade of Agile hype. Maybe it was topical when the first edition was written, but now it seems outdated.
While the book breaches many different topics like motivation, team formation, workspace and so on and have some interesting idea in general it seems too superficial and sometimes even harmful (see examples below).
he major point that hammered all through the book is "Remove impediments and let the team work on its own." It's a good one-line advice. However by concentrating on this idea the book seems to implicitly assume that all developers are great professionals who are socially adept and have considerable experience in the industry and can just work everything out by themselves. Which looks too simplistic and optimistic.

Overall the book may be recommended to managers and team leads as a text about rarely discussed subjects, but I would take it with a big grain of salt. And I wouldn't recommend it to an inexperienced developers since it's too easy to get some wrong ideas from it.

Some examples of "stuff I didn't like":
- As an example of great team the authors talk about a team of testers that "begin to cultivate and image of destroyers. ... The worse they made you feel, the more they enjoyed it. ... They took to cackling horribly whenever a program failed ..." and so on. All these are presented as a unique culture which made the team tighter and more effective. While the description is tongue-in-cheek (at least I hope so) it certainly isn't a clever idea to present a socially offensive team as a sole example of a great team in a book concerning sociology.
- The book cite some statistics, but analyze it in not-so-scientific way. It doesn't even mention isolation of factors (i.e. that statistics aren't contaminated by some unaccounted factors) and treats correlation as causality. For example from the fact that teams where estimations are done by system analysts are in general slightly more productive than teams with estimations made by developers it concludes that SAs do better estimates and better estimates make developers more motivated. The other explanation which authors ignore would be that the teams with SAs estimates are more effective because they simply do have SAs.
- The book talk about quality as if it a scalar value. It stresses several times that lowering quality standard demotivates the team. However it doesn't try to go even a bit deeper and discuss that there are different aspects of quality and that it's important to have a relevant common vision on quality for a team.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A No-Nonsense Guide to Managing Teams 3 novembre 2013
Par P. Haustetter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book offers so many great ideas for managing teams with relevant and practical examples to help drive the point home. As a project manager, I have been responsible for motivating teams for many years. Some days are better than others! But this book has provided a fresh look at how and why people are motivated, how to hire and get the most from your teams, and how to NOT waste their precious time.

I had the opportunity to mentor someone recently about conducting meetings, the number of meetings we have, valuing each others time and was able to directly reference chapter 31, Meetings, Monologues, and Conversations. I like the idea that was quoted from Apple, where a manager calls the meeting, but then releases someone from the meeting once everyone arrives. Very slick, very telling about the value of each persons time.

Thanks for writing this guide, I will refer to it over and over again in my career.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A classic - It should be read by everyone in the software industry 24 novembre 2013
Par alejandro claro - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Do not misunderstand the score. The second edition of the book deserves 5 ​​stars. The only reason why I select 4 is because the upgrade and the new material does not significantly reflect the 13 years that have passed since the last edition.

This book should be read by all those working in the software industry or intends to. Regardless of the job (software engineer , QA engineer , lead , manager, etc.), this book is full of wisdom and experience that applies to any work environment that everyone must know.

Undoubtedly, it can be classified as a classic. This is in the top-10 books that everyone who has a job related to software development should read.

The only downside is that I hoped that this edition include more analysis and ideas after the big agile movement in the last decade. There are some comments but not a rich analysis. This edition is only a very small upgrade to the great classic.

A new book that is emerging as a great complement candidate to this classic is "Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams". I have not finished reading it, but so far looks promising.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not just for computer people. 10 avril 2014
Par William Sellers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have recommended this book for many people who did not work in software. This works for anyone who works with people.

I have recommended this since the first edition and just recommended the 3rd edition a few minutes ago.

Many times I have said "we should not do things that way" but I failed to convince people in other parts of the company. This book helped me explain things in terms everyone could understand.

The book has a nice balance of explanation and humor (and sometimes sarcasm) that makes it easy to read.
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