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Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 9:36 PM


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For the Long Term


We had a great party Tuesday night and if my photographer gets me some pictures, I'll get them posted next week. The casino party worked out well, despite the few complaints I got about no poker and we ended up giving out 72 prizes to about 160 some people. Pretty good odds, so start lobbying and begging the boss to come to the 2007 Summit in Denver, CO. There won't be skiing available on Sept 18th, 2007, but we'll put together another great party. Remember to use the "SSC" as your source code when you register.


I met a great many people, giving us some nice congratulations and saw a number of friends from past conferences. It's great to see so many of you and shake your hands. And for those of you that didn't make it, you can blame all the PASS members for another year of editorials as they were the ones telling me to keep writing.


Yesterday was Andy's "Successful Team Management" presentation, right before Brian's wonderful "Hacking SQL Server" one and it's similar to a presentation he gave last year as well. However this time one thing struck me as he was walking around. His style is one of interaction with the audience, stopping to survey them, get some feedback, or answer questions. One of the people was questioning him on how to balance technical work, development, DBA, etc. that you may have with your responsibilities to manage people. They talked about the challenges briefly before he said something that struck me.


Managing is for the long term.


His advice was that you have to put your management work ahead of everything else because it affects others. It's hard, especially for techies that get promoted, but you really need to manage first and then if you have time, do your technical work. It's sound advice, but I'd never thought of it that way. I know when I was a technical manager, I wanted to do the technical stuff first and then deal with people. But the technical stuff is for today, for this project, for now. Managing people is helping them in their careers, which will hopefully last decades.


Managing people is a challenge, one that I'm not sure I'd like to do again, but if you find yourself in that job, be sure you accept the responsibility for your people. Think about them, take care of them, and be sure you spend the time on them they deserve.


Steve Jones






Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest

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Post #323325
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 5:00 AM
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Managing is really parenting people who you don't love, who are frequently older than you.
Post #323372
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:42 AM
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Managing people is very difficult. Each person has his/her own opinion. In one company my team had 12 people, we argued about everything in every project and the manager did not know how to handle it. In the end the manager made us do a psycological profile test, then some councelors came in and taught us how to work together.
My last manager was very young. He was a junior programmer, then a couple year later promoted to programmer, then later on promoted to manager. The problem was other senior programmers did not trust him nor respect him. I myself also thought his management skill was not too good.
At the same time, there were three managers at the same time decided to step down to become programmer. They said they had too much stress, they felt they were the meat of the sandwich between the higher management and the programmers. They did not make a lot more money than the senior programmers, they had to due with so much politics, so they decided they rather go back to programming.
Post #323441
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:50 AM
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I'm in a position where I program, and manage a small group of people.  And I really can't decide if I'd want to go to just programming.  A lot of days, it seems like everything I do is management releated, and I never get any programming done.  But, I know that the management experience really diversifies my resume, and makes me much more marketable if I ever were to find myself looking for a job. 

Really, atleast at my company.  I think the rewards are greater then the stress.  Granted, I'm managing a more CS type group then a bunch of programmers... and being a programmer, I know we can be an opinionated, set in our way group of people.

but really, management does come first.  I'll suffer a lot more if I let a problem with an employee, or a training issue wait then if I let a project sit on the back burner while I deal with the people.

Post #323450
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 8:14 AM
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I do agree that managing ppl is a tough job... Its not necessarily in a corporate but it is there in your every day life. You meet some one (unless you are not always stick to your dearest computer   ) out side your tech world and if you are not sure on how to manage, it hurts. More than that, as time passes if you are not in management, you will get managed by juniors... howz that situation?

Management is neither an easy job nor working for some one. It’s the time that decides what is good for us.

Post #323468
Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 4:26 AM
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I did had a quick glance on Janet's Wong post  What's a Good Manager. I wanted to share a my point of view on managing developers. Right now, I can't say that I'm managing a lot of people, but it seems its quite true managing ppl is a tough job. I was a senior software engineer in my previous employer, with my current employer right now due to the fact that the company is still starting more or less I cover most of the bits and pieces of the whole IT department. From basic networking, being developer, doing the design and research and hiring people. Sometimes when I'm in the washroom, I'd thought of quiting the job. But on the 2nd thought I view it as a challenge and to make a difference.

To make a difference, that my people will not experience the bad things that I've experienced when i was a rank n file/developer.  

I may not be a perfect manager, but these are my thoughts and experienced being a developer from the past and know starting to manage a few people. I might be wrong in my thoughts.

01.) A manager must always in the middle between the company and the employees. In other words not a kiss-ass manager

02.) The power of delegation. Delegate tasks that you think that your ppl can do it, but make sure your always on top when the task is newly delgated to the person

03.) Determine the strong points of your ppl. This is a difficult task because you need matrices to determine its strong points. In development, I used to let them plot the approximate hours they think they can finish it and let them plot the actual hours work being done. Evaluate basing on the approximate and actual hours, why it is under/over estimated

04.) Zero tolerance for repeated mistakes and also for those probitionary employees 

05.) Appreciate and Acknowledge. Always appreciate and acknowledge developers who finish the job on time

Now even how good we are in managing our people, there are some of the people under us or outside the department doesn't like the way we manage them. All I can say, if it majority works fine in your group then its not your problem.

A techy guy got promoted in a managerial position usually happens on his late 20s and early 30s. Due to some company that has high turnover of ppl, that is why some of the technical manager are promoted in their early 20s. A developer that is good and highly skilled is not always the basis to be promoted in a managerial level. Which results then into company politics why so and so is being promoted not him/her.

In the end, the difference between a manager and a rank n file is the position and the pay. The common thing is they are employees in the company.

Post #337090
Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 11:18 PM
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Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan!
Don’t get defeated by temporary defeat.
Practice self disciplined and self control.
Take your time to decide but when you decide don’t keep changing your decisions
Attention to detail is very important. If you miss out on the finer aspects of your work, you are guaranteed that the rest of your team will miss out even more.
Be responsible for your and your team’s actions. If something goes wrong don’t run around finding a scapegoat. This is the sign of a very weak person, and even if you spare some employees and nail others, every one will have the sense of insecurity when they are working on a assignment and it will eventually result in poor quality of work.
Remember that you are paid for what your do and not what you “know”. Be wise and act accordingly.
Don’t give too much emphasis on the title, which is bestowed on you. We all know what we thought of managers who gave too much importance to the title and not to the people who worked with them.
Remember that people like to feel that they work “with” you and not “for” you. I have found this to be a very good mantra to motivate my team.
A good manager never runs out of time. So if you are facing time shortage, its time to review your policies and style of working.
Take weekly status meets if possible. Make them quick and light. This is a better way of touch basing on the progress of work and gives the much-needed personal touch to the team.
Appreciate when someone does a good job. Sometimes a word of encouragement is more valuable than a slight raise.

This is my favorite bit…compete with yourself everyday. Comparisons with others are irrelevant. What is relevant is how much better you are today as compared to yourself yesterday.

I’d like to share my experiences in management with you guys some day, and would love to hear and learn from yours.
That’s all for now guys, happy management…




What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand
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