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Great Engineering Culture


Great Engineering Culture

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Great Engineering Culture

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Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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I'd have to agree with pretty much everything written both in the editorial and the referenced article. As a freelancer, too often I see team managers refer to the team hero who stays late, knows everything off the top of their head and can usually resolve issues quickly...but never impart their knowledge, improve systems and processes to allow the whole team to perform this role nor do they listen. These people are held in such high regard and yet the way they work is often toxic to the team. Sometimes these people can work differently and do so under a better manager.

Of course, I can't help but chuckle when the so called hero has enough and moves on leaving a vacuum of knowledge and ability behind them. I know I shouldn't but all I hear in my head is "I told you so" being said by the whole team.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
call.copse
call.copse
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Nice general advice, really liked the hero link from that post:
http://al3x.net/2010/01/09/dont-be-a-hero.html

It resonates for me because we have still got some hero code, the source of which cannot be traced, so many sites have had to run in .Net 1.1 for the last x years. It took literally 3 years to eradicate this particular Japanese knot weed from ongoing codebase when I arrived here, after the hero had gone. Seeing this hero mode and it's repercussions has made me examine my own practices carefully to see how I can ensure everything is done with team in mind. Not always easy but hopefully I'm getting there.
lshanahan
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On the flip side, many of us do not take the time to "manage our boss". Simply put, it means letting your boss know how you work well and how they can most effectively manage you. When I was interviewing for my current job I told my (now) boss during the interview, "Tell me what you want done, when you need it done by and I'll ask when I have questions or need help." Someone else might say "I like weekly sit-downs to make sure I'm on the right track," or "I work best with a clear list of priorities," or "I work best when I have people to bounce ideas off of."

This is one of the most effective things I've learned to do. Bring it up in an interview - or perhaps a performance review if you're already employed - and you'll increase your chances of getting a better fit. Some companies our managers may not want your style and that's okay...you'd probably be flustered down the road anyway and maybe you should look elsewhere.

Managers don't instinctively know how to manage everyone, though good managers can figure out how to best manage different people. Most managers (sadly, not all) will appreciate you letting them know how you work best.

____________
Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.
Ian Massi
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Very good editorial and the linked article was great as well. I think we're generally on the right track where I work. However that "It takes one a****** to ruin a team" is good to keep in mind for sports teams in which I participate.
Andrew Watson-478275
Andrew Watson-478275
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Would it be possible to be a bit more careful with the content of articles? Our content filter bounced this newsletter, presumably because of the use of A**holes (but without the stars). (I suspect that this is a more objectionable word in UK English than in US English).
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Andrew Watson-478275 (6/26/2013)
Would it be possible to be a bit more careful with the content of articles? Our content filter bounced this newsletter, presumably because of the use of A**holes (but without the stars). (I suspect that this is a more objectionable word in UK English than in US English).


my apologies. I wasn't thinking, and should have used stars everywhere.

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Andrew Watson-478275
Andrew Watson-478275
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No worries, an easy one to miss. Thanks for replying.
Andy Leonard
Andy Leonard
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Good stuff, Steve, as usual!

Many developers in the market today started playing with computers when they were children. These young people began learning their craft as adolescents - or pre-adolescents. As they make the machine do things, they nurture a passion to create, improve, or enable new stuff via the machine. The best tools were once toys. This is a positive driver.

Where's the corollary experience for managers? What happens in a young person's life that makes them desire to become a manager?

:{>

Andy Leonard
Data Philosopher, Enterprise Data & Analytics
Jim P.
Jim P.
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One of the most important things that will tell the difference between the heroes and super stars is tell them that you want them to comment their non-obvious code.

If they can't or refuse to comment code, no matter how profanely they do it, the person is probably not a good team player.

I have seen comments along the lines of:
This is in case the end-user is a jack**s and won't fill out the gender box.

But it is an idea of the logic and why they did the following code.

Now that you’ve recruited rock stars, you actually need to build stuff. One of the –most difficult steps in managing engineers is -stopping yourself coding.

Then there is the opposite incentive for your rock stars -- make sure there is a non-managerial path for your rock stars that does involve more money or prestige, but doesn't involve managing people on a permanent basis. Even during my interview I told them I can do team projects or help train newbies, but I don't want to manage people on a regular basis. If, during the interview, they had said they eventually saw me managing wetware, that would have done it for me. I would have passed on the job.

I don't mind reporting to a manager that is not really technically savvy but she can learn. But she also doesn't sit over my shoulder either. She gives me a job and walks away.



----------------
Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
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