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Ask HN: What books or blogs do you suggest to manage a team of techies
24 points by jamram82 on Oct 25, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments
I recently took a position of team lead, managing a team of 8 tech people. I managed projects not people before. Could you suggest any books or blogs on how to manage tech teams.

Rands. At the very least, his blog: http://randsinrepose.com. But, his book - Managing Humans - is great as well: http://www.managinghumans.com.

I read Managing Humans twice, both before starting to manage a team, and after having managed a team for a year. The book was great both times, but the second time, when I had more experience, it was insanely better. Suddenly, everything talked about in the book made sense - I had real-life people and situations straight out of the book, and I could understand exactly what Rands was saying.

My advice - read the book. It's amazingly accurate. Then read it again once you have experience; you'll be able to appreciate it a whole lot more.

The Mythical Man Month — it's a fairly popular read, and it's topic lies somewhere between managing projects and managing people and focuses on the "human element" of software engineering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

You should read Drive, by Dan Pink.

It's not a management book, per se, but it's great for gaining undersanding into why people work and what truly motivates them.

EDIT: His talk at the TED conference:


Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

I've heard that in the late 80s Microsoft had a policy of handing out copies of Peopleware to every new manager. And then asking them enough questions about it to ensure they actually read it.

Microsoft no longer does this. It shows.

Gerald Weinberg's The Psychology of Computer Programming is a classic, well worth reading. Also second the recommendations for The Mythical Man Month and Peopleware

His Becoming a Technical Leader (http://www.dorsethouse.com/books/btl.html) is directly addressed at this issue.

I think its good, but it's been so long since I was at this stage and read it (late '80s) I'm not 100% sure.

That said, I've not regretted one bit reading every apropos book Weinberg had written through the '90s (which is about when I stopped reading these sorts of books).

For me Paul Graham's essay are real worth inspiration and teachings. I just follow his essay more than any other readings. I prefer to explore you his essays, can give you a nice insight. http://www.purchase.com/blog/fundraising/3-tips-for-startup-... this is here his essays you can find. http://paulgraham.com/


Scroll down, check out the articles in the "Reading Lists" column.

Christina Wodtke's Blueprints for the web http://amzn.to/cTDimh is about information architecture, but is full of tangential wisdom about managing web teams. I learnt more this book than from other books that are actually about managing teams.

you manage products, you lead people.

You lead -good- people. You manage the rest.

If your people aren't good, you're not managing them well. Blame yourself, not the people you're responsible for.

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