I’m hoping to collect some real-life examples of good and bad management of software development – I’m especially interested in stories from programmers. Assuming that I get some interesting anecdotes then I will write them up and post them on my blog at http://outofthetriangle.wordpress.com/
. If you don’t wish to post your stories here then please feel free to email me direct on email@example.com.
And just to get the ball rolling here are two stories of my own....
1. The “Have you written a test plan?” Approach
I worked for one boss who’s stock phrase seemed to be “Have you written a test plan for that?”. This seemed to be the only measure of software quality that they could comprehend. What made this seem totally ludicrous to me was that this particular manager did not seem to care about the quality of the test plans (i.e. did they uncover defects and prove that the software worked) nor did they check that they had actually been used. As long as there was a test plan in existence for each module they were happy.
2. The “Make It So” Approach
This might sound strange but my favourite managers have been the ones who left me alone to get on with the job. I always felt that getting a computer to do something was my job as a programmer. Once I had been given a clear idea of what was expected I liked to be left alone to “Make It So”. Sure I would provide updates from time to time and let them know if I was going to miss any key dates. But they were updates that I would “push” to boss by exception rather than something that was “pulled” from me by interrupting my work every hour or so.