I was a senior software developer of a start-up in the finance sector. I was able to handle and manage several big projects and I thought I would share to my experiences, tips, and most importantly my mistakes so YOU, yes YOU, wouldn't have to go through them.
A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
This article is written as rules to abide by, these are things you should keep in mind when the going gets tough, when life deals you a bad hand, etc. This is more about the principles or design patterns (think, MVC) to keep in mind when you go about managing and leading team projects.
If perchance, you are fortunate enough to land a job in a high responsibility position such as the project manager (title varies from company to company). You better act like it. Always remember that the ideal to strive for is YOU have the highest responsibility in the team. When the project gets bumpy and you have gaps in your knowledge on what dependencies were used and what for, you know you're doing something wrong.
Always remember, we are the first to arrive and the last to leave for a reason. If you are in a high-ranking job, that comes with the responsibility. We look over the new bloods because of our ancient occult knowledge on how to build the right authentication systems in laravel.
Note: I still use JWTs for projects, still can't get my heard around Oauth2 XD
In a perfect world, everyone would be doing their jobs, getting work done, and no one would complain about anything. However, we do not live in a perfect world and those software developers that you are managing are living, breathing, people. Yes, they are human. Just as human as you and I.
One of the things that comes with being human are problems and crises (professionally and personally) and it is our job to adjust and guide the team based on their behavior.
Hold up? you want a project manager that's a psychologist? and does this even matter? As long as the work gets done, who cares, right?
WRONG! won't believe me? Here are some facts:
Here's a study written by Eugenio Proto of the University of Bristol. In the study it is found out that the top "Best places to work" for, on average outperforms the S&P 500 Index. This of course correlates to the employee's happiness in the company of which YOU, the project manager or some higher position authority, is a part of.
Link to the study here
You don't have to get a Ph.D in psychology to understand if a person is having a good day or a bad day. Our subconscious (lizard brain) automatically detects if a person is either having a good day or bad day through their facial expressions and body language. Always ask yourself, if there's something you can do to help that team member get their spirits up.
If when in doubt, Just Ask. Asking about how a person's day is going after noticing they exhibit negative body language might be the key difference to that person's day. You'd be surprised of the impact of a simple "How are you?" or "Is everything okay?" to a person.
"Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it."
- Tom Smith (Bestselling Author and Co-Founder, Partners In Leadership)
As we've read, there is a direct correlation between a better and happier work environments and results in the long run but aside from that, don't we just want to build and be a part of a workplace that embodies happiness. Where people genuinely care about what they do because upper management cares about them.
I really think this is the key that gets forgotten over the ages and even though I am only a man, I hope I could help the world out through this blog that encourages project managers and upper management alike to create a happier and better work environment for people and not for machines.
"There is little success where there is little laughter."
- Andrew Carnegie (Entrepreneur)