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Discussion on: How to Manage Programmers Without Losing Your Damn Mind

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Scott Simontis

A few more takeaways:

  • In order to be aware of issues with your team and maintain a clear picture of what everyone is doing and if there are any red flags, you will need to code less. If you are trying to code 35-40 hours a week, there is no way you are going to be able to be an effective manager.
  • All of this is worthless without trust. If your team doesn't trust you, it doesn't matter how you phrase your questions or how you direct the conversation...eventually you'll probably end up hearing what your team thinks you want to hear from them so you will leave them alone.
  • A lot of people aren't used to working in environments where they can be as honest and straightforward as most organizations pretend they are. I made sure it was clear that I was on my team's side and I wasn't a corporate cheerleader. There were times when I was pissed off at the company too and I calmly talked to my team about it. My policy is that all conversations are confidential unless I am legally mandated to report something or my job requirements force me to. I learned far more about my team after establishing that relationship and proving that I was serious about confidentiality.
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Blaine Osepchuk Author

Thanks, Scott. Excellent observations and advice.