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I've read Peopleware in 2009. It was one of the best book I ever read.

But this book is a little old. I'd like to know, in your opinion, what is and what is not relevant in this book?

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2 Answers 2

It's been a while since I read it, but I don't remember anything in the book that wasn't relevant to someone.

What stood out the most was the discussion of process improvement using CMM and CMMI, and no mention of agile processes (although the second edition was printed in 1999, which is a few years before the Agile Manifesto and Agile development went mainstream). But the book is about people, and people haven't changed that much since the first printing of the book in 1987.

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It's been a while since I read it too, but I have a feeling you could edit the word "agile" into it here and there without changing most of the essential text. Possibly the Agile Manifesto ideas weren't as astonishingly new as the hypesters liked to make out? –  MarkJ Dec 2 '10 at 10:04
    
It's examples are a little dated. The message is not. –  quickly_now Jan 28 '11 at 10:45
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It's on my desk next to the Peopleware papers. I use both to try to orient new HR people. So far it's worked (he quit.) –  Tim Williscroft Feb 4 '11 at 2:01
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I'm pretty sure these were both in Peopleware...

One slightly irrelevant thing I can recall is the story about a bunch of developers in a classic open-plan office (not even cubes, just a grid of desks) taking wire-cutters to the PA speakers in the ceiling, and stuffing tissue paper into the ancient Bell phones (you know, the ones that weighed about five pounds with an actual dial and an alarm-clock-style clapper inside) so that they weren't so distracting when someone called you. Of course, even this story isn't irrelevant once you view it as a developer team doing what they could to establish a decent work environment.

Also irrelevant today is their defense of actual offices with actual doors and sometimes even actual windows. Of course, it's only irrelevant not because they were wrong but because that battle has been well and truly lost for over two decades now.

An excellent book, as you say, and one I should reread.

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I was once part of a wire-cutter operation to disable a PA system, and I'm not old enough to be irrelevant yet. –  David Thornley Dec 2 '10 at 14:48
    
No such implication was intended :-) –  Dale Hagglund Dec 5 '10 at 4:42
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I worked in a place with the PA system. Somebody cut the wires :) This is only a few years ago. And phones... these days its mobile phones with loud long horrible tunes being played - things in that regard are even worse than the old BRIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGG!!!! The Open plan fight is well and truly lost, and rooms with long benches full of people are the norm, not even cubicles. The only people who think this is great are those who don't have to work in them to do creative work. The number of people I worked with who had REALLY productive days working from home.... –  quickly_now Jan 28 '11 at 10:47
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