"The powers that be" is often a phrase used to describe those in a position of authority responsible for work. Distribution of resources would be a way to describe what managers do though resources include time, money and people.

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433
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34answers
16k views

I'm a manager. How can I improve work relationships and communication with programmers? [closed]

A little background first. I'm a project manager at medium-sized company. I started as a CS major and had a little exposure to programming, but after a few months I knew it's not my path, so I ...
327
votes
52answers
209k views

Why do business analysts and project managers get higher salaries than programmers? [closed]

We have to admit that programming is much more difficult than creating documentation or even creating Gantt chart and asking progress to programmers. So for us that are naives, knowing that ...
257
votes
137answers
4k views

Perks for new programmers

I intend on hiring 2-3 junior programmers right out of college. Aside from cash, what is the most important perk for a young programmer? Is it games at work? I want to be creative... I want some ...
173
votes
17answers
11k views

How do you balance between “do it right” and “do it ASAP” in your daily work? [closed]

I find myself pondering over this question from time to time, again and again. I want to do things the right way: to write clean, understandable and correct code that is easy to maintain. However, ...
171
votes
25answers
17k views

How to convince my boss that quality is a good thing to have in code? [duplicate]

My boss came to me today to ask me if we could implement a certain feature in 1.5 days. I had a look at it and told him that 2 to 3 days would be more realistic. He then asked me: "And what if we do ...
153
votes
31answers
24k views

Is it unusual for a small company (15 developers) not to use managed source/version control? [closed]

It's not really a technical question, but there are several other questions here about source control and best practice. The company I work for (which will remain anonymous) uses a network share to ...
125
votes
41answers
5k views

What kind of innovative non-cash financial benefits do I offer to my developers to retain them along with a competitive salary?

Stock options don't make much sense, since the company's private. [It still does, if you are a facebook of sorts AND the regulatory system permits sites like secondmarket, but I digress.] I could ...
110
votes
15answers
82k views

What's the career path for a developer who doesn't like management?

If you're developer (Senior or Lead Developer) and you'd rather stay with code/design than pursue a management career, what are the available career paths at your company, or any you've heard of? How ...
101
votes
64answers
14k views

What is the (craziest, stupidest, silliest) thing a client/boss asked you to do? [closed]

See title, but I am asking from a technical perspective, not Take my 40 year old virgin niece on a date or you're fired.
88
votes
19answers
3k views

Dealing with management that does not see value in improvements that are not immediately visible to the user

I can understand schedule pressure. You want to please your users, as they are the lifeblood of the company. However, it is also true that certain changes will make everything easier down the road. ...
80
votes
19answers
7k views

Choosing between two programmers: experience vs. passion [closed]

I am in a position where I have to hire a programmer and have the option of 2 candidates, the first has experience but he doesn't have a passion for coding and he says so while the second doesn't have ...
75
votes
20answers
15k views

Is a company order to switch to a certain IDE a red flag? [closed]

I recently joined a rapidly growing startup. In the past 3 months the development team has grown from 4 to 12. Until now they were very laissez-faire about what developers used to do their work. In ...
73
votes
18answers
13k views

What is the Best Way to Incentivize a Team of Developers? [closed]

I know in advance that people are going to see this question and think "free Red Bull." But I am actually looking for the best way to tie rewards for developers to the company's long-term goals. For ...
72
votes
18answers
10k views

Reasons Programmers Leave [closed]

I am interested in finding out why programmers leave their jobs and if the reasons for leaving have resurfaced in your now job? Is the reason for leaving simply down to remuneration, location, I hate ...
61
votes
6answers
6k views

How does a non-technical manager add value to team of self-motivated software developers?

I am seeing a lot of programmers turning away from management and administration roles. They want to build stuff. And as a result, a lot of these positions are filled by non-technical people. I fail ...
60
votes
18answers
6k views

How to tell your boss that his programming style is really bad? [duplicate]

I'm a student and in my spare time I'm working for a big enterprise as Java developer. The job is good, but the problem is, my boss writes very strange code. I don't want to complain, but some issues ...
60
votes
11answers
7k views

How to tell whether your programmers are under-performing? [closed]

I am a team lead with 5+ developers. I have a developer (let's call him A) who is a good programmer, who writes good clean, easy to understand code. However he is somewhat difficult to manage, and ...
55
votes
6answers
33k views

“A good programmer can be as 10X times more productive than a mediocre one” [closed]

I had read an interview with a great programmer (it is not in English) and in it he said that "a great programmer can be as 10 times as good as a mediocre one" giving reason for why good programmers ...
53
votes
27answers
3k views

What is the most egregious waste of money you have seen, and what did you do about it? [closed]

Often we as programmers see large organisations wasting huge sums of money on bloated and inefficient solutions to problems. This pains me greatly because I like organisations to benefit from best of ...
52
votes
10answers
23k views

Are SMART goals useful for programmers? [closed]

Several organisations I know use SMART goals for their programmers. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. They are fairly common in large corporations. ...
49
votes
1answer
29k views

The Written Roles of Software Development Manager [closed]

We all know what a software development manager does, but I'm afraid that we only know it vaguely. We think we know what he is doing, but to exactly list down what is the job scope is a bit hard. In ...
47
votes
18answers
10k views

How to manage a developer who has poor communication skills

I manage a small team of developers on an application which is in the mid-point of its lifecycle, within a big firm. This unfortunately means there is commonly a 30/70 split of Programming tasks to "...
47
votes
17answers
3k views

How do managers know if a person is a good or a bad programmer?

In most companies that do programming teams and divisions consist of programmers who design and write code and managers who... well, do the management stuff. Aside from just not writing code, ...
40
votes
16answers
5k views

What's your suggestion if the company didn't recognize my contribution towards a big project? [closed]

I am an entry level developer with 1 year of experience. I have worked on a large scale project which I have played around 80% of the project work, those 5 months were terrible to me - late nights ...
40
votes
13answers
5k views

Can a non-programmer successfully run a software company? [closed]

Back in 2006, one Joel Spolsky made the following comment: Watching non-programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn't know how to surf trying to surf. ...
39
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I prove to management that our programmers could work more productively? [duplicate]

Backstory I graduated less than a year ago with a degree in Computer Science (with extra courses in software engineering), and another degree in Software Engineering. I'd like to think that I'm ...
39
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the main things a programmer expects from the senior programmer?

Recently I read the following 5 Types Of Bosses and How To Deal With Them , which describes the attires of the worst boss. I've just started leading a small team of software developers. I would like ...
38
votes
15answers
3k views

Can you be a manager and a programmer at the same time? [closed]

Managing other programmers while you are yourself a part of the programming work force. It's a very common scheme, at least in the companies I worked for. Can you be a good programmer or a good ...
38
votes
3answers
1k views

Blaming the ills of today on the technical debt of yesterday

A surprising number of quality, scalability, and load problems have been occurring on an application I currently support that I did not originally write. Thankfully I have new projects that I have ...
35
votes
11answers
4k views

What to do about team member who threatens to leave all the time and is difficult to work with? [closed]

I work in a small development group with 3 developers. We are loosely managed and have no structure to the team. There is no designated team leader and the manager is fairly hands off. The Senior ...
34
votes
20answers
884 views

“Mentor” a senior programmer or colleague without insulting

I don't have great social skills. Like many programmers I know, social skills are something that is worked on and developed over time because it's not a natural and 'inborn' trait. When a computer ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you convince management to “invest” in unit tests?

How did you convince your manager to let you unit test? By "use", I mean being allowed to develop, check-in to source control and maintain the unit tests over time, etc. Typical management ...
32
votes
25answers
10k views

As a programmer, are you required to do timesheets? [closed]

Timesheets are something that I've never been fond of, but none the less something that is a requirement within my company. They don't bother me so much, but they seem to really grind some other ...
32
votes
12answers
5k views

How possible is it to estimate time for programming projects? [duplicate]

It seems like it is nearly impossible to get close because you could run into any number of issues and things not first anticipated. How close can we be expected to reasonably estimate? Our PM wants ...
28
votes
18answers
2k views

Why companies don't buy developers entertaining instruments? [closed]

Many times when I get tired of development and my mind doesn't really help me any more (at home), I simply do something entertaining and my mind gets free for more hours of work with higher problem-...
28
votes
10answers
1k views

How does one manage an intern effectively? [duplicate]

An intern will be starting with us soon for a couple months before going off to university. The intern is straight-out of high school and has some programming experience, but has never taken a ...
28
votes
12answers
3k views

What you should do if your junior did not adopt your suggestion? [closed]

I am leading a team of 3-4 junior developers. My job-- besides writing code-- is to provide supervision and guidance for the juniors. But, I fully understand how much developers cherish autonomy in ...
28
votes
6answers
19k views

How can I progress from a software developer to a software manager or team leader? [closed]

I've been a software developer (whether part time or full time) for almost 3 years. I've always been the type of person to have that knack for taking a lead on things, and providing the organization ...
27
votes
26answers
2k views

Should managers prohibit programmers from using IM in office? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Would you allow your programmers to use Messenger and social networks like Facebook? A manager may believe that using IM clients in the office is not acceptable, but many ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

Which management book would you recommend to read for a fresh Team Leader? [closed]

Which management book would you recommend to read for a fresh Team Leader?
25
votes
11answers
1k views

How do you keep cool when production system goes down? [closed]

This has happened to most of us... You come to work one day. Everything seems normal - the sun is shining, birds are chirping, but you notice a couple of weird things on your way to work that remind ...
24
votes
28answers
2k views

What traits do the best managers you've worked for have in common? [closed]

I have been listening to Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery's podcast, This Developer's Life. In the latest episode, they discuss personality traits: 1.0.4 - Being Mean. What makes people mean ...
24
votes
9answers
44k views

What subject do you discuss with your manager during a one-on-one? [closed]

Every week, I have a 30 minutes meeting scheduled with my manager to talk about pretty much anything. So far, I haven't taken those one-on-one very seriously. As a new year resolution, I would like to ...
23
votes
9answers
13k views

Explaining technical things to non-technical people [closed]

I often have to explain technical things and technical decisions to my extremely non technical manager and I'm pretty awful at it. What are good ways to essential dumb things down for the rest of the ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Cannot understand a certain point in Agile Manifesto Principles

I was reading Agile Manifesto Principles. Everything seems clear and reasonable except for one point: Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. I dont ...
23
votes
8answers
7k views

How to Structure Bonuses for Software Developers? [duplicate]

I am a software developer, and have been asked to define a bonus structure for myself by recommending the metrics that will determine my bonus. I think, once I have defined this bonus structure, there ...
23
votes
3answers
747 views

Check-list to avoid vendor lock-in?

Is there a set of industry-approved rules to avoid vendor lock-in? I mean, something one can show to a manager, or other decision maker, that is easy to understand and easily verifiable. Are there ...
22
votes
14answers
2k views

How managers choose programming languages

It's not a secret to anyone that managers can and often will impose the programming language that will be used for a project. Being a programmer myself, I have never been able to understand this. ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

My coworker is a nice guy, but his performance is sub-par. Do I tell my boss? [closed]

I was placed on a project about three months ago that was until then under development by a single, newly hired developer because it was falling behind. To be fair, the project is an interface to a ...
22
votes
1answer
29k views

How to write “SMART” Objectives as an agile developer?

Like many corporations the company I work for is transitioning to a performance review system based on SMART objectives. My team is a high functioning agile development team employing practices from ...