"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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171
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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, ...
166
votes
25answers
16k 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 ...
87
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. ...
79
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 ...
74
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 ...
71
votes
18answers
12k 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 ...
69
votes
18answers
9k 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 ...
59
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
58
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 ...
48
votes
10answers
20k 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. ...
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, ...
45
votes
1answer
24k 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 ...
42
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 ...
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
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
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
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 ...
37
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 ...
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
853 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
31
votes
12answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
0answers
3k views

Introducing Scala to a Technical Manager [closed]

I've been promoting Scala at work as something we should try out for things like testing with Specs http://code.google.com/p/specs/ and rapid prototyping of web services with tools like Scalatra ...
23
votes
4answers
1k 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
9answers
41k 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
3answers
742 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. ...
21
votes
21answers
2k views

If you were the manager of a team of 25 developers, how would you motivate them? [closed]

Imagine yourself hired by a new startup backed with few millions coming from venture capitalists. Your mission: organize the development of the next killer app. 25 developers is too much to take ...
21
votes
12answers
2k views

How to manage a developer with good knowledge of programming language but very poor analytical skills [closed]

I work as a team lead in a fast-growing services company. There is one developer in my team who's not performing well, and unable to solve even the simplest of the problems without being spoon-fed. ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

Manager keeps changing requirement specification after every demo [closed]

Background of my working environment My manager has no background or understanding of computers or software whatsoever. It is highly likely he hasn't seen code in any form (not even from a physical ...
21
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
6k views

When/why is it easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission? [closed]

The saying "It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission" seems pretty popular among programmers and IIRC was attributed to Grace Hopper. In what situations is this typically true, and why do ...
20
votes
4answers
658 views

How to create a “cult of quality” [closed]

DeMarco and Lister (Peopleware) suggest you create a "cult of quality" within your programming team. Frustratingly, they don't suggest how you go about doing that! Anyone got any thoughts on how to ...
20
votes
4answers
334 views

Building a satisfying community at work [closed]

In the influential "Peopleware", DeMarco and Lister state that an organisation that builds a satisfying community will tend to keep it's people. We have about 40 programmers at work. How do we go ...
19
votes
11answers
1k views

So they're trying to pull me into management [closed]

I work in a small IT department in a non tech company. My manager recently quit and they are looking for a replacement. I guess since I'm one of those "rare" developers with people skills, the ...
19
votes
10answers
749 views

How do you help your fellow programmers to grow?

As a team lead, how can you help your programmers to grow? The reason I ask this is because there are a few programmers working with me, and I really want to "turn them on the loose", to realize ...
19
votes
1answer
24k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Does a mature agile team requires any management?

After a recent heated debate over Scrum, I realized my problem is that I think of management as a quite unnecessary and redundant activity in a fully agile team. I believe a mature Agile team does not ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Manager reading version control commits

Our manager is monitoring the Git commits on all of our projects; usually this isn't a problem, and I love the fact that version control provides a log of all work that's happening, especially for ...
17
votes
12answers
1k views

What makes Agile software development so appealing?

Agile software development is becoming a pretty fun buzzword these days. As a developer, I understand the pragmatic value of iterative development, but (most often) it isn't a developers choice to ...
16
votes
4answers
19k views

How to structure a development team

I am the manager of a team of 11 software developers who look after my company's web sites / web applications, running up to 4 concurrent projects plus day-to-day support at any time. Within the 11 ...
15
votes
10answers
2k views

How can I quickly weed out “copy & paste” coders? [closed]

I need a way to filter out resumes of folks who just copy-and-paste code then hope it works, and check it in if it does. All this happens without having an understanding (or care) to understand the ...
15
votes
11answers
3k views

Can daily reports decrease a developer's productivity? [closed]

In another question, I asked about why developers might don't like daily scrum. We talked to developers and we decided to not hold daily scrum for a while (to give it a try and customized scrum in our ...