"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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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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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. ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
836 views

Bounty points for fixing bugs? [closed]

Ever heard of a company awarding bounty points for bugfixes? Making team members work to do the most, as some bonus money will be dependent on it? Having them split, or pay bounties to others to ...
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 ...
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. ...
8
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11answers
1k views

Should a manager (or CEO) in an IT company have an IT background to perform in the organization?

I see that many managers or (even CEOs) running an IT company do not perform as well as those who have IT background. If I may take an example (without judging or pointing fingers), Microsoft's ...
433
votes
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
44k views

What is an example of a good SMART objective for a programmer? [duplicate]

Following on from this question, I wondered if folk might be able to suggest some samples of what might be considered a "good" objective in a periodic review cycle for a programmer? Let's define ...
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 ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Should I try to persuade my manager that code tidying should take priority over meeting deadlines? [duplicate]

My manager has tight deadlines to meet. The current project I am working on is currently on schedule, but I've noticed a couple of quite significant areas in the code that are really badly written. (...
9
votes
9answers
4k views

How to answer “When will it be done?”

We all have it, problems that prove difficult to fix and working out a fix through obscure code and bizarre unexpected functionality. Slowly, logically working your way through trying to find patterns,...
7
votes
4answers
866 views

Can a lone programmer become a mid or senior level programmer without a mentor? [duplicate]

Question: Can a mere entry level programmer become a mid or senior level programmer working in a company as the only programmer without a mentor? Background: I was hired as an entry level programmer ...
11
votes
2answers
298 views

Getting management approval to invest more in unit testing [duplicate]

I'm a big proponent of unit testing (I'd love to be involved in test driven development). The company I work for seems rather reluctant to spend much effort beyond largely manual end user testing ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
665 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Helpful articles on the subject of managing programmers? [closed]

What are the most helpful articles on the subject of managing programmers? I came across this one recently, and thought it was excellent - The unspoken truth about managing geeks What else is out ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

How should developer performance be measured? [duplicate]

In many companies there is a formal procedure of reviewing employees' work. For example, a salesperson can stay she'll sell one million units at the beginning of the year. When she comes up for ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

What constitutes proper use of threads in programming?

I am tired of hearing people recommend that you should use only one thread per processor, while many programs use up to 100 per process! take for example some common programs vb.net ide uses about 25 ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the biggest support a boss can give to his/her developers?

Buying the best hardware, paying the most precious bonus or reward, treating them politely, provide the opportunity for improvement, etc.? We want to improve the productivity of our development team. ...
15
votes
10answers
933 views

How to deal with a CEO making all technical decision but with little technical knowledge?

Question posted anonymously for obvious reasons. I am working in a company with a dev group of 5-6 developers, and I am in a situation which I have a hard time dealing with. Every technical choice (...
12
votes
3answers
752 views

What is Configuration Management?

In all projects that I have been involved with that have had input from an outside consultant the question has been asked about what sort of Configuration Management we were using. In none of these ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can the ScrumMaster and other team members be managed by the Product Owner?

Our team is switching to Scrum. I would be the ScrumMaster (in addition to being a developer), and another developer would become Product Owner (in addition to our product marketing guy). All members ...
7
votes
4answers
519 views

How should a senior programmer monitor another senior programmer?

I'm working with a new senior programmer who has almost the same amount of experience as me. He his own project to work on -- but I have to make sure he does not mess things up. Now, how can I ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to integrate technical line/functional manager into Scrum team?

We have recently had a new line manager start to manage our Scrum team. He is immensely experienced in our field but is relatively inexperienced at Agile/Scrum. He has extensive technical expertise in ...