"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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

32
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
149
votes
14answers
9k views

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

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, ...
14
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
29
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Career Prospects: Women at Management positions in Software

I was wondering if women working as software developers often face more positive/negative bias in IT than in other fields? The only reason I ask this question is because personally I have noticed ...
6
votes
4answers
507 views

Bounty points for fixing bugs?

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 ...
69
votes
18answers
6k 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 ...
32
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
45
votes
10answers
11k views

Are SMART goals useful for programmers?

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. ...
20
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
11answers
859 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you convince coworkers/stakeholders to try new technologies?

I've got a coworker/manager/stakeholder who is very conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies. I completely understand why: we have a lot of internal expertise with Java, MySQL/Postgres, ...
155
votes
31answers
23k views

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

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 ...
40
votes
6answers
11k views

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

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 ...
79
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. ...
51
votes
10answers
4k views

How to tell whether your programmers are under-performing?

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 ...
46
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, ...
74
votes
20answers
14k views

Is a company order to switch to a certain IDE a red flag?

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 ...
27
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 ...
32
votes
12answers
2k views

How to handle coworker with “obsessive refactoring disorder”

My coworker (who is very clever, but with severly limited inter-personal skills), keeps refactoring my code even when it is work in progress and assigned to me as a task. Whereas I fully subscribed to ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Best way for a technical manager to stay up to date on technology

My manager asked for a list of technical blogs he should follow to stay current on technology. His problem is he keeps hearing terms that he hasn't heard of (i.e. NoSql, sharding, agure, sevice bus, ...
8
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
205 views

Advice Required Regarding Creating a Self Learning, Self Organizing Programming Team… [closed]

I'm a senior student at my university and chairperson of IEEE Student Branch there. Recently I was thinking of some idea to acquaint students with the professional environment, how software is ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

How do you explain the complexity of bulk emailing to a manager? [closed]

I think we've all been there, you've been asked to write something to send bulk emails for whatever reason. It's a solved problem, theres a multitude of companies out there to handle this for you, and ...
11
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
192 views

New Customer Project - Use Legacy Application or Design Something New

We are starting a new project with a new customer. We have a legacy application circa 1997 that we are planning on using to satisfy the customer's business requirements. I have been on the fence as ...
107
votes
15answers
39k 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 ...
37
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 ...
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 ...
43
votes
18answers
7k 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 ...
76
votes
20answers
6k 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 ...
36
votes
15answers
2k views

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

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 ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Introducing Scala to a Technical Manager

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 ...
36
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
616 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
28k 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 ...
15
votes
10answers
644 views

Inspiring People [closed]

So I work with a few people that I feel are intelligent but don't seem to be working out well. After working with them for a while I have seen the flashes of brilliance but mostly I see a reliance on ...
56
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
12answers
1k views

What factors should be evaluated when determining a desktop software price?

What factors should be evaluated when determining a desktop software price?
16
votes
10answers
2k views

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

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 ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Annual Review: what hard data should a developer bring? [duplicate]

Many companies have annual reviews and/or performance appraisals for their employees. I've heard that it's generally a good idea to muster up some hard data to analyze and bring to the review. The ...
14
votes
1answer
323 views

Guiding Management to the Correct Decision [closed]

My supervisor (also a developer) and I have a running joke about writing a book called "Managing From Beneath: Subversively Guiding Management to the Right Decision" and including a number of ...
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. ...
11
votes
3answers
496 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 ...
21
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 ...
20
votes
14answers
1k 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. ...
16
votes
13answers
902 views

What do you do when you realize your job requires you to do something out of your depth?

For a large software project recently, I was really out of my depth. And I did actually know this; and that the only reason I was employed was mostly a lack of other qualified candidates. The job was ...
11
votes
7answers
413 views

Where do you draw the line between quantity and quality?

My manager has talked with me and says that the quality of my work is excellent, but I need to step up the quantity of how much I crank out. I've only been working for a couple of years, so I still ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you manage frequent software releases to multiple clients? [closed]

we have a cross-platform middleware product which we typically end up customizing/bug fixing on a per client basis. In some cases, providing updates as often as once/twice per week. We have a lot of ...