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537

In my experience, good programmers want to program with as few distractions as possible. Some of these are more relevant to big companies, and I'm not sure where you work, but here are some examples: Casual dress code: Young programmers in particular will have a tough time avoiding resentment of a strict dress code. "I'm just going to sit at my desk all ...


390

Whether project managers get higher salaries than programmers and business analysts at all exist as a class depends squarely on the software world you live in. A simple answer to this question would be "because in our societies, we still think the salary is bound to the position in the hierarchy." But this answer whilst reflecting the fact that people are ...


331

Wow! Thanks for asking. Technically, like you, I guess I'm management, since I spend much more time communicating and leading teams than I do writing code.... but here's my take from both ends of the management horizon. Whether I'm a developer or a manager working for another manager, here's some stuff that helps in my communication with my management: ...


188

It is absolutely not normal for a group that size to be working without source control—the size of the largest group of programmers that can work effectively without source control is less than or equal to one. It’s absolutely inexcusable to work without version control for a professional team of any size, and perhaps I’m not feeling creative, but I can’t ...


161

The easy part first: there's a technical red flag in your post: I shudder at your mention of "mistaken estimates" - it's an estimate, it CANNOT BE MISTAKEN, that's why it's called an estimate. It can be off a little, it can be off a lot, that's why it's called an estimate. If you are taking estimates as gospel, that's going to be one of the main problems ...


152

The opportunity to work alongside experienced programmers.


149

Hire the inexperienced programmer with a passion for the craft. A passionate programmer will learn quickly, care about his work and enjoy doing it. I've worked with both types of programmers and I would always hire the passionate type over the experienced. People who don't care about their work eventually lead to problems in quality as well as in meeting ...


131

This blog post will add a lot of value to the discussion: http://teddziuba.com/2010/05/why-engineers-hop-jobs.html It comes down to this: top talent has easy time finding jobs. Make sure that you, the employer are competitive in the job market. I am a harsh judge. Please do not judge me nearly as harshly, for I need to eat to sustain my life and thus I ...


131

You are really talking about technical debt. Maybe a metaphor would help your managers. I often compare the effect of technical debt in software to cooking in a dirty kitchen. If the sink and counters and stove are piled with dirty dishes and there is trash on the floor, it takes longer to make a meal. However, the fastest way to prepare the very next ...


129

I always love going to conferences and training and consider that a perk. Not all companies pay to have their devs continue to learn. There's always more to learn. You benefit because they are learning more. They benefit from that too, but also have fun and get away from things for a couple of days and get to mingle with other devs.


111

Whilst no one posting here is in a position to tell you which to hire, I'd like to offer a little counterpoint to the proceedings... One of our most recent new starters is the absolute image of professional experience. In at 9, out at 5, one hour for lunch. No lates, no weekends. Which probibly sounds terrible to most of the people who have responded so ...


108

It may not be normal, but as Treb says, it's probably not that unusual As others have said, there are no valid reasons for not having source control in a company your size. So you need to identify and attack the invalid reasons: a) the main one is the status quo: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". This is difficult: you could start pointing out all the ...


104

I fail to see how they currently add value and is scheduling meetings, booking offsites and other administration works enough for their role? Don't underestimate the amount of interaction your manager does with other departments. They handle budgets, training plans, HR paperwork. They protect the developers from getting sucked into meetings with other ...


92

Actually, this is a very difficult question because there is no absolutely right answer. In our organization we have been putting better processes in place to produce better code. We updated our coding standards to reflect how we, as a group, write code, and we have instituted a very strong test/refactor/design/code loop. We deliver continually or at least ...


90

"Now orders, without discussion, have come down that everyone is to switch to Eclipse." I think that this is the real red flag. Your team is the expert on software development and the one to be affected by the decision, and yet you did not get to say a word in the discussion that resulted in this order? It sounds like over-managing by pointy-haired ...


85

They take more risks than programmers do. They have to make decisions based on whatever information we gave them, and then face the stakeholder's harsh criticism when their expectations aren't met. Part of the pay package compensates for this risk. Another factor may be the years of experience needed to prepare a project manager who can plan, estimate and ...


85

A genuinely terrible programmer can have sub-zero productivity (the bugs they introduce take longer to fix than it would take to just do all of their work for them). And a genuinely great programmer can do things that poor and average programmers would simply never achieve, regardless of how much time you gave them. So for these reasons, it's hard to talk ...


83

Give them each a budget and let them configure their own computer setup. Make them submit a plan for what they intend to purchase. Talk over the plan with them. It will be a great way to kick things off. Give them a budget for a cell phone and unlimited plan that the company will pay for. Pay for their home Internet service. Little things like these ...


82

Programming may be more difficult by some measure, but it's also more pleasant. You just sit there and solve the nice programming puzzle while managers deal with all kind of crap between their subordinates, their clients, their own bosses and stakeholders. That's why so few sane people actually want to be managers, so you have to compensate for that by ...


82

Taking what you said at face value, and assuming that the seniors didn't spend their nights and weekends fixing or rewriting the code that you wrote ;-) ... ...there is no reason to stay where your work goes unrecognized and unrewarded. Caveat: do not take career advice from strangers on the Internet.


76

I am going to go out on a limb here and say something that is not likely to be the answer you want to hear, but if you don't like management, your career path is going to be very limited. If what you like to do is code, and if you are really good at it, and you don't want to stop, then your career path is on a single trajectory: software engineer and then ...


76

Things that seem to work well for me: Give meaningful work and encourage ownership - even when a problem arises, don't solve it, talk through it and give the person insights so they can solve it themselves. edit - addition - this was also meant to include - stay the heck out of details. Assume your people know enough to do the assignment without ...


74

It sounds like you are placing too much effort on having well rounded individuals and not enough effort on having a well rounded team. There is nothing wrong with being good at something--in fact, that is probably why he was hired! You should be thankful to have someone who is good at programming to begin with. You stated: ... it goes against my ...


72

Reducing management to creating charts and writing documentation is like saying that programming is typing. To each their own, but for me programming is much easier than managing people.


71

As a manager yes I get the team to do timesheets. Here's why and a few notes on how they're implemented to, hopefully, minimise disruption: As a business much of our work is done on a time and materials basis. Without timesheets that obviously doesn't work. We have 10 clients and a range of different projects and products but we're not a big enough to ...



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