Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Review: "Managing Human"

Today, I bought "Managing Humans", written by Michael Lopp, AKA Rands, the writer of the blog "Rands In Repose", after looking for it for a while. More on that later.

Rands is the not-so-fictional alter-ego of Michael, which he uses to tell not-so-fictional stories about management in not-so-fictional companies he has worked for in the past fifteen years, including Apple Computers, Netscape, Symantec, Borland.

The book is basically a collection of the best management posts of the blog. Yes, it pretty much means that you have the book for free online. So why did I buy it then? Good question sir! Well, even though I can get the WIFI in pretty much all the parks of the city, my eeePC screen isn't bright enough to enable me reading in the sun. Besides, the book has a very nice cover, some new material, and heck, I like books anyway, so here I am with this little treasure in my craving hands.

It's the first time I'm doing a book review, and so I've been looking at how others do it, and well I'm not going to do like them. Anyway, a chapter by chapter review isn't possible, because I actually only read the first two chapters of the book, and got the urge to write about how good it was. 15 pages people, and here I am, on my keyboard writing about it, instead of reading it in the park.

Yes, it is THAT good.

In the first two chapters, there is at least 20 sentences I wan't to quote here, that I would want all my team members and my managers to have read and know by heart. It's dense. It's pertinent. It's fun. After reeading, you feel you can't blog about management anymore because it has been done before, and in a better way that you ever could.

There is three things that makes this book stand out of the crowd.

  • It makes you understand what is a good manager
  • It addresses the particular ecosystem of software development and it's specificities
  • It's hilarious
I don't know about you but I've read books that made me want to run away from management. Too dry, too complicated, just plain frightenning. This isn't one. You actually want to go to work and become a better manager.

I could go on for ages, just telling you how it's good, but the only way you can really realize this is by reading it. Start reading Rands blog, and if after that you tell me that you don't want to give it a try... Well I won't believe you anyway.

I want to include a quote from the first chapter of the book, of which the title is "Don't be a prick". Pretty much sums up Rands philosophy BTW.

Oh actually it's the second chapter. Nevermind.

"Why do you care that your boss wants to be VP of software? You care because his success is your success. If he doesn't know that, he might be evil."

Doesn't it sound a bit like my "Golden Rule"?

One last word: I went to a few Barns and Nobles trying to find it, with no success. Turns out I was looking under the management section, but it is on the Software development section. I couldn't tell you why.


Franz T. said...

Hey, Loïc.
NOT the best way to contact you, but you've apparently changed your phone number and I lost your email... Pourquoi j'écris en anglais, moi ? Bref, si tu pouvais me redonner tes coordonnées. Ah, et pour te prouver qui je suis : acide sulphurique, biologie, pull.

Loïc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Franz T. said...

Euki, tu peux y aller. A très bientôt...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's one of my favourite books.

For french-speaking people, my review of "Managing Humans":

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