«Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers» is a comprehensive guide - think of it as a field manual - to the management challenges of supervising and leading programmers. J.Hank Rainwater introduces new and not-so-new managers to concepts that will encourage them and help them become a strong leaders for their teams. You'll learn about the varieties of programmer personality traits and be able match personnel to projects for maximum productivity. You'll also learn how to manage your strengths and weaknesses as you improve your leadership skills, which will result in dramatic improvements to your team's success.
In this "how-to" manual that's both practical and thought-provoking, you'll find several chapters devoted to administrative aspects of your job, such as managing meetings, hiring and firing, and principles of organizing your job for success. Rainwater also describes task management software he built that you can use to organize project assignments. (The source code for this software is available for download once you own the book.) The chapter on technical leadership, which highlights the importance of architecture, design, and code reviews, also illustrates practical applications of leadership and concrete methods useful to any workplace.
Rainwater shows why things can go wrong for a leader and how to correct career-derailing problems as they arise. One chapter is devoted to the working relationship that you as a manager have with your boss, and it guides you into the best way to respond to the pressures of software project deadlines. Numerous other topics are discussed that are a necessity for anyone seeking to manage the "peopleware" aspects of software development.
«Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers Who Lead Programmers» is the definitive guide to the challenges and obstacles facing anyone who manages programmers.