Some things I enjoy reading just because they “ring true”…kind of like reading Steve McConnell’s software development books like Code Complete and Rapid Development –
they are chock full of the usual “truths” to software development and common-sense lessons that we still see get violated quite often – so reading these books tend to get me back to center – a few weeks ago Steve McConnell hosted a webinar over the lunch hour on the topic of “The 7 Rules of Software Leadership” – his 7 rules are listed here:
The 7 Rules of Software Leadership
- Be sure you are going somewhere
- Take responsibility
- Make Decisions in the face of ambiguity
- Put the Organization First
- Be Passionate about your company’s business
- Become a student of Communication
- Treat your staff as volunteers
Now the webinar was directed at those in a position of leadership in the software field – which is where I find myself the past few years after dodging it so successfully for many years before that – I still laugh at interviewees that say they “hope to be managing teams in a few years and not coding for the rest of their lives” – because no one in their right mind wants to manage software developers, it is just sometimes people get forced into it to serve the companies needs.
Regarding Point #1 from the above list – Steve made the point that Leadership does not equal Management….Management is simply being in charge of people whereas Leadership is taking those people somewhere – I like that distinction. That and #5 resonated with me. Passion is always the difference it seems – I have been fortunate to work with passionate high performers to understand what a huge competitive advantage that is.
The past year I have really enjoyed Rajiv Popat’s blog named ThousandtyOne for some of the same reasons I enjoy McConnell’s books – because they ring true and make me think about things. I enjoy his sharing of hiring mistakes, software projects (both good and bad) and just his take in general on software development. So I have been watching with interest the book on software development he is writing and having readers like me review as he releases each chapter at a time – it’s fun providing feedback and corrections while watching his project take shape and challenges me to get more things done that I have had on my To Do list for far too long.
I had a college professor (Prof. Michael Boucher) who had recently been in the workforce prior to teaching us, and one of his quotes he said a lot was “if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted” as a warning to all of us heading into the workforce. That is still great advice for any developer but as I wrote about last year when discussing Tom Brokaw’s quote “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference”, I’ll still maintain the best advice for any college graduate or any software developer is this:
I still believe it is the most important thing that can change your career (and only your failure to work as a team member can derail it).
Have a great last week of 2010.