Two of the computer industry's best-selling authors and lecturers return with a new edition of the software management book that started a revolution. With humor and wisdom drawn from years of management and consulting experience, DeMarco and Lister demonstrate that the managers ignore them at their peril. Now, with a new preface and eight new chapters, the authors enlarge upon their previous ideas and add fresh insights, examples, and anecdotes.
"Peopleware" asserts that most software development projects fail because of failures within the team running them. This strikingly clear, direct book is written for software development-team leaders and managers, but it's filled with enough commonsense wisdom to appeal to anyone working in technology.
Authors Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister include plenty of illustrative, often amusing anecdotes; their writing is light, conversational, and filled with equal portions of humor and wisdom, and there is a refreshing absence of "new age" terms and multistep programs. The advice is presented straightforwardly and ranges from simple issues of prioritization to complex ways of engendering harmony and productivity in your team. Peopleware is a short read that delivers more than many books on the subject twice its size.
Review By: Jennifer Smith-Brock 05/15/2005
This book discusses software-development “people in the workplace” in a real and refreshing way. There are important topics that are rarely discussed openly such as “Brain time versus Body time”: the authors point out the significant differences between the two. The office environment and the effect it has on productivity is brought out in a very clear and understandable manner. The book provides practical, easy-to-use solutions to problems concerning the environment in areas such as music, lighting, chatting, and paging systems. The book provides valuable advice on how to use these environmental factors to modify negative behaviors. Ineffective management practices are revealed in a humorous, charming-yet-alarming manner.
One of the new chapters in the second edition discusses process improvement programs and the paradox of such programs. Another chapter worth noting in the second edition is Human Capital. This chapter discusses the People as investments rather than expenses. It is amazing what a shift in definitions can do. This then leads to the people being viewed as assets rather than liabilities. The last chapter is the Making of Community. The opening paragraph states “we turn to what great managers do best: the making of community.” That sentence paves the way for the remaining text in this chapter, the value of community, what is community, why great managers do a good job creating community.
This book is a classic and should be read by every manager in the IT field annually. Situations change, people change, and we all need to be reminded periodically of the information that is brought out in this book. The authors have a fresh and revealing perspective on People issues. It is obvious they have personally experienced and observed many of the day-to-day situations that occur in the workforce.
The style of the book is casual and entertaining. It is easy to read yet provides useful, factual information. There is something in the book for all IT People.