What are the most helpful articles on the subject of managing programmers? I came across this one recently, and thought it was excellent -

The unspoken truth about managing geeks

What else is out there?

  • 3
    If you haven't read all the books written by Steve McConnell, I advise you drop everything and do so. Not only will it teach you a thing or two about managing programmers, but it will make you a better programmer yourself. Jan 31, 2011 at 5:43

6 Answers 6


Rands (in Repose) talks about this. He also took excerpts from his blog and put them in book form: Managing Humans.


E.g.: http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives.html

The best thing you can do IMO is to read Gerald M. Weinberg books.

Being a "new user" (actually a long time lurker) I'm allowed to post one link only, so I'll try to sneak in this one: http://www.ayeconference.com)


Please refer to Joel's articles (Tech Lead section), I find it really useful.


Although 9 years old, I found Managing Software Engineers to be a helpful resource.

I do feel that people working in these careers work best under management styles of Theory Y or even Theory Z. Both of these take the approach that treating employees well promotes success.

There is a 2005 article on the concepts of Theory P, a management style concocted by some management consultant for managing programmers. The name may sound cool, but don't let it fool you! It reeks of Theory X style management and is quite insulting to the programming profession as a whole.

Lastly, here is a handy translation guide so managers can understand when programmers give them certain answers.


Rands in Repose has already been mentioned by maksa, so I'll throw in his book Managing Humans which is an excellent (and amusing) read about what you need to know about managing software developers.

It's also a nice read for developers who want to know what managers actually have to deal with and what they do.


If you are a dev who is moving up the food chain, then Herding Cats is a great read aimed at that situation.

  • What's with the random minus?
    – ozz
    May 7, 2013 at 12:42

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