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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (1987)

by Tom DeMarco, Timothy R. Lister

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,431199,507 (4.34)2
  Few books in computing have had as profound an influence on software management as Peopleware . The unique insight of this longtime best seller is that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. They're not easy issues; but solve them, and you'll maximize your chances of success.   "Peopleware has long been one of my two favorite books on software engineering. Its underlying strength is its base of immense real experience, much of it quantified. Many, many varied projects have been reflected on and distilled; but what we are given is not just lifeless distillate, but vivid examples from which we share the authors' inductions. Their premise is right: most software project problems are sociological, not technological. The insights on team jelling and work environment have changed my thinking and teaching. The third edition adds strength to strength." -- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Kenan Professor of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Author of The Mythical Man-Month and The Design of Design "Peopleware is the one book that everyone who runs a software team needs to read and reread once a year. In the quarter century since the first edition appeared, it has become more important, not less, to think about the social and human issues in software develop¿ment. This is the only way we're going to make more humane, productive workplaces. Buy it, read it, and keep a stock on hand in the office supply closet." --Joel Spolsky, Co-founder, Stack Overflow "When a book about a field as volatile as software design and use extends to a third edition, you can be sure that the authors write of deep principle, of the fundamental causes for what we readers experience, and not of the surface that everyone recognizes. And to bring people, actual human beings, into the mix! How excellent. How rare. The authors have made this third edition, with its additions, entirely terrific." --Lee Devin and Rob Austin, Co-authors of The Soul of Design and Artful Making   For this third edition, the authors have added six new chapters and updated the text throughout, bringing it in line with today's development environments and challenges. For example, the book now discusses pathologies of leadership that hadn't previously been judged to be pathological; an evolving culture of meetings; hybrid teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. Anyone who needs to manage a software project or software organization will find invaluable advice throughout the book.  … (more)
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English (19)  German (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
A good, but painful read, about why companies, teams and individuals sometimes get in the way of success, what to watch for, and some ways to fix it. The truth can be painful sometimes, but it's sometimes good to hear other people have a name for that pain. ( )
  craignicol | Dec 13, 2020 |
Great read, albeit depressing in that my industry hasn't learned a damn thing in forty years. ( )
  RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
The problems we face in building effective teams and effective software are primarily sociological in nature, and attacking them with the same toolbox we use to overcome technological problems is folly at best and completely destructive at worst. The authors break down a host of topics, from pathologies in leadership, to the basic ingredients needed for team gel, to the important factors in a working environment that supports all modes of work for creative workers.

This book is a must for anyone who guides the process of creative work, especially in a technology-driven environment. I know I would benefit from an annual ritual to read and absorb its wisdom.

I am fairly certain I read (or at least started to read) an earlier edition of this book 15 years ago when I was last “leading” a “team” at [REDACTED]. It definitely made an impression on me, but it did not speak to me the way this most recent reading did.

( )
  erikogan | Mar 23, 2020 |
This book is one of the few focused specifically on how to manage projects and teams of knowledge-workers. It teaches the reader how management might retain workers and their essential skills instead of treating them like cattle. It treats the central problem of management is sociology and not technology. Keeping knowledge-workers happy and productive requires humanity and not scorched-earth policies.

The book, in its third edition, is organized into 39 short chapters each with its own focus. As with most management books, its lessons are absorbed in the industry practice. Nonetheless, it is nice to read the thinking and research behind contemporary practice.

Management of people should focus not merely on the goals/objectives of a project but upon the people involved. This is a lesson which is sometimes forgotten by management. The person who works on a project/team is a knowledge worker with feelings, experience, knowledge, and wisdom. One must not only navigate the objectives of a project but also the care of a person. People work best when they are happy and not actively stressed by poor management.
( )
  scottjpearson | Jan 25, 2020 |
The book Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister has recently been released in a 3rd edition, and the topics adressed in it are still very important. Software development is about people: when, how and where they can work together. If you truly are concerned with people, and looking for ways to improve how you collaboratively develop and deliver software, then this book is a must read. ( )
  BenLinders | Jul 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Tom DeMarcoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lister, Timothy R.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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  Few books in computing have had as profound an influence on software management as Peopleware . The unique insight of this longtime best seller is that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. They're not easy issues; but solve them, and you'll maximize your chances of success.   "Peopleware has long been one of my two favorite books on software engineering. Its underlying strength is its base of immense real experience, much of it quantified. Many, many varied projects have been reflected on and distilled; but what we are given is not just lifeless distillate, but vivid examples from which we share the authors' inductions. Their premise is right: most software project problems are sociological, not technological. The insights on team jelling and work environment have changed my thinking and teaching. The third edition adds strength to strength." -- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Kenan Professor of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Author of The Mythical Man-Month and The Design of Design "Peopleware is the one book that everyone who runs a software team needs to read and reread once a year. In the quarter century since the first edition appeared, it has become more important, not less, to think about the social and human issues in software develop¿ment. This is the only way we're going to make more humane, productive workplaces. Buy it, read it, and keep a stock on hand in the office supply closet." --Joel Spolsky, Co-founder, Stack Overflow "When a book about a field as volatile as software design and use extends to a third edition, you can be sure that the authors write of deep principle, of the fundamental causes for what we readers experience, and not of the surface that everyone recognizes. And to bring people, actual human beings, into the mix! How excellent. How rare. The authors have made this third edition, with its additions, entirely terrific." --Lee Devin and Rob Austin, Co-authors of The Soul of Design and Artful Making   For this third edition, the authors have added six new chapters and updated the text throughout, bringing it in line with today's development environments and challenges. For example, the book now discusses pathologies of leadership that hadn't previously been judged to be pathological; an evolving culture of meetings; hybrid teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. Anyone who needs to manage a software project or software organization will find invaluable advice throughout the book.  

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