The unspoken truth about managing geeks by Jeff Ello
Good IT pros are not anti-bureaucracy, as many observers think. They are anti-stupidity. The difference is both subjective and subtle.
The primary task of any IT group is to teach people how to work. That’s may sound authoritarian, but it’s not. IT’s job at the most fundamental level is to build, maintain and improve frameworks within which to accomplish tasks.
it’s all about respect. If you can identify and cultivate those individuals and processes that earn genuine respect from IT pros, you’ll have a great IT team. Taking an honest interest in helping your IT group help you is probably the smartest business move an organization can make. It also makes for happy, completely non-geek-like geeks.
The article makes very good points. As I have said before software developers expect more of management than most staff do. And I would say software developers are seen as more cynical than most staff because they accurately evaluate management’s failures (and are more willing to speak up about problems).
Pretending software bugs don’t exist doesn’t work. Pretending management bugs don’t exist doesn’t work either, but most are willing to pretend management bugs don’t exit. Programmers often figure bugs should be acknowledged and dealt with, rather than pretending they don’t exist. But they are called cynical when they mention management bugs – which only makes them less confident in the ability of management to preform their responsibilities.
There will also be some who are cynical by any measure, but often what is seen as cynical is instead a good prediction of the likely result. The way to fix this cynical attitude is to succeed in management improvement not hope people fail to accurate assess the likely results based on the available evidence.