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Like Your Mother, I appreciate a technically competent manager. While general management skills trump technical competence for high level managers, lower level managers of programmers at the coalface do require technical skills IMHO. At least, that's been my experience.

Let me give an example to clarify. I remember one particular "delivery focused" programmer with a "strong sense of urgency". Rather than taking the time to properly abstract the design, he crudely cut n pasted thirty new classes from an existing one. Now these thirty classes were identical, except for one line of code!! Of course his code never contained any useful comments because these take time. This fellow consistently left behind huge swathes of unmaintainable code, yet his non-technical manager -- who never looked at the code -- praised him and even gave him bonuses and little plaques for his "strong sense of urgency" and "can do" attitude. You might argue that a better non-technical manager, one who understood technical debt, would not do this (and I agree), yet non-technical managers must rely on others to judge the technical merit of the work produced by their staff. And in a political, non-trusting organisational culture, that results in people playing silly games (e.g. if you tell my non-technical manager that my work is of high quality, I'll return the favour to you).


In reply to Re^3: Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part II): The Office by eyepopslikeamosquito
in thread Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part II): The Office by eyepopslikeamosquito

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