Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

The ultimate management sin is wasting people’s time.

This book contains some nuggets of wisdom, surrounded by noise and some out-of-date topics. Overall, I think it is worth speed-reading, noting the valuable nuggets and then ruminating on those.

Some miscellaneous thoughts:

Overall I don’t regret reading it.


On the purpose of a manager:

The manager’s function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work.

On hiring:

Aptitude tests are almost always oriented toward the tasks the person will perform immediately after being hired. They test whether he or she is likely to be good at statistical analysis or programming or whatever it is that’s required in the position. You can buy aptitude tests in virtually any technical area, and they all tend to have fairly respectable track records at predicting how well the new hire will perform. But so what? A successful new hire might do those tasks for a few years and then move on to be team leader or a product manager or a project head. That person might end up doing the tasks that the test measured for two years and then do other things for twenty.

Book cover for Peopleware
Productive Projects and Teams
Tom DeMarco; Timothy Lister