Adapting to Your Leadership Role

  • J. Hank Rainwater


In the beginning of any new job, we all have great hopes and, to some extent, a reasonable amount of fear that we might fail. As a successful programmer, you have, no doubt, had your share of new beginnings on projects and at places of employment. Now that you’ve been given the reigns to lead a group of programmers, a very new and perhaps daunting task is before you. You must evolve from programmer to leader as quickly as possible to thrive in your new software development role. This will entail adapting to a new social context and adopting new ways of interacting with your work world and the people in it.


Leadership Role Optical Disk Drive Design Meeting Quantum Packet Ultimate Decision Maker 


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  1. 1.
    You know what a Ninja is—this word refers to the quality of being one, as in black-belt programming.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    You can look up most of these terms in The New Hacker’s Dictionary,Third Edition, by Eric S. Raymond (The MIT Press, 1998).Google Scholar
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    Ellen Ullman, Close to the Machine ( San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997 ), p. 20.Google Scholar
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    I’m using the term “architect” here in the sense of a programmer, not a full-fledged software architect. See Chapter 6 for a discussion about the importance of architecture in the grand scheme of development.Google Scholar
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    This concept is important because one authority estimates that at least 70 percent of software cost is related to maintenance. See William H. Brown et al, AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis ( New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998 ), p. 121.Google Scholar
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    Some may prefer the term “guru” or “wizard.” I like “magic.”Google Scholar
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    I prefer the term “program anomaly” or “undocumented feature offering (UFO)” over “bug.”Google Scholar
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    This is a Southern expression for a trip to the woodshed, usually involving a spanking.Google Scholar
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    Actually, it accuses the fool of saying this. See Ecclesiastes 9:14–19 in a modern version for the context. Try not to get too depressed when you read this.Google Scholar
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    See the New Testament, 1 Timothy 6:10, where love, money, and evil are related together in a nice, logical syllogism.Google Scholar
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    The phrase “like white on rice” is Southern for “in your face.”Google Scholar
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    Many would say that if everyone agrees then when things go bad, everyone is to blame. This may be true, but as managers we should be more concerned with fixing problems than affixing blame. Success has many parents—be one.Google Scholar
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© J. Hank Rainwater 2002

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  • J. Hank Rainwater

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