Leadership cannot be created by force of will alone. It requires mastery of aspects of management that may be new to you. In this chapter, you’ll examine some of the key areas of management that you must control or else they will control you. I introduce you to the areas of your job that directly impact your ability to guide your programmers in the same direction, the central task of herding cats. I discuss administration, an area that cuts across all areas of your work life. Handling distractions that pull you off task is a key skill you must learn, in spite of how this may make you appear to others. Project management, another critical leadership skill, is put into context with the rest of your activities. Building and maintaining your staff, a group that multiplies your efforts, is also addressed. In short, this chapter is central to building the skills that make you a cat herder.


Implementation Purpose Office Space Task List Business Requirement Beta Testing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    L I “borrowed” this term from David Shenk.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    I referenced Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,in Chapter 1. If you don’t own this book, go buy it and read it. Note what Covey says about managing time and priorities.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Chapter 4 for some suggestions on software that can help you create task lists for programmers. Don’t turn there now—you will miss all the preparation I am doing in this chapter so you realize the real mess you are in without a good way to electronically organize your work life.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    DeMarco and Lister, op. cit., p. 56.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Forgive me, but I am a programmer just having a bit of literary fun.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Watts S. Humphrey, Managing the Software Process ( New York: Addison-Wesley, 1989 ), p. 93.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Remember what Yoda said: “A Jedi’s strength flows from the force.” Same difference.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robert L. Glass, Software Runaways ( Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998 ), p. 20.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See also Robert L. Glass, ( Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    This is only one possible list of sins. There are many others. For good examples, see William H. Brown et al, AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition ( NewYork: Dorset House Publishing, 1998 ), p. 5.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Go to for a good one.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Churchill spoke this famous line about the future actions of Russia prior to the beginning of World War II. If your future depends on the products left behind by a secretive consultant, you will be ill prepared for the maintenance battles ahead with your software.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pete McBreen, Software Craftsmanship ( NewYork: Addison-Wesley, 2001 ), p. 61.Google Scholar

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© J. Hank Rainwater 2002

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  • J. Hank Rainwater

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