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    I just… can’t. This style of management tips via philosophically annotated do’s and don’ts always seems to rub me the wrong way, no matter how anecdotally true any of the content may be. But here, there are these gems:

    Many of these books are excellent

    This gives away everything at this point. This author considers many management books “excellent”?! I can barely name one that I had ever found to contain valuable information.

    average programmers will consume nearly their entire work day just in reading and understanding the new code generated by the good programmers

    What? The “average” programmers (which I take to mean, less experienced or simply less motivated ones) I know of are more likely to be fixing bugs, improving knowledge share by helping document things, etc. These are hugely important tasks for any product development.

    creating a work environment where good programmers will be satisfied enough to stay

    As a senior programmer, this frightens me. Like a carrot on a treadmill, the idea of just keeping a good programmer “satisfied enough” seems like a horrible waste of talent, instead of fostering and further developing the skills of said programmer by giving her/him challenges.

    Ultimately, this author seems to want to send the message that all programmers are different, have big egos, and that they are unruly and need to be better controlled:

    Each programmer thinks his or her idea about what to build and how to build it is the best.

    The worker can spin castles of complexity in the air and come up with impressive-to-the-MBA excuses for why it has to be done a certain way or on a certain schedule.

    Programmers have huge and fragile egos.

    Okay I can’t read anymore. Maybe Greenspun is being cynical here, but I can’t help but read it as something else.

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      I think there are good points along with cringe-worthy statements. Which I’d like to chalk up to the ‘hacker culture’ (for lack of a better word) Greenspun comes from. For example, in this article he praises Bill Gates abrasive feedback style. Even suggests it is necessary.

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      You remind them of the good things that can happen to them if they finish a project or raise the spectre of their being laid off the next time the company needs to improve its profitability.

      Not actually all that inspiring. :)

      Oh, geeze…

      It costs more than not having the beach house but a lot less than having employees go off on their own to have fun every weekend and not work.

      God damn slackers, going off and having fun on the weekend. They’re the worst. Not on my watch!

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        One thing I like about HN is that if an article is from a while ago, people should update the title to include the year.

        So just to note, this article is from 2002.

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          This is also encouraged in the story submission guidelines:

          When the story being submitted is more than a year or so old, please add the year the story was written to the post title in parentheses.

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            Sorry, forgot to do that. I’ve know fix’d it