Leading Smart People: Essays from 2018
Leading Smart People: Essays from 2018
Leading Smart People: Essays from 2018

About the Book

2018 was a pretty good year. I taught workshops in San Francisco, Oregon and Berlin, coached people from around the world, and developed Software Leader Seminar, a self- paced leadership course. But the thing I’ve worked hardest on, and the thing I’m proudest of, is my writing. My goal has always been to connect with people, both managers and developers, and help them learn how to build – and be part of – happy teams that produce valuable work.

With that in mind, I decided to collect some of my best writing from 2018 and offer it to you here in one place. Any collection of pieces written

over time has a few oddities – bits of chronology that don’t quite fit, references to current (now in the past) events. But overall, I hope you can find as much usefulness in these articles as my original readers did. So read on for 2018’s best! 

About the Author

Marcus Blankenship
Marcus Blankenship

Marcus is a technical leadership author, coach, trainer and speaker, helping great programmers become the next generation of great tech leaders. He lives in Eastern Oregon with his wife and 2 small dogs.

He'll be a grandfather in August 2017, and is looking forward to being called "pop-pop".

Table of Contents

  1. The Real Work of Software Management - Part 1
  2. The Real Work of Software Management - Part 2
  3. 7 Tips to Successfully Micromanage Programmers
  4. The Wrong Section of the Bookstore
  5. The Science of Happy Developers: How to Improve Your Dev Team's Mojo
  6. Onboard People, not Technology
  7. Why Your Programmers Fantasize about a Big Rewrite
  8. Why Your Programmer Just Wants to Code
  9. A Wake-Up Call for Tech Managers
  10. Let's Stop Learned Helplessness in Software Engineering
  11. The Surprising Misery of Empowered Teams
  12. Advanced PeopleOps - 1:1 Retrospectives
  13. The Myth of Many Hands
  14. The 4-Letter Word That Makes My Blood Boil
  15. Your Agile Assembly Line Workers
  16. Why Software Quality Is So Confusing (and How We Can Fix It)
  17. The Trap of Sales-Driven Development
  18. The Unexpected Danger of Typecasting in Engineering Teams
  19. 9 Lessons from Teams Who Anticipate Learning


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