Memoirs of a Software Team Leader

This is the book I wanted to read after I had become a software team leader. This is also a book I wrote for myself to avoid making mistakes I had already made.

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  • Book language: English
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About the Book

I've been working hard to create something that would help me to preserve my experience from being a software team leader. Quite naturally, I realized it's a good opportunity to share knowledge with other team leaders and developers. This is how my book came into existence.

What makes it interesting is that there are many IT management books available, yet most of them are tailored to match perspective other than technical team leader's. I decided to fill this gap.

Becoming a software team leader was both a pleasant and challenging experience. I had been trying to find a book that could help me to become a better leader, but all I found were excerpts. I had to extrapolate my experience as a team member, recall what had worked well and what hadn't and try to figure out my own leadership style. Luckily, I was cooperating with clever people, eager to try new things out; it was a perfect proving ground and I think I seized the opportunity well, though it took me a while to draw some of the conclusions. By reading the book, you can save yourself the trouble, learn my knowledge and begin putting it into practice within hours.

Are you a team leader? I think I can surprise you. Do you want to become a leader? Great, by learning from my experience you'll be better since the day one!

By reading the book, you'll learn how to:

  • Select the right iteration length
  • Deal with a problematic customer
  • Make sure that what the customer asks for is doable
  • Decompose requirements into small, comprehensible tasks
  • Visualize task dependencies
  • Do code review
  • Deliver working code at the end of each iteration
  • Make sure you did what the customer wanted
  • Learn by mistakes and improve
  • Become a good leader
  • Make the right decisions
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Form a balanced team
  • Keep your team in a good shape
  • Coordinate actions as to maximize parallelism
  • Communicate with people outside of your team
  • Deploy and maintain software
  • Hire the right developers
  • And more…

About the Author

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Table of Contents

  • 1 Introduction
    • Who is this book for?
    • Who wrote it?
    • My services
    • Chapter layout
    • Meet the team
    • Disclaimer
  • 2 The Circle of Life
    • The iterative and agile approaches
    • Iteration length
    • Steps
  • 3 Step I: Requirements Gathering
    • Meet the customer
    • Meeting
    • Loyal advisor
    • Problematic customer
    • The perfect customer
    • After the meeting
  • 4 Step II: Analysis
    • Technical questions
    • Conceptual questions
  • 5 Step III: Decomposition
    • Initial information
    • UML diagram
    • Separation
    • Task size
    • Task types
      • Controversy
    • Dependencies
      • Visualization
      • Raw order
  • 6 Step IV: Planning
    • Communication overhead
    • Iterative planning
    • Task management software
  • 7 Step V: Catching a Breath
    • Strategic thinking
    • We have a problem!
  • 8 Step VI: Integration
    • Quality assurance
    • Code review
      • Before or after tests?
      • Changesets
      • Complexity
      • Bottleneck
    • Troublesome tasks
  • 9 Step VII: Final Testing
  • 10 Step VIII: Verifying Requirements Are Met
    • Possible outcomes
  • 11 Step IX: Lessons Learned
    • Technical
    • Communication
    • Personal
    • Feedback processing
    • Higher level
    • The circle is now complete
  • 12 Leadership
    • In a nutshell
      • Know your stuff
      • Know your staff
      • Don’t be a jerk
      • Don’t be weak
    • Hands-on or hands-off?
    • Delegate!
    • Getting real
    • Decision making
    • Resolving conflicts
  • 13 Team
    • Versatility
    • Irreplaceable people
    • Time to say goodbye
    • New members
    • Team player’s traits
    • Good and mediocre developers
    • Motivation
    • Celebration
  • 14 Team Coordination
    • Daily meetings
    • Core hours
    • Version control
      • Relevant commit messages
      • Frequent committing
      • Frequent updating
      • Explicit changeset
      • Single change, single commit
      • Substantial changes only
    • Unit tests as a glue
      • Stubbing
      • Mocking
    • Outside the team
      • Half-witted code
      • Communication channels
      • The least surprise
  • 15 Product Life Cycle
    • Deployment
      • You need a plan
      • Premature deployment
      • Documentation
    • Maintenance
      • Bugs
      • Changes
      • Code quality
    • Continuous integration
  • 16 Developer Recruitment
    • My approach
    • Five common mistakes
      • Lack of self-confidence
      • Too much self-confidence
      • Lack of cooperation
      • Aura of mystery
      • I’ve read about it
    • Selection tests
  • 17 Final Thoughts
    • What should you do now?
    • My prize

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