Oh Manager wherefore art thou?
Hmm, yes management would be nice I remember something like that from the 1980's. Since then the IT world seems to have been blighted by an almost total absence of management.
Much of those wandering this It microcosm of industry these days, and purporting to be 'managers', seem to have small abilities in the field of management. In fact arguably any field of note, all to often working as technical staff for these fellows, one hears the quote ' ah umm don't understand that is far to technical for me'. Which is strange really because this was from people whom's role was technical project managers, and the depth of technicality required would be ordering a few tapes for a tape drive.
I personally attribute a lot of this to the idiots employed in the years on the run up to the year 2000. As the apparent need for IT staff increased almost anybody who either could spell IT with say an 'i' and a 'T', or perhaps stood in the right bus queue in the Thames Valley, could get a job as a Y2k consultant.
Many of these folks produced stunning reports on the process for addressing the Y2K problem, not the actual solution mind, but plenty of process. The reports were indeed stunning in that if they fell from the shelf where they had eventually come to roost, they would at least stun, if not fracture your skull. In summary however the report said nothing more than :
a. hmm, you have a problem with Y2K, here is your answer
b. make a list of all your computer systems (now here comes the cunning science bit)
c. put the real important ones at the top,
d. keep adding systems until ...
e. the least important at the bottom is last
f. TEST & FIX the ones at the top of the list first
And so gentle reader these oxygen thieves were left to return to their previous world .... breaking news ........ unfortunately this did not seem to happen. Along with ITIL, ISO9001, and sundary other pieces of c**p, these Windows Solitaire analysts had by then acquired credibility, and stayed on. I guess the pay was better than geting a PI Giro, or pinching radios from cars.
Since then, one (oh alright I ain't the queen), I have worked places and encountered management examples, such as -
a. in a survey of our managers 38% did not want to mange people. This organisation is now outsourcing (not really sure why, but I'm sure they will love it). Hearing this comment I muttered quietly at the time to a colleague 'so what the f*** do they want to manage, penguins, or maybe desk fluff'.
b. the sublime personal management of working till 11:00 at night recovering a VMS system, being told to come in for 7:00 this next morning (sure this against some sort of EC or HSE rule). Getting in for 7:00 in the morning. Fixing the VMS system about 10:30. Only to find that I was supposed to go to a team meeting at 9:30, which el manager had sent an email on about 2 months previously, and then receiving a right good telling off. The managers PA had also been told off for attempting to go round, and let us know that we was supposed to go to the meeting. Apparently 'we didn't need spoon feeding, and should remember these things'. Could just be Sleepless in Seattle, or is that Settle.
c. organisations that now have more 'managers' than staff. What are they all for? As an indicator of these sort of places look at the CC list on an email, if there are 50 or so names on this, then the company you work for has a few too many managers.
d. the project manager who was recruited as a futures business specialist for the project on which I was working. It was a bit of a surprise to discover my knowledge of futures trading, based on reading a book (a couple of chapters in fact), and chatting to a mate at lunch, exceeded el project manager.
Hmm better stop ranting now. Just for the record the phrases, 'Flotsam and Jetsam of Y2K', and 'Oxygen Thieves' are not mine. Then again since I am posting anonymously I probably better not give a citation.
Perhaps I am just getting old, and am now noticing what has been described as one of the problems with British Industry.
I guess Software Developers shouldn't (ideal world) but either (real world) might as well or just do manage themselves. (Lord knows if the commas are the right place here, actually this is pretty much solicitor English, and that could be a whole new rant :-)
Finally to all those too few managers who do a good job, keep at it, Carpe diem, or even better Carpe cerevisi!