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Crash Course: Managing Software People and Teams

March 16, 2017

Useful both for managers and leaders and also for those considering managing and leading for their careers (with relevance for any leader relying on managing software people and teams for their success).

“We’d like you to manage the team now.” That’s about as much introduction – and training – as many of us get before our first day managing. Often preceded only by, “You’re a great programmer,” and maybe, “it feels like you’ve got some people skills.”

But while programming cred and facility with people are helpful qualifications, what do you really need to know to manage well? What makes a manager great? What are the qualities that meld teams and deliver great software? What will make both your programmers and your execs rave? Those are among the questions that led Ron Lichty and his co-author Mickey W. Mantle to write “Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams” (Addison-Wesley).

In this interactive session, Ron will examine the great managers each of us has experienced, and the qualities, skills, finesse and gifts of greatness that made them stand out. He’ll talk about “the rest of the job”: managing up, managing out, and other aspects of being a seasoned manager that reports mostly don’t see.

You’ll take away a few best practices that take most managers years to discover.

On demand recording

Meet our panelists

Ron Lichty

Ron Lichty has been alternating between consulting with and managing software development and product organizations for 25 years, almost all of those spent untangling the knots in software development and transforming chaos to clarity, the last 15 of those in the era of Agile. Originally a programmer, he earned several patents and wrote two popular programming books before being hired into his first management role by Apple Computer, which nurtured his managerial growth in both development and product management roles.

Principal and owner of Ron Lichty Consulting, Inc., he has trained teams in Scrum, transitioned teams from waterfall and iterative methodologies to agile, coached teams already using agile to make their software development “hum”, and trained managers in managing software people and teams. In his continued search for effective best practices, Ron co-authors the annual Study of Product Team Performance.

Ron’s most recent book is Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams – co-authored with Pixar and Gracenote CTO Mickey W. Mantle. Published by Addison Wesley, it has been compared by reviewers to software development classics, The Mythical Man-Month and Peopleware.

Ron has repeatedly been brought in as an acting CTO and interim vice president of engineering to solve development team challenges. During Ron’s first three years at Charles Schwab, he led software development of the first investor tools on, playing a role in transforming the bricks-and-mortar discount brokerage into a premier name in online financial services. He was promoted to Schwab vice president while leading his CIO’s three-year technology initiative to migrate software development from any-language-goes to a single, cost-effective platform company-wide and nurturing Schwab’s nascent efforts to leverage early Agile approaches. He has led products and development across a wide range of domains for companies of all sizes, from startups to the Fortune 500, including Fujitsu, Razorfish, Stanford, and Apple.

Ron has been an adviser to a half-dozen start-ups. He co-chaired SVForum’s Engineering Leadership SIG; founded its Software Architecture SIG; chaired its Emerging Technology SIG and the East Bay Innovation Group’s Software Management Best Practices SIG; and was a board member of SVForum, Silicon Valley’s largest and oldest developer organization.

Ron’s developer conference and professional group talks and webinars include managing software people and teams; transforming software development from chaos to clarity; facing down the challenges of implementing agile and scrum; the critical roles managers play whose teams have gone agile; what it takes for product managers to bond with their teams; and the importance of collaboration, teamwork and community in software development.
Ron has cross-country skied nine marathons with Team in Training and fulfilled a goal to raise $100,000 to cure leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and support cancer patients and their families.