When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

14 February 2007

Twelve Tips for Managing Geeks

Those who run the business lack affinity for technology so they need the geeks, but they get frustrated by sloppy procedures, slipped deadlines, tactless communications, mystifying documents, warped priorities, lack of respect, non-compliance and stubborn resistance. Geeks, in the minds of business types, just don’t get it.

I once interviewed a Unix systems programmer in a bank about the machines he “owned.” I asked him what applications ran on them. He started listing HP-UX, Oracle, OpenView… No, I said, applications; what business processes? He looked surprised and slightly embarrassed, because he had no idea.

For the health of the business it’s most important that management understand the geek mentality and manage appropriately. This is a huge topic beyond the scope of one article. Please do make a study of it as effective geek-management rewards the effort. In the meantime we can help by pointing out the most important threats to watch out for from geek culture.

Twelve Tips for Managing Geeks (Rob England at IT Management, February 8, 2007)

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