Succeeding as first time manager

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Apr 20, 2013   ⋅   Menlo Park, CA

Nice little book. Title matches what the content is about.

This was actually pretty good!

When you’re relatively good at something, and you need to train somebody or show the person how to execute particular task, this book can be really helpful.

It especially targeted towards people being actual managers, however I must say several of the hints were pretty useful for day-to-day corporate operation.


In case of explaining complex chain of tasks which have to be executed in a given order and sequence, and they have to be done certain way in order to accomplish desired result, trick “I’m not sure if I made it clear; do you think you could rephrase with your words what you think I meant…” is perfect.

It’s easier if you’re a Polish immigrant with strong USSR-alike accent (strong L, less flashy) it’s even easier. Sometimes people just do it by themselves, without asking.

Several times it occurred to me I got something completely different to what I asked about. Especially in a inter-continental team where stuff is shared over e-mail, managing complex topics can be challenging.

Having a respect to people is one of the challenging topics to me. When I see somebody screwing things over and over and not thinking through the solution, it makes me angry sometimes. In the old good days (not working in the office), I could freely explode to my university colleagues and tell them what I think about them.

Unfortunately – this doesn’t work anymore.

Anyway: how to manage people in a software project still remains undiscovered to me. It’s funny thing to work in a hardware company, where people weren’t schooled in software engineering nor did they participate in Open Source project. Basically coding style is new to them and it’s hard to blame them

I guess this is where a bit of process would be helpful; putting tools in place for checking whether the style looks at least correctly from the indention point of view would be good.

You can’t figure out abstraction layer breakages that way; you can’t correct design that way. But at least you’re able to guess what the intention of the author was.

In general: Lohr’s books I found particularly interesting. Maybe because the topic is completely new to me.

“Critical Chain”

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About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me