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I pity the "manager"'s job

A Bhattacharya
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Joined: Oct 22, 2007
Posts: 125
This applies to the "manager" jobs for many (not all) companies in India:
They must feel like a piece of sh!t because:

* They know that good engineers are self-managed and don't need a maanger.

* All they ever do is ask for status... and keep asking for status... and announce the status to others. They know inside their heads that even an UNEDUCATED COWBOY can do this.

* Pathetic life. They can't get ONE thing get done if their engineers aren't around.

* They know they are COMPLETELY REPLACEABLE without the slightest damage to the company.

* If they have morals too, they feel guilty for drawing a fat salary and absolutely add NO value, so these are the ones vulnerable to cardiac arrest.

The above applies not only to engineeing managers but also to "product managers" in some places.
Hong Anderson
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Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
I pity for the organizations more. From your list I envy managers, not pity .


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A Bhattacharya
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Joined: Oct 22, 2007
Posts: 125
I pity the managers especially for the last point I mentioned. That can really hurt.
vijay jamadade
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 241
Agreed for all the points.

As per my point of view, they just have the ability of delegating the job to the developer. Whatever bad thing happens regarding project, they will always blame to developer. Though developers does lot of work they get less paid.


Regards, Vijay Jamadade.
( Nothing is Impossible.)
A Bhattacharya
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Joined: Oct 22, 2007
Posts: 125
vijay jamadade wrote: they just have the ability of delegating


ha ha that is hardly an ability. even the farmer delegates one work to each of the cowboys, and goes back to his work
Sandeep Awasthi
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Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
Kengkaj Sathianpantarit wrote:I pity for the organizations more.

Agree and it is very frustrating for talented engineers, in fact it is extremely frustrating.

Many say managers does not have to know technology. Agree. But kind of managers drawing fat salaries in few companies, they are good for absolutely nothing. They are always busy playing games and surviving at the cost of playing with careers of talented engineers. This may not be applicable to every organization, but it is truth in many organizations. I know manager who does not know MVC properly and managing struts projects. I know managers who does not know why dbms_output.put_line is not showing any output and they are managing pl/sql projects. Agree manager does not have to know technical. But the team they are managing should have something to learn from their manager not game playings. My honest opinion is if you are not learning from your senior ( it may be technical or managerial skills ), you have to start looking for other options. One of the key skill your senior should have is he/she should be able to mentor you, if he/she can not he/she can not be your senior.


Sandeep
A Bhattacharya
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Joined: Oct 22, 2007
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Rajesh Thakare wrote:My honest opinion is if you are not learning from your senior ( it may be technical or managerial skills ), you have to start looking for other options. One of the key skill your senior should have is he/she should be able to mentor you, if he/she can not he/she can not be your senior.


Then you will keep hoping jobs. I did this in my previous company because the so called 'Project manager" was just a time-keeping gateman and he was the main reason I left the job. At the exit interview with the HR when I told about him, she said a very true words - 'You are working for the company, just like he is. Why do you have to let people like him come in the way of doing your job?" It stung me, and till this day I regret why I didn't take back my resignation. We are answerable to truth and duty, not to managers.
Sandeep Awasthi
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Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
You do not have to change company always. You can talk to HR that you would like to see yourself growing in knowledge like acquiring new skills. If you talk in indirect way and HR is smart enough, they can understand it. If they are interested in retaining you, they can do something for you or at least explain you why they can not help much. If that is acceptable to you, you can stay or in some cases yes you have to change company. But you have to be careful while choosing next company so you should not feel you made mistake. Other option is make compromise and stay there. In that case you will always get frustrated about these managers.
vijay jamadade
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 241
I have seen some project managers at client side who are handling critical projects and 8-10 resources and they dont know the basic things like port number, database basics, and lot like that. I really get angry and frustrated when i look that these people are ruling the developers which are far more talented and also getting double or triple salary as compared to the developers.

I feel pity on myself at these times.

A Bhattacharya
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Joined: Oct 22, 2007
Posts: 125
vijay jamadade wrote:I have seen some project managers at client side who are handling critical projects and 8-10 resources and they dont know the basic things like port number, database basics, and lot like that.


Next time he asks for status on the project, just speak to him in complete technical jargon - stacktrace, NullPointer exception, race condition , blah blah. Have a thousand mile stare and speak as though he is non-existant. When finished, quickly turn back to your computer and continue working. Whenever he stops by your desk for asking status, act like you don't hear him until he calls you 2 or 3 times, then ask "yes?" in a very professional manner, like you have never seen him before.
Sai Surya
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Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 460

What a realistic posting Agree to each point and I worked under a manager who interrorates developers for everything and finally she will say 'I don't understand' LOL. Managers good at asking questions too. I am scared to propose something to these managers because I need to go to the root level to explain things to them. This manager I worked for constantly asks 'Why When Where What and How' and finally says 'I don't understand'

I am lucky that she quit.


Sai Surya, SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 5.0, IBM 833 834
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Sandeep Awasthi
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Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
Whenever he stops by your desk for asking status, act like you don't hear him until he calls you 2 or 3 times, then ask "yes?" in a very professional manner, like you have never seen him before.


No that should not be right way in my opinion. My suggestion is you have to look at this like this.
How I can add maximum value to my profile through my current job. Option1, Option2 .... And choose best option. You have to be thinking manager for your own career!
vijay jamadade
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 241
Rajesh,

We are sharing these bitter experiances that we will never be able to talk to our PMs.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30753
    
156

Wow - you have bad managers. My manager adds value including:
- insulating from customer requests
- dealing with resource management, budget, etc
- helping resolve (non-technical) problems as they arise
- etc

[edited to fix typo]


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Sai Surya
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I am a big fan of Agile methodoloy in which team is self-sustained and manager is redundant and not required.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

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Sai Surya wrote:I am a big fan of Agile methodoloy in which team is self-sustained and manager is redundant and not required.

Agile managers are not redundant. See some things an agile manager is responsible for.
Henry Wong
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18896
    
  40

This topic seems to be just complaints from engineers -- my question to add to this is... do you even know what your manager does? And saying, they just "take credit for your work" and "collect a fat paycheck" is the surest proof that you do not know.

I took a break from engineering years ago -- spend a few years as a PM. I was actually pretty decent at it. What I learned was, (1) I was better as a techie, (2) I like being a techie better, and (3) being a manager was hard work. Today, I am back in development, and with a better appreciation for management.


Anyway ... if you just think that a manager is a useless cog that just collects money -- then become a manager... You can't lose. If you are wrong, then you will get some much need appreciation of what management is. Being wrong will make you a better engineer. And if you are right, then you should be doing a very easy job, while collecting a fat paycheck.... Either way, you can't lose...

Henry


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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  67

What makes a manager's job the hardest: clueless reportees.


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arulk pillai
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A good manager can insulate you from the stress, but a bad manger can stress you more.
Good managers will shield you from the politics


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Mike Isano
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Joined: Jan 19, 2007
Posts: 144
Henry Wong wrote: my question to add to this is... do you even know what your manager does? And saying, they just "take credit for your work" and "collect a fat paycheck" is the surest proof that you do not know.

Henry


What do managers do?
Freddy Wong
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Joined: Sep 11, 2006
Posts: 959


This topic seems to be just complaints from engineers -- my question to add to this is... do you even know what your manager does? And saying, they just "take credit for your work" and "collect a fat paycheck" is the surest proof that you do not know.

I took a break from engineering years ago -- spend a few years as a PM. I was actually pretty decent at it. What I learned was, (1) I was better as a techie, (2) I like being a techie better, and (3) being a manager was hard work. Today, I am back in development, and with a better appreciation for management.


Anyway ... if you just think that a manager is a useless cog that just collects money -- then become a manager... You can't lose. If you are wrong, then you will get some much need appreciation of what management is. Being wrong will make you a better engineer. And if you are right, then you should be doing a very easy job, while collecting a fat paycheck.... Either way, you can't lose...

Henry


I really like your point I consider myself as a techie and I'm more suited to be a techie rather than a manager. Having tried to jump into management bandwagon for a short period time made me think that it's not easy to be a manager. Of course, there are always bad managers out there. But, there are always good ones, too.

My 2 cents


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arulk pillai
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3223
What do managers do?



They manage people, resources, budgets, etc? Managing people is not an easy thing to do. It is easier to deal with a computer . Management is both art and science. It is the art of making people more effective than they would have been without one. In a nutshell, they plan, organize, direct, lead, and monitor. Only a few good managers really plan and lead. Without managers, our job will become harder. Who wants to attend meetings all day?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Mike Isano wrote:What do managers do?

I could go into a long list, but when I was managing (something I will never willingly do again) I saw my job description as one task:

  • Enable my team to do their job.

  • (More colloquially, I put it as "hold back the crap"). Everything else was secondary.

    The reason I no longer manage, and why I would never want to do it again, is because that is an extraordinarily difficult task.
    Deepak Bala
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    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 6662
        
        5

    Once again the whole idea of good and bad depends on your perspective. I do recognize the bad managers stereotypes mentioned here but I have come across some very good ones as well.

    The good ones

    Manage the budget well
    Shield you from mud slinging conference calls
    Insulate you from the customer, if you have to deal with one
    Do status reports and keep things on track
    Help you with technical issues - This is a nice to have. Although it is more of a tech lead's job

    You can really tell if a manager is good by the way he/she reacts when the chips are down and all hell breaks loose. Most go bonkers. Anyone can manage a team that is running smoothly. The good ones can keep people happy and the wheel turning even when you are in deep crap.


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    Sunil Kumar Jakkaraju
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Oct 06, 2006
    Posts: 24
    We recently had project management training for lead developers in our team and I learnt one thing from that, "Managing projects is not easy" and it becomes more difficult with team members who don't understand PM. Project Managers are the first to take the crap from customers. They exists not just to execute projects and shield his/her team from politics but also to provide useful statistics about the project for further improvement to the organizational process.
    There are some bad managers because they feel insecure and don't understand their job description properly.

    Thanks & regards,
    Sunil
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    Meg Sebastian
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    Joined: Jul 01, 2009
    Posts: 2
    Wow, I guess there are different managerial responsibilities in different parts of the world or in different sectors of the industry. Effective Technical Management (i.e. Leadership) absolutely demands a solid background in technology and a fundamental ability to understand the problems being solved and the solutions proposed. I suppose that if you are working for some "task monitor" type of person, I can see how you have gained this perspective, however true management is hollistic and includes personnel, financial, customer management and so on. I put forth that there might be more to your manager's job than meets your technical eye.


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    Vikas Kapoor
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    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 1374
    Programme manager is a must in any project and can't be eliminated. They can understand the business requirement 10 times quickly and clearly than a programmer.(Personal Experience)
    vijay jamadade
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    Joined: May 12, 2008
    Posts: 241
    Actually in many cases, Project managers are unaware about the requirements. They will just ask regarding time estimations to PL and forward a mail to client. They, to get project reduces the time estimations and because of that ultimately who suffers is a developer.

    As per my experience project managers 80% thinks about client only. For short deadlines he/she just tell us to work more time, come on saturdays/sundays, no leaves etc. ( he/she don't come to office on that day ) They just know is we need to deliver the project on time. They have nothing to do with developers personal life. They just want to get more & more work done thats all... I really hate these kind of selfish people. And at the time of appraisals and PLR , you guess better !!!

    What i expect as a developer is, word of appreciation which is enough to inspire for work. Even that also we don't get. He/she only know how to use resource thats it ...

    I agree there are some good managers but i have not worked with PM's like that.

    Do they exist



    chris top
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 1
    It seems like managers (the manager role) in an Agile environment could really assist with the hiring process.

    Creative teams need the management role. If teams are moving towards being self-directed, the manager role needs to be clearly defined, so it can be distributed across team members that may or may not be aware of what fulfilling the role entails.

    The 'trouble' with managers can most often be attributed to culture clash between control and collaboration cultures, when existing control hierarchies need to mesh with more collaborative or agile teams. The sentiment that managers are useless is similar to saying QA is unnecessary and then dropping the ball with system tests and test planning.
    Ram Korutla
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    Joined: Dec 24, 2007
    Posts: 80
    I believe, doing one's own job is pretty simpler than managing a team..the estimations and delivery schedules are not entirely at the discretion of the manager.. If the tech leads can explain why certain task would take more than the estimated time and justify to the client, any manager will not have problems. After if the team is happy and motivated, what more would a manager want ? If we want to live with managers who are non-techies, how do we expect them to sort out the estimation issues and all? They definitely need a helping hand before he approaches the client or senior management for more budget/time. Managing is an art and most dont have it..They feel insecure and it shows up in the way they deal with issues. They cannot convince the senior management/client nor the people under him. If it is a fault of manager, it is equally a crap by the organization. How a manager has become a manager with proper training or whatever it takes to be a good manager? People get promoted to PM by experience after some years. If a manager really has a heart he is the one who will suffer inside the most. They should be pitied. With the pay checks they draw and the lifestyle they have got accustomed to and more importantly the family commitments by the time they are managers, they cannot go back..It is a lot serious issue than it appears to be...that's the crap of IT industry..Its a whirlpool..If you are in, you cannot go out that easily.
    Jeanne Boyarsky
    author & internet detective
    Marshal

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    156

    It was nice seeing this thread again two years later.

    I agree that calling someone a manager without training isn't good. As for the whirlpool, it does seem to be possible to get back to tech after being a manager. Nice to see Henry and Bear's success. Personally, I know that I don't want to be a manager; don't need to become one...
    Vijitha Kumara
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    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 3838

    From what I have seen (and worked with) most of the PMs are not techie since they are to manage resources and monitor the progress of the project etc... Architects or Tech leads are to handle all the techie stuffs. I think that combination works well. And I think it’s also possible a person from the tech track to act as a manager than the other way round. It's more about what you can do and achieve with regards to your track whether you are a manager or a techie which makes you highly demandable.


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    Elchin Asgarli
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    There is a program in UCLA, they offer you in 3 years to get Master of Computer Science and MBA - that is a perfect tech manager for you!


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    Jeff Langr
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    Joined: May 14, 2003
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    Bear Bibeault wrote:What makes a manager's job the hardest: clueless reportees.


    Now now... is that a bit of return fire?

    I thought the worst part was having to deal with the individuals who acted like overgrown children, and who would come to me and whine incessantly about the team (thankfully, I was "only" saddled with two or three out of a team of ten).

    Jeff


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    Dejan Stojadinovic
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 5

    My daily job (release engineer/system integrator) often puts me between rock and a hard place (manager(s) on one side and developers on other).

    Biggest mistake that can be done by managers is to follow hype and seek for a new next-big-thing ("oh, my, we need this and that, I saw it on blogosphere ")... search under "Cloud" these days; or just read good old Dilbert: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-01-07/

    Developers (at least some of them), on the other hand, can be very close-minded and encapsulated in their daily routine ("I don't want to upgrade my two year old Eclipse", "why do we actually need all those integration tests" and "my source code is easy readable to everyone, I don't need to write any comments").

    It is what it is

    Luckily, it is not all that bad ;) All what it takes is chose managers among those who are at least intermediate technical skilled, and force developers to learn and practice soft skills (to work as a team, not as group of individuals).

    This concludes my report from no mans land
     
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