I was reading more from Joel today and he sure nailed a topic I’ve often questioned. Specifically: managers and how some of them get to be one. Many times before I have come across managers (some mine, some not) that I felt may not fit the build. Common across most was the union factor – when someone has enough time with the company and/or industry and for some reason the next step is to promote them into management. Like Joel says:

Now, there’s nothing wrong with promoting a programmer to management, but management is a different job and a requires different skills from programming. Many people who are excellent developers are lousy managers, and promoting someone out of a job that they love doing and are good at doing into a job that they hate and are not good at doesn’t make sense.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/FogCreekMBA.html

In a nutshell, some people simply are not fit to manage and a good number of those who are may not be fit to manage people. It takes great understanding and listening skills to truly know your team, each individual, their strengths, weaknesses, what drives them and so on. I’ve only come across a few in my experience that have – in my opinion – truly fit that build.

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