There are three classes of manager in software development:

The first is a product manager, whose sole purpose in life is to learn the domain of what customers of the company want and run interference between the bean counters and executive class and the people working on the solution. Their goal in life is to listen to customers, triage and prioritize requests, and come up with and take responsibility for a workable schedule that delivers the most important things first. They communicate to stakeholders when problems arise.

There are scrum masters who actually track the touchy-feely human resource stuff and keep the team informed of how on track things are as a whole, coordinating work between teams. They track capacity planning and try and unblock the team from things that are blocking them.

Then there are managers in the old-school sense: shit-ticks on the festering anal-fissured haemorrhoids of corporate cancer. They're the ones that pop up when one of the servers is literally on fire and the switchboard is ringing off the hook with customers complaining they can't get their reports to remind everyone that there are donuts in the conference room for that all important status meeting. They're the ones that interrupt actual work to ask people to write a status report that nobody reads, and even if they did it's complete fiction compared to the actual state of affairs and even if it was remotely accurate by the time he "massages" it to make everything seem really awesome to upper management (who are alternating between hiring like crazy because CTO magazine published an article saying that's "in" right now, or firing like crazy because they read in Forbes that outsourcing is the new black) it resembles nothing but pure fiction.

If these guys didn't transition from life in the Army, in which they spent 30 happy years painting the grass the regulation and Army approved shade of green, and are simply hired for the tax credits given to people who hire veterans, they were high school sports heroes, Al Bundy with a clipboard, assuming that yelling at people worked for Coach in high school so it obviously will work everywhere else. They read books with people with rolled-up sleeves on the cover, self-help books on being dynamic agents of change even though they're ensuring themselves on the Golgafrincham B-Ark when the rest of society gets sick of useless people. In a savage irony, the nerds get to bully the jocks, here. I remember watching a 275lb former nose guard sobbing in tears because the extremely valuable employee who "reported to him" wasn't going to do what he needed, and would never get fired for doing so - with his own job on the line and both of them knew it.

If you are the latter type, wrap your lips around twin shotgun barrels and before you pull the trigger with tears in your eyes pray to Buddha that though you deserve to come back as a cockroach and probably will, to at least be a stupid one and get stepped on relatively quickly, so you can level up to an anal pinworm.



Man"a*ger (?), n.


One who manages; a conductor or director; as, the manager of a theater.

A skillful manager of the rabble. South.


A person who conducts business or household affairs with economy and frugality; a good economist.

A prince of great aspiring thoughts; in the main, a manager of his treasure. Sir W. Temple.


A contriver; an intriguer.



© Webster 1913.

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