How to Manage Software Developers Effectively?

Is it easy to manage developers’ work? Actually, it is not something very special in compare with managing anyone else.

However, developers require a few special management techniques to encourage their productivity.

The author of GitPrime blog’s post describes seven tips specific to managing a team of software engineers:

Allow developers to do their work

Developers prefer to work with a manager who recognizes their abilities and trust they’ll get their work done.

In fact, by giving developers an opportunity to develop solutions on their own will help them to stay creative.

Non-development work

Activities that don’t involve writing code are unimportant to most developers. Your most important job for many developers is to protect them from time sinks such as non-technical meetings and administrative paperwork.

Listen and respond

Developers will have questions as development is an iterative process.

Once you’ve gathered requirements that make sense, get developers involved before starting work. Engineers should have the opportunity to critique, extend, or outright reject the requirements if they don’t make sense.

Encourage progress

Best developers continually try to improve their skills. The most successful managers facilitate growth. To do this, find one specific, actionable thing for them to focus on.

Use a personal development plan to suggest areas of research the developer can conduct during downtime.

Quality over Quantity

Attracting more developers to a project will not increase productivity.

A better solution to improving your developers’ productivity is to reorganize the team to perform small tasks, typically those that can be done within a few days or week.

Appropriate metrics

It’s important to choose only those metrics that are applicable, as many managers collect all available metrics just to show that the project is still under development. Check out our previous post for more information on the best metrics to use in periodic feedback.

Avoid switching between tasks

Context switching is expensive and the cognitive overload from multi-tasking results in poor performance. When working on multiple projects, some managers require their developers to work on one project in the morning and another project in the afternoon. The best solution to handling multiple projects is often to redistribute your developers into small groups dedicated to a particular project.

Be sure, the key to retaining great developers is to treat them well and manage them fairly.

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