About Leading Software

I am writing a book.

This book is about being an effective Software Development Manager. It’s not about how to follow a particular process. It’s not about how to build great teams. It’s not about how to estimate and schedule better. It’s not even about being a good Team Lead. There are already great books about those things and I’m happy to let them be. Instead, this book is about the hundreds of tiny things that make success in the role of a Software Development Manager so unique.

It’s a bit of a wonder that you’re reading this on a blog. I had no shortage of personal struggles getting here. I knew that I wanted a lot of input into this book and that a blog would be a great way to do that. But I found myself seriously questioning my philosophy about openness. What would happen if I provided every chapter of my book, out in the open, at no charge, long before the book is published? Would it make it harder, or impossible, to find a publisher? What would it do to the eventual sales numbers?

In the end, I decided to forge ahead and I’d like to thank a friend at work for convincing me that I had no real choice. If my book’s presence on this blog guarantees that I don’t make any sales, then it probably isn’t a very good book anyway. If it is a good book (as I sincerely hope it will be) then the readership will be far broader than a blog and people will pay to have a copy in their own hands. If I’m wrong, then I may have to join all those old-school publishers who claim the openness of the Internet is killing their business. Let’s hope it never comes to that.

I hope you like it,

Cliff McCollum,  21 Jan 2010

4 thoughts on “About Leading Software

  1. Great stuff. I look forward to follow your progress. More and more tech books are written as open source. Check out all the Maven books from Sonatype for example. CC licensed, source code on github and so on. Where is yours gonna live?

  2. Very exciting Cliff. I like the idea of publishing first on a blog because you can collect responses and track page views, then use these real numbers to support your book with a publisher. Trafford Publishing (a vanity publisher in Victoria) claims that publishers are more likely to pick up a book that has some traction and real sales/readership figures as it reduces the risk that they’ll publish a flop. Please keep me posted on how this goes for you – depending on your results, I may use the same method for my own project.

    Also, let the SRT group know what you’re up to. As I’m sure you’ve written, being a good manager also means creating a culture that engages employees; your efforts in sustainability have definitely contributed to the positive experience your staff are having which makes this project of interest to the group. Good for you!

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