Wednesday, December 22, 2010

hands-off manager? According to Lego of PWM

Q: most app teams have no _dedicated_ DB guy?? (though I know an ex-DBA in a trading floor RTB team) Database logic change is usually part of a BTB developer's job. Database investigation is both RTB/BTB work
A: in a _data_service_ or reporting application team, there IS someone dedicated. But you also need some auxiliary skills like ETL or reporting _products_.

Q: many hands-on developers endeavor to move UP to a hands-off manager role?
A: if you manage a team of 5+ developers, then it's hard to be hands-on.
A: if you are hands-off and just manage subordinates/users/upstream/downstream..., then you are vulnerable. Bottom line is "deliver results to business". Example - system slowdown, users complaining. Hands-off manager must know how to command his troop to resolve the issue, quickly. If a manager has no system knowledge, he can't command. It all depends on the expectation on the leadership role.

%%A: I'd say the hands-off manager (a "him" for example) needs to show off knowledge of his system internals, to gain credibility and user confidence. What if a subordinate (a "her") openly exposes the manager's lack of system knowledge? If the knowledge is expected of him, then she's hated. If he can easily shrug it off as "low-level" details he doesn't usually deal with, then he's safe. In a production outage conference call, she should listen to his cue.

Q: so a hands-off manager just needs the BA's skill - coordinate and clarify with users and other systems?
A: manager needs that skill but also need to do more than a BA.
%%A: a lot of GS vice presidents are really Biz Analysts. I feel in PWM Tech, technical is less valued than business or mgmt trec. More than once, senior managers openly say that if they retain a key manager, then the entire dev team can be rebuilt from 0.

Q: so to keep business users productive, every app manager (incl. hands-off ones) needs some high-level system knowledge? He needs no low-level knowledge as required of developers?
A: right

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