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Team Building

Dear Reader,

[Editors Note: I’m cleaning up and re-organizing my main website, www.calevans.com. It will become the home for all my published code, etc. In the process of cleanup, I found this little ditty that I wrote. I didn’t want it to get lost so I’m posting it here. it really fits in with my team management theme here. Enjoy]

Ok, we’re all adults here. We’ve all ready “The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering. We know what we are supposed to do to build great teams. But somehow, we just never find the time to do it. Deadlines creep up, budgets are tight and you just can’t afford another person. People call in sick and somebody has to pick up the slack. There are 100 excuses for not treating your developers like they should be treated. But how about coming up with at least one excuse to treat them right.

So here are 3 free or low cost ideas that I’ve developed over the course of my career. If you like them, take them and make them your own.

  • On their way way out every night, thank each person by name for coming in today. Be sincere and be honest. Let them know that you know that they could work elsewhere if they wanted to and you are truly thankful that they work with you.
  • Make sure you know the name and birthday of each of your people and if possible, their significant other. Send a card. If you have the budget, send a gift certificate for two for dinner somewhere nice.
  • Drop by your local grocery store and pick up a lot of candy, I mean a LOT. Bonus points if you know what kind of candy your people like but anything individually wrapped is good. Then go around (YOU go around, don’t send someone around) and drop off a hand-full to each person. Stay and chat for a few minutes.

All these ideas have a single thread in common. You, the manager, do something out of the ordinary for them, the developers. You do something that take the most precious resource you have, time. Giving them your time is worth more than anything else, except possibly for a raise.

Look, the bottom line is that it is all up to you, the manager. You have to be the glue that holds your your team together. You can make excuses all you want for why you don’t have time but trust me, it’s easier to keep good people than it is to find more.

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
=C=

Dr Dobbs Part 2

Dear Reader,

Previously, I mentioned that my article that I wrote in May, PHP: The Power behind Web 2.0, finally got published in Dr. Dobbs . I wasn’t’ sure if it was going to be in the print edition or just in the web version. Well it came today, I was actually in the print edition.

It’s a minor victory but one I’m proud of, This one goes in a stack with a bunch of Visual FoxPro advisor’s and a copy of php|architect.

Until Next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
=C=

Goals for the New Year

Dear Reader,

Ok, that last post was as close as I’m gonna get to a “year in review” post. I just don’t like looking backwards that much. So let’s take a moment to look forward and set some goals.

  • Lose 30 lbs.
    Yeah, I know it’s a cliche but I really want to drop 30 this year. These guys just opened up down the street, I think I’ll give them a try. Aside form the fact that they use ColdFusion for their website, they seem to be pretty cool.
  • One blog post per week in 2008.
    Guess what, I’ve got the first week covered. Seriously, I’ve been real lax in posting here for the past year, mainly because most of my writing efforts go to DevZone. However, I do have several ideas that I want to discuss here that revolve around technology but are not necessarily related to PHP.
  • Write One new article per month.
    With all the opportiunities I have to write, you would think this is a no brainer but like everything else, I get sidetracked on other projects. So I hope to post or have printed, one new article per month.
  • Another Book in 2008.
    Ok, so my first book isn’t officially released yet but even so, it was all written in 2007. I’d like to come up with another idea and sell it to a publisher. I’m guessing my ability to do so is greatly dependent on the sales of my first book. So do me a favor…go order a copy.
  • A picture a day in 2008.
    Inspired by people like Chris Wage, Andrei Zmievski, Sebastian Bergmann and Terry Chay, I really want to post one new picture per day in 2008…I’m already behind, this being Janyary 2nd and I’ve yet to post a picture. As soon as I finish this post, I’ll start figuring out what and where to shoot. Note: my goal is not to be as good as any of those four, just to post a new picture every day. I’m shooting for goals I can actually hit.
  • Learn a new language
    The Lovely an Talented Kathy and I will be learning French this year.

So those are my goals for the year, only time will tell whether I can hit them. Hey, have you posted your goals for the year? let me know, I’ll link to them.

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
=C=

I’ve been published in Dr. Dobbs!

Dear Reader,

Wow, I wrote this article back in May/June and it finally got published! “PHP: The Power Behind Web 2.0“. This was the very first version of the FNN that I wrote. I used the concept in “Flex and PHP: Party in the Front, Business in the Back”.

Thanks to Andi because I’m sure without his name on the article, they wouldn’t have given me a second glance.

That makes two magazine articles this year and I’ll miss my other goal for the year, a book published, by a month or so.

It’s been a productive year.

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
=C=