Working with Coders – A Book Review

Working with Coders: A Guide to Software Development for the Perplexed Non-Techie is a book that aims to help managers and business leaders better understand programmers and the work they do. By explaining to and enlightening the readers about the unique working environment of software development, they are able to communicate clearly and support the efforts of coders. This results in effective collaboration that leads to on-time and on-budget delivery of quality software projects.

Book Details

The paperback is about 6.1 in. wide, 0.5 in. thick, and 9.2 in. long. Shipping weight is about 12 ounces. It has 220 pages divided in 10 chapters. Aside from paperback, it is also available in Kindle format. This first edition was published by Apress Publishing in July 2017 in English. ISBN-10: 148422700X; ISBN-13: 978-1484227008

Price

$20.87 for the paperback version and $14.74 for the Kindle version

Target Audience

Working with Coders is for business managers, technology startup CEOs and executives, project managers, and clients of digital agencies. Generally, the book will benefit any individual or group that employs, contracts, or manages software developers. Project management students can also use it as reference, especially those leaning toward software development projects. This can also be beneficial to coders themselves, so that they will have an idea what areas they need to explain and reach out to non-coders to be better understood.

What Customers Say

Moritz (Amazon) described Working with Coders as a delightful and light read. It is full of anecdotes backed up by data. The reader recommends it to people working with software developers, as well as developers themselves to get a new perspective of their field.

Deepak (Amazon) stated that it provided him practical insights in how to effectively manage software developers and understand their challenges. The book gives a clean inside-out perspective of software development to non-technology persons. He recommends it to startup founders and project managers, which may give them new angles and inspire some changes.

Robert C. (Goodreads) stated that the author imparts practical advice to non-technically minded professionals in how to work best with software developers. The book covered important concepts such as software building process, Agile, and Lean.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: Working with Coders is divided into 10 chapters. The book is about the process of software development. It is also about the psychology and behavior of coders. The chapters present the common misconceptions and misunderstanding about software development and developers, and how to avoid them.

Approach/Tone: The writer comes from the perspective of a developer as well as a manager of developers. He shares anecdotes that sometimes emphasize how little to nil non-tech people have in understanding what software projects are, and about the strange and unorthodox ways coders think and act in developing these same projects. Some humor is injected to show how situations and expected results can be really absurd.

Style: The topics center and flow around the process of software development. So, the process is described, as well as the participants. The author, because of the intended audience, try to simplify technical definitions, and this serves the purpose of the book. As expected, technical and coding terms are present, and also statistical data to support the statements. Some paragraphs are long. But overall, readers have found the book to be a light read.

Why Buy the Book

Working with Coders is an interesting book, with a noble purpose, and many practical tips and general lessons for non-technical people. After reading this book, they will be able to avoid making wrong assumptions, and use, more or less, the same language as developers with a common understanding. At the end, they will be able to make better decisions regarding software development projects, and have better working relationship with developers.

Author

Patrick Gleeson is the CTO of Think Smarter Group, a London, UK-based e-learning company. Patrick has about 10 years of experience in software development. He has worked in various roles including software engineer, senior applications developer, team lead, and R&D manager, among others. He works with Ruby, Rails, Javascript, Ember, React, PostgreSQL and AWS, and is a certified Scrum Product Owner. Patrick also freelances as a composer for film and theater, with a BA degree in Philosophy and Classics from Cambridge University. He also has a technical theater degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

$20.87 for the paperback version and $14.74 for the Kindle version

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.