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Book review – Managing Humans by Michael Lopp

» 23 August 2009 » In books » Comments Off

Just a quick one today.

Michael Lopp, aka Rands, writes the most excellent and much recommended blog Rands in Repose. Managing Humans is, in essence, a collection of the best bits from his blog, re-mixed, re-mastered and refreshed for paperback.

I’m a big fan of the blog, so it’s no real surprise that I’m a big fan of the book as well. Like the blog, the book is written from the perspective of Rands – who presents a no-holds-barred account of tech management in Silicon Valley. The book is styled around a collection of stories, not necessarily true but always based around real-world observations that provide the user with a lesson or point to take home, more loosely structured around a guy starting out at a new firm and tackling the first 3 months of his time there.

The big sell for this book with me was the style. I really enjoy the way Lopp writes as Rands (check out the blog for examples of this). He doesn’t pander to some predisposed idea of what is and isn’t acceptable for manager-speak, at least compared any of the other books I’ve read on this subject, and in the process comes across as one of my mates, in the pub, giving me advice over a pint of addlestones.

The only final point I’d make is that the book isn’t exactly PC (the opening line is Don’t be a prick). I suspect Rands provides an outlet for Lopp to vent his frustration at times, and this certainly comes out in the book. If you’re easily offended or don’t have the time to listen to middle management ranting this might not be the book for you!

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