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Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Jeff Lawson, software developer turned CEO of Twilio, creates a new playbook for unleashing the full potential of software developers in any organization, showing how to help management utilize this coveted and valuable workforce to enable growth, solve a wide range of business problems and drive digital transformation.

From banking and retail to insurance and finance,
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Harper Business
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Jake Singer
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First half of the book was Twilio history, and its place within the context of software development history. Loved this, A+.

Second half was more or less a manifesto on how to run a more efficient and energizing software organization. I was a big fan of this, but YMMV - this is really geared towards folks who are (1) execs trying to get the most out of their software engineering orgs, or (2) Founders looking for some inspiration on how to run development. I think Product Managers might get some
Sebastian Gebski
It's a good (or even a very good) book if you meet certain criteria:
* you're an executive/decisive person in a typical enterprise that runs in a traditional model and gets beaten by disruptors or more "digital" competitors
* you're a business person who'd like to understand why everyone claims that every company is a tech company now (and what does software engineering has in common with that)
* you'd like to learn (but for real) what people originally had on their mind when using the phrase "digi
Feb 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The little there was information about the Twilio way of doing things was really insightful. For example, the last chapter about devops was a great read/listen to someone not technical like me.

But then there were the numerous pages dedicated to motivate legacy companies to do “digital transformation” (5-10 years late?), to cover the history of software development, to explain agile development, to promote building on Twilio. This book tries to cover too much to too many audiences. I wish there
Richard Bakare
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book completely encapsulates the frustrations I have seen over my entire consulting career in trying to demonstrate a vision of how to innovate. It also details a better roadmap for showing others how to achieve breakthroughs and the tools to do so. Namely, by creating a culture of experimentation and creativity from the onset.

I am a big believer in the concept of the “Aggregation of Marginal Gains.” A core tenant of this philosophy is tweaking little things to get 1% improvements that com
Rishabh Srivastava
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a guide aimed at teaching managers in legacy companies how to work with developers, though also acted as a thought leadership piece to attract customers and developers to Twilio.

Had some useful points, but could’ve definitely been a 3-part blog post.

- Running experiments and iterating quickly is everything right now. outsourcing to agencies or hiring consultants to make software won’t do. It’s slow, expensive, and generally doesn’t get you the results you need. Outsourcing also signific
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read so insightful thoughts
Noe Pion
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Every big corp depends on software to increase its productivity. This trend is not new : banks, insurances ... have been using a lot of software for more than 25 years. Yet, they are getting disrupted by new players on the field, who move extremely fast, and manage to acquire large client bases while keeping headcount small. So, why couldn't the incumbents do it ? This book will tell you.

Lawson provides a thorough analysis of the organizational structures which make startups so _fast_ and danger
Lau PB
Nov 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Disappointed with it. Basically devs should use micro services instead of building when they can. Whole book is about how awesome this guy’s company is, not how they became awesome/what they did/how they lead their teams.
60 pages of the CEO gloating about how awesome he is.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The first part of the book provides the annotated / "anecdoted" context of software development history. I found it crip and informative, yet not overly surprising or new. I really moved from liking to loving this book once Jeff gets into the nitty-gritty of how to build, nurture and unleash teams and with it digital companies. It covers much, yet feels right, tight, and supported by many actionable hints, examples and a philosophy that I've been treasuring for a while, and after this book, feel ...more
Sam Aparicio
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
If Marc Andreessen pointed in "Sofware Is Eating The World" to a new breed of software disruptors, Jeff Lawson explains in "Ask Your Developer" how the disruption works and what the disrupted can do about it.

It identifies customer experience as the primary frame of reference for strategic success and makes the case that "you can't buy differentiation. You can only build it."

So companies are either going to go on radical digital transformation journeys or die.

For me, the more interesting implica
Shannon Clark
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book to hand to senior execs

I don’t know Jeff though full disclosure I do know Eric Ries who wrote the introduction to this book and I do know some of Twillio’s early investors and I’ve been a customer of theirs in the past at previous jobs (and I assume I will use them again at future companies).

I’ve been online a few years longer than the author and my career has some parallels (multiple startups, stints at larger companies) and while I haven’t (yet) founded a billion dollar corporation m
Manouane Beauchamp
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Livre très intéressant qui nous permet de découvrir l'univers du logiciel. Jeff Lawson, fondateur et CEO de Twilio, revient sur son expérience personnelle avec ses starts-up, explique le modèle d'affaire de son entreprise actuelle, Twilio, et démontre comment les logiciels peuvent - doivent? - être considérés comme un moyen central pour offrir des solutions à des individus ou des entreprises. Plus que tout, il met l'emphase sur l'importance du développeur comme étant la clé de voûte dans l'élabo ...more
Tom Bayley
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is more than a software story. It's a great insight into creating a culture with a growth mindset and a leadership philosophy that's particular suited on a successful organization which is growing rapidly from its success. How to maintain the "secret sauce" as you grow and evolve your organization to meet the challenges posed by the future. Jeff's insights are golden! ...more
Kanishk Dutt
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s a great modern way of building software and managing tech teams. It is very practical advice for any product manager or any manager around how to build great software and get your developers to participate in a way that helps you win. Great for unlocking potential from your development. Have practiced a lot of things suggested and can testify to this advice.
João Cortez
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on the human, organizational and management aspects of Software Development by Jeff Lawson - a developer himself and CEO of Twilio. It touches very good modern practices, it's full of good advice and it contains a lot of statements that will make you think. Very highly recommended. ...more
Josh Carlisle
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid read and good advice

Great read and very insightful. I especially appreciate the section on the benefits of platform engineering and how to effectively organize teams.
John Kelleher
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of the best business books I’ve read. Absolutely essential reading for anyone running a business in 2021.
Wallis Chan
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
This is the best book I read on tech management. Whether you are managing a small team of developers or running a startup, you can learn plenty from this book
Christopher M
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is phenomenal and a must read for anyone who works with software developers or in digital transformation but does not come from a technical/software development background.
Ric Poh Peng Wang
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Short and sweet. I could see more value in my work after getting this book read about platform engineering.
Robert Christie
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Really nice over from a developer turned CEO on how developers make things happen in the digital world, why it's a good idea to listen to them and involve them - and how to support and enable them. ...more
Akhil Ramolla
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
For non Devs who want to bring change with software, this book is a master class on how to work with software engineers as of today.
Jorge DeFlon
Una buena narrativa de las prácticas técnicas de desarrollo de software desde el punto de vista ejecutivo.

Recomendable para todo gerente de desarrollo o director.
Damir Prusac
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well put elements od modern SW Development

A number of good stories and insights how to develop products. It is written a bit as a twillio marketing promotion material.
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Approachable narrative of the third technical wave of tech with the API economy. Anyone in this space it is a must read.
Yixing J
Mar 01, 2021 rated it did not like it
sadly this book is very self-promotional and has a strong marketing purpose, I did not learn anything from it
Hesam  Andalib
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very good narrative of personal and professional experiences. However, I think the author overemphasizes developers role and disregard the benefits that interdisciplinary collaboration brings to the table. It is understandable because the product that his company sell is for developers as well. I love the narrative of the work but I cannot consider it a reliable source of entrepreneurship knowledge and experience for its lack of comprehensiveness.
Conner Crane
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2021
Bora Celik
rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2021
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