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Peopleware > Part III: The Right People

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message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad (bradrubin) | 264 comments Mod
I enjoyed this section, and agree with the points that hiring the right people, making them happy so they don't leave, and turning them loose are the magic triad. Although, this is much easier said than done. Hiring is hard. Whether done with individual interviews, panel interviews, or portfolio presentations, natural biases are hard to ignore, it is tempting to hire "more like me", and too often the wrong match is made, and that is bad for both the company and the employee. Also, many of the practices described in this section are much easier when the company is doing well, and can be easily tossed aside when the inevitable tough times come.

Google, as an example, has an extensive hiring process, including many interviews, and required GPA and SAT scores for even the most experienced candidates. To top it off, Larry Page personally reviews every hire proposal. Most importantly, they do regression analysis to find out what factors are most likely to lead to a good match. They also have some of the most perks in the industry, but I sense that their turnover is not as low as this section's advice might predict. Come downturn time, perks will disappear, and so will many employees raised with those perks.

The most interesting thing to me is the description of the Hawthorne Effect, that novelty and change are important motivators. However, looking into this more, I see that the effect is more commonly interpreted as one where employee behavior changes when they know that they are being studied, and it looks like recent retrospective analysis casts some doubt on the original conclusions.

message 2: by Aleksander (new)

Aleksander Shtuk | 84 comments Some people at my workplace believe that keeping employees challenged can make them staying at the company for a long time. The other strong opinion I hear that this can be achieved by keeping people busy, so they won’t have time to look around for other opportunities. I believe in inspiration and comfortable working environment; in other words, making people wanting to create and communicate their ideas, no matter good or bad, to their teammates and other teams. Usually it’s “highly supported” by management, but nothing is done to implement it, or something is done that doesn’t bring any positive results. The other problem related to this is favoritism and bias toward peoples’ working and learning abilities. This is more related to part 1 of this book, but management and selecting and keeping right people are very much related. Thus, I like the idea that it mostly depends on management’s desire to spend time analyzing and resolving “people” issues and implementing mechanism that really supports good communication.

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