June 16, 2003

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
Ton DeMarco and Timothy Lister

Highly regarded -- Joel Spolsky loves this book -- and nicely written, this management guide proposes a new approach to building and managing development teams. DeMarco and Lister place great value on teams and on the importance of promoting good teamwork. They also understand the costs of minor savings: bad office space makes people less effective, and people are very expensive. Peopleware likes offices with doors and windows -- even shared offices. Peopleware despises PA systems.

As with many business books, the evidence is anecdotal and the authors tend to throw claims around rather loosely: "Someone who can help a project to jell is worth two people who just do the work."