Mar 5, 2015

3 Book Recommendations to Help You Earn Respect from Software Engineers

Technical Background Needed?


Companies like Google are notorious for preferring technical product managers.  (How dare they forgo your talents just because you don't have a C/S degree!)

Yet, if you look under the surface, you'll find many exceptions.  For example, take a look at Google product manager Kamila Staryga, who used to run the (now defunct) Google Helpouts.  She does not have a computer engineering background.  Her prior career background was with companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Procter & Gamble.  

Lest you think this is an exception, take a look at Serena Keith.  Serena is heads product at Lovely, a mobile apartment hunting app (acquired by RentPath).  Serena graduated college in 2008 as a social studies major.  Then, she worked a handful of jobs in non-technical roles.

So, What's Going On?


You could assume that Serena or Kamila simply relied on their industry expertise and strategic prowess.  Perhaps you're right.  Or, you could give them the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps they really studied up on technical matters.  People like Serena worked really hard to overcome their technical deficit to earn the trust of the mobile and web engineers on their team.

I have seen this humanist-turned-technologist narrative play out first-hand with people like Shanely.  Shanley used to work at Heroku, an uber-engineer kind of place.  The engineers there told me first-hand that when they worked with Shanley, they had no idea she was not from a technical background.

Meaning, basically, you get there by taking time to learn.  Big surprise!

Take Action and Read Up!


So, this is the part you've been waiting for.  Book recommendations that closes the technical knowledge gap.  That's right, you got to earn that respect from your engineering team. There's no free lunch, my friends.

I found a few books on Leanpub that should be worth checking out.  Best of all, they have a nice satisfaction guaranty.  So, hop to it and beef up your technical library!

        

Growing Agile: A Coach's Guide - This book is a collection of our workshops that will help you run similar workshops to create agile Release Plans. 

Inceptions, Starting a Software ProjectA professional software craftsman has many tools under his belt. Many are technical in nature, but many others are considered soft skills. This book focuses on one such soft skill; The Inception Workshop.

Talking with Tech LeadsA book for Tech Leads, from Tech Leads. Discover how more than 35 Tech Leads find the delicate balance between the technical and non-technical worlds. 


1 comment:

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