Business Management

The secrets of successfully managing techies

Judy McKay, author of Managing the Test People, talks to James Eckle about the special skills needed to lead techies.

How is managing a team of techies different from managing other kinds of office workers?

Technical people are motivated by interesting work. They will put up with abominable working conditions if they get to work on something that interests them. I’ve managed people who had to be sent home at night. But technical people without interesting work are very difficult to manage. Their active minds tend to get them into trouble. A happy team is a group that is busy and too intrigued with their project to get mired down with internal politics. In contrast, I find office workers to be more interested in the overall job than the task at hand. Environment, recognition and security are more important to them.

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