A maker is someone who likes to make stuff, to build things. It can be an artist, a craftsman, an architect, a designer. But it can also be a software developer. I’m talking about good developers. Those that take pride in their work.
How we work
Often times, people ask me how we work, how we manage things, and more generally how software should be managed. And my response always suprises them: no deadlines, no meetings, we just make stuff as we go.
Why French project managers mostly do it wrong
In France most people think software is a commodity, meaning they try to find the cheapest person out there that will do the job. If your site is selling socks, that’s probaly a decent bet because their isn’t a lot of technology involved and your core business is selling socks, not your website.
So the problem with that thinking is that the premise is utterly wrong. Good software is not a commodity, it comes at a price and not everyone can do it. Even people who sell shaving kits have figured that out.
Let your artists work for you
My point is good developers are not mere factory workers. They are elite craftsmen or even artists, and they should be managed as such. Craftsmen and artists can’t measure their work by the hour, they can’t follow a well-defined schedule, you can’t tell them what are the priorities. They will figure it out by themselves! Just let them work. If a bug needs to be fixed, they will fix it because they care about the quality of their code.
Productivity cannot be commanded
Developers, like artists, need to get ”in the zone)” in order to be productive. You can’t make them get in the zone, you let them do it. So stop handing them a todolist lovingly prioritised with strict deadlines, it is useless. They are makers, they will work becauses they like what they do and they love building things. There is no need to tell them to do it. And if they want to work from 3pm to 3am because that’s when they are the most productive, let them.